We used to do this as kids... Barbecued Stuffed Coconuts in open fire...
Being from a countryside full of coconut groves, we used to picnic in our friend's coconut farm, making lunch out of open-fired coconuts stuffed with goodies. We carried biscuits, fried white chickpeas, sweets or some country-made jaggery. The coconuts were harvested fresh from the tress, husked, filled with powdered jaggery and other goodies we carried and open-fired. When the coconut was fully cooked, the core cracked open with a pop-up sound. We used to call it as Vedi Thengai: In Tamil, vedi means cracker and thengai means coconut. It was fun.
The open-fired coconuts are easily digestible, compared to indigestion caused by raw coconuts to few. The method to stuff and barbecue coconut is very simple and enjoyable anytime, anywhere...
Step 1: Selecting a Coconut for BBQ
The coconut selected for BBQ should be of medium ripe. The nut should neither be tender, which is full of water nor it be fully ripe, which contains more oil and somewhat tasteless water. Select a coconut with green husks and shake it nearer to your ears. You will hear the sound of rippling water inside.
Step 2: Husking the Cococnut
Husk the selected coconut using any tool available to you. We use a tool specially made for husking. You can also use a small machete for this.
Step 3: Ingredients for Stuffing
Ingredients I have used for stuffing:
- 3/4th of a cup of fried white chickpeas
- 150 gram of country-made jaggery
- 10 numbers of medium sized sweet and salt biscuits
You can use anything edible for the filling. Biscuits, sweets, chocolates, anything you like as long as you can get them inside the coconut...!!!
Make a coarse powder of all the ingredients and mix them together. The biscuits can be crushed by hand. For the chickpeas and the jaggery, I have used a small crusher made of stone.
Step 4: Preparing the Coconut
If you look at the husked coconut, you can find three eyes on top of it. Using a skewer or any such sharp tool, open up only one of the eyes. It is very easy and not much force is required.
Step 5: Stuffing the Cococnut
Now is the time to stuff the coconut.
It is preferable that you should have atleast half of the space available inside the coconut for the stuffing. You can drain out some excess water if it is more than half.
Cup your fingers around the hole and using the skewer push down the mixed ingredients inside. It takes only about 10 to 15 minutes for this. The coconut should be completely filled, leaving no empty space inside.
After stuffing, plug the hole with a small piece of wood. You can tap down the plug to fit tightly.
Step 6: Grilling
Make a small pit and fill it with dried out twigs, leaves or anything suitable. Place the filled-up coconut over a grill on the fire-pit and light the fire. Let the coconut cook over a medium fire while turning it around so that all sides are grilled equally. It may take about 30 to 45 minutes for the coconut to cook. When the coconut is fully cooked, the core craxks open with a pop-up sound. Take out the coconut from fire and let it cool.
Remember, Safety comes First...!!! Keep a bucket of water near by at all times during the open fire. Douse the fire completely with water when finished...
Step 7: The Barbecued Coconut
When the coconut is sufficiently cooled down, remove any burned out shell from the core, cut open and make slices. You can press down the stuffing on the slices, if it is coming out. You can also see under the stuffing, that the coconut has absorbed some of the juice from the stuffing.
The grilled coconut with the stuffing has an excellent taste and an aroma acquired from the open fire, which will make you long for more...