Elaneer kozhambhu

Elaneer Kozhambhu

I love tender coconut ,especially during the summer months. It cools and refreshes instantly. It’s perfect for replenishing all the salts lost due to dehydration. Usually I only rely on tender coconuts from the farm ,it’s quite scary how even the humble coconut cultivation has fallen prey to pesticide usage ! Thanks to Marudhachalam uncle who owns photo centre ,we can buy organic elanis from his farm ,just outside his studio on Race Course. That’s such a huge relief !!!

The Rk farms are committed to an organic way of living and is evident form the taste of the Elaneer. Elaneer for those that aren’t familiar with the tamil language is an amalgamation of two words… Elam meaning young and neer meaning water …and Elaneer is therefore ‘tender coconut water’. Coloquially both the water and the pale fruit inside is now referred to as Elani . This is the coconut that is harvested before reaching full maturity. Therefore the inside is not hard and crunchy but very thin and almost silken in texture. I like it best just when it is at that almost firm but still folding over stage,that has a nice bite to it.

Elani pieces

Several of my cousins had mentioned cooking with the tender coconut over the last few years. Somehow I had never tried it.Until one day… Good friends from Vettaikaranpudur were in town and we spent a wonderful sunday morning on our bikes ! Post that we stopped for a glug of Elani ! In the course of conversation , partially centred around food,they happened to mention this very gravy dish…the Elaneer kozhambhu. Srihari said it was his favourite . A week later ,I begged the recipe off his lovely wife Shanthi and here we are ! I was a bit hesitant in adding 6 Tbsps of coriander powder,wasn’t too sure about that. The little bit that I added tasted great anyways,but i leave it to your discretion.Do try it ,it’s perfect for summer. I love the contrast of the sweet tender coconut water with the savoury heat of the spice blend :) I will soon make it again for my sweetie sister in law Ramya and hope she posts her comments  here after tasting it…oh and mom too …lol !!!

The coconut is so versatile that I love using it as a container whenever possible. Just make sure that you rinse it well before doing so. Some of the outer fibre can get in and that’s not very pleasant ! The container does  add to the whole taste experience !

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  • 1. If 1 coconut does not yeild enough fruit and water ,please add the water and fruit of 1 more or as necessary.
  • 2. In a pan ,on low heat ,add the oil.
  • 3. Add the cumin ,peppercorns and aniseed and saute'.
  • 4. Add the onions and garlic and saute' until pink and translucent,on very low heat.
  • 5. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • 6. tip into a blender and blend ,using a tablespoon of tender coconut water,enough to make into a paste. Add the coriander powder and continue to blitz to a smooth masala adding a liitle more of the tender coconut water for grinding,if necessary.
  • 7. Keep aside the tender coconut flesh to use later.
  • 8. In a medium pan or kadai ,heat a little oil for tempering.
  • 9. Add the curry leaves and dried red chillies
  • 10. When it splutters ,add the blended masala paste,on low heat.
  • 11. Add the remaining tender coconut water ,salt and let it boil for about 6-8 minutes. Keep stirring occasionally
  • 12. Once it has come together ,check seasoning and adjust accordingly. It's not watery but a thin gravy.
  • 13. Add the tender coconut pieces and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • 14. Take off fire and serve at room temperature with rice or idli or dosai (rice flour indian pancakes).It's also nice with coconut rice.

About Chef

Shanthini Rajkumar