how to make coconut milk recipe, homemade coconut milk recipe

how to make coconut milk at home

how to make coconut milk from scratch – since i make coconut milk often, here is a step by step post, which i thought would help many of you.

this post has been in the pipeline for 6 months. it has taken me so long to write something as simple and basic as preparing coconut milk, which i often use in my cooking. apart from adding it to the south indian curry recipes and payasams, i also make milkshakes with thin coconut milk. and the milkshakes are really refreshing and light.

i always use fresh coconut to prepare the coconut milk. the method is very easy. i always prepare 3 extracts. the last two extracts of thin coconut milk goes into curries or payasams and sometimes into milkshakes. the first thick extract is added towards the end in curries or payasams.

keep in mind, the 2nd or 3rd extract can be boiled or simmered, the 1st extract cannot be boiled. if you boil the 1st thick coconut milk, it will curdle.

this coconut milk was added to kerala vegetable stew, appams and banana milkshake. so before you get confused into 1st or 2nd extract let me take you through the process of preparing coconut milk.

simple steps to make coconut milk at home:

1: take a fresh mature coconut and break it open. collect the water in a glass and grate the white flesh with a hand grater. in india we also have a manual grater which has a seat and is used traditionally. here i have grated the white meat with a hand held grater.

grate the coconut

2: take the coconut grating in a blender jar. add 1 cup water and blend till the coconut is ground well for a couple of minutes.

blend grated coconut with water

3: pour the contents in a bowl or pan lined with a thin muslin or fine strainer.

coconut milk preparation

4: the coconut milk will be strained. press with a spoon on the coconut shreds so that all the milk is strained away.

strain the coconut milk

5: what you get now is the thick coconut milk or the 1st extract.

thick coconut milk

6: put back the coconut shreds in the blender again. add 1 to 1.5 cups water and blend again. again strain the content in a different bowl or pan using the same strainer or muslin. press with a spoon on the shreds again.

thin coconut milk preparation

7: this is the thin coconut milk or the 2nd extract.

thin coconut milk

8: you can stop here or continue to get the 3rd extract. proceed in the same way as for getting the 2nd extract. you can keep the 2nd and 3rd extract separate or mix them up. mostly when making curries, i mix the 2nd and 3rd extracts.

how to make coconut milk

so now you have fresh homemade coconut milk ready which you can use in your cooking or baking. you can also keep the coconut milk in the fridge. it stays good for 3-4 days. you can add this coconut milk to milkshakes also.

the leftover coconut residue can be roasted in an oven or a pan. then ground to a flour when cooled to give coconut flour. this coconut flour can be added while making cakes, cookies or breads.

more how to recipes –
1. how to make curd
2. how to make paneer
3. how to make chenna
4. how to make cashew yogurt
5. how to make butter at home
6. how to make masala doodh/milk powder

how to make coconut milk recipe below:

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how to make coconut milk - homemade coconut milk recipe - makes
how to make coconut milk - preparing homemade coconut milk from scratch with fresh mature coconut
CUISINE: south indian
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
  • 2 & ½ cups grated fresh coconut or unsweetened shredded coconut - see notes below
  • 3 to 4 cups water at room temperature
  1. take all the grated coconut in a blender jar.
  2. add the 1 cup water and blend on high till the coconut is ground well.
  3. strain in a cheesecloth/muslin or a fine sieve and collect the first extract in a bowl or pan.
  4. this is the thick coconut milk or the first extract.
  5. then collect and put back the coconut residue into the blender.
  6. add 1 to 1.5 cups water and blend again.
  7. strain and collect this coconut milk in another bowl.
  8. this is the thin coconut milk or the second extract.
  9. put back the coconut gratings again in the blender.
  10. add 1 to 1.5 cups water and blend again.
  11. this is thinnest coconut milk or the third extract.
  12. strain for the third time and collect the third coconut milk in the bowl in which the second thin coconut milk is extracted.
  13. you can also keep the third extract separate.
  14. so the fresh coconut milk is ready. use it fresh in your cooking.
  15. you can also refrigerate and use the coconut milk later.
if using unsweetened shredded coconut, then preferable to soak the coconut in warm water for a few hours and then blend.

{ 31 Responses }

  1. Lannie says

    I live in northern BC , Canada and we don’t see too many fresh coconuts here!
    I’m making this recipe using dried shredded coconut. I soaked it for 3 hours in warm water and used my ” Magic Bullet ” blender to grind the mixture. I then strained it with a jelly bag which worked great because you can really wring all the liquid out with your hands. And guess what? It tastes just like coconut milk! Great recipe thanks! I’m allergic to cow milk and I find the store bought alternatives really upset my stomach I’m assuming because of all the additives. I’ll use this for cooking baking and maybe even in my coffee lol. Looking forward to trying out the almond milk recipe next

    • says

      thanks you lannie. i would suggest if at any time you manage to get fresh coconut, then do try extracting milk from it. you will simply love its freshness.

  2. says

    Love your explanation on how to extract coconut milk. I have added a link to it in my Recipe for “Goan Prawn and Okra Curry” at my blog.
    Do visit and check it out if you’d like :)

      • Śāntanu says

        If she means the grater in step #1, I’m curious of this as well. Is there a good source to order this type of grater? What else is it used for?

        • says

          thats a coconut grater and its good. i use it to grate coconut. i got locally. but i think its available on only used for grating coconut. it has clamp which seals the base with the kitchen counter top. so the grater does not move while grating the coconut.

  3. purshotam says

    Thank you for your post

    Please confirm can I use Coconut Ist Extract milk to make Coconut Oil, if yes, please advice how to make oil


  4. Jennifer says

    Thanks, that seems really straightfoward = good. I imagine the longest part is grating the coconut to begin with; I think I may be able to accomplish that in my food processor.

  5. Kayla says

    I was recently diagnosed with SIBO and have strong allergies to almost every food. Is there a way to make coconut whipped cream?
    Other recipes suggest buying canned coconut milk, but they all contain Carrageenan, Guar Gum, or other “Gums” which I cannot eat.
    Any Coconut Milk Whipped Cream recipes you can suggest?
    I would GREATLY appreciate it!! :)

    • says

      yes you can make coconut whipped cream. what you do is is refrigerate the first batch (first extract) of thick coconut milk in the fridge for a day for 7 to 8 hours. the fat & cream would float on the top after refrigeration. collect the top part in a bowl and then whip it. this is the natural way of making coconut cream. i hope this helps. take care :-)

  6. Drupad says

    I live in remote location of Kutch, Gujarat. Once I came through a biryani recipe online which required coconut milk. I made the biryani but without coconut milk as we don’t get it here. Now I will try with coconut milk. Thank alot for this post.

  7. says

    I and my wife were still wondering how we can prepare coconut milk,learning firsthand that we can use it in place of conventional milk,now we know how to do it perfectly. Thanks a million!

  8. says

    I am from the tropical island of Trinidad where there is an abundance of coconut trees. I have a tree in my back yard. It is very tall and I use the coconut for making coconut cream. The coconut cream is very pure, delicious and healthy. I love to eat a piece of the dry coconut as I call it.

  9. Sandy says

    Thank you for the tip on using dry coconut. I felt many of the recipes weren’t right. I kept thing you should soak the dry flakes first. Then I came across your post:)

    I am looking forward to making my own butter. I can get grass fed cows cream. I feel like the days when we lived on the farm. Our neighbor always making butter.

  10. says

    Fantastic tutorial. I make my own coconut milk the same way. It’s so easy and so much better than conventional, store-bought coconut milk in a can.

  11. Napua says

    Thank you! I have been searching for a recipe “from scratch”. I don’t care for the recipes that use shredded, dried, packaged coconut when there are fresh coconuts in abundance here. Any suggestions for where to get one of those graters you mentioned? Or what about using a food processor? Mahalo!

    • says

      thanks. even i have checked some coconut milk recipes online and i was like why to use packaged or dried coconuts. but then i realized fresh coconut is not available everywhere. these type of graters are available in india. may be some online indian store must be selling it. food processor works fine. but in this case you have to remove the flesh from the hard outer cover and then roughly chop and then add in the blender. though i have never tried the blender method. you can just chop the white meat of the coconut. add them in a powerful grinder or blender. add water and blend till all the coconut is ground. and then extract the coconut milk.

    • says

      i don’t have the recipes on the blog. but coconut flour can be used to make cookies, added to breads, cakes. if you search on the web, you will get a lot of recipes using coconut flour.