When roasted, coconut can add a rich and nutty flavor to many dishes. Whether you shred your own unsweetened coconut or buy it already shredded, you can roast it in the oven or in a skillet on top of the stove.
To roast coconut on the stove, spread shredded coconut in a skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until coconut is mostly golden brown. Know also that coconut can burn very easily, so it’s better to take your time with the roasting than to increase the heat and rush it.
To roast coconut in the oven, spread shredded coconut in a thin layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to make sure that the coconut browns evenly.
Here’s a vegan split pea Dahl recipe that benefits from the addition of roasted coconut.
¾ cup dry yellow peas
¾ cup dry green peas
8 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
1 medium carrot (chopped)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon crushed chile peppers
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 medium potato (peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes)
1 tablespoon shredded coconut (roasted)
1 teaspoon Tamari
¾ cup frozen green peas
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro for garnish
Place dry peas in a large soup pot with vegetable stock and vegetable base. Bring to boil and skim off any foam that arises. Cook until peas are half cooked – about 15 minutes. Add carrot and reduce to a simmer. Cover and continue to while while preparing the following additional ingredients.
Heat the coconut oil on medium-low heat in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and wait until seeds start to pop. Turn heat off. Add cumin, coriander, crushed chile peppers, turmeric and potato. Coat potato well with spices, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Add potato with spices and roasted coconut to soup pot. Simmer on low until split peas are soft. Add Tamari, frozen green peas, salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, ladle into soup bowls and garnish with cilantro. This dish is also good served over (or on the side of) basmati rice.