Its typically feature rice or lentils and were traditionally hot desserts.
It’s probably why I still remember the first time I sampled elaneer payasam at the Taj Coromandel in Chennai. Elaneer translates to tender coconut water and this dessert at the hotel’s South Indian signature restaurant – Southern Spice, is refreshing and features unexpected textures in a payasam or kheer.
This dessert combines the textures of tender coconut with coconut milk and is served cold. Over the years, I’ve seen elaneer payasam make an appearance in many fine South Indian restaurants and is one of the best adverts for cooking with tender coconut.
Across South India, vendors selling coconut water always offer to cut open the coconut and carve out the flesh from young coconuts, once you’ve sipped out all the coconut water.
It’s also not unusual for these tender coconut bits to be added to mocktails or cocktails with tender coconut water.
These fleshy bits are also commonly referred to as young coconut meat in the West and make an interesting ingredient for desserts.