Something’s Bothering Me!

What’s bothering me?!!… Read on!

Somehow, I’m beginning to feel Christmas-sy again just like I used to feel when I was a kid. Before now I keep wondering where all the Christmas spirit went. I could blame it on the fact I’ve been in Saudi Arabia, Christmas day is sooo not a holiday there. It is work as usual. However, here in Grenada it’s in the air. Yes, we don’t have snow, neither Harmattan but there’s just one dude who burns I-don’t-know-what, a mile away. I don’t complain because the burnt smell brings the smell of Harmattan especially when it’s cold. While I make do with that make-shift Harmattan, there is a lot of shopping and Christmas lights and my daughter would always remind me how she wants a great Christmas. So in that spirit, I’ve been preparing myself for a cooking spree. I thought of what to include in my menu besides the usual fried rice or jollof rice. Then I thought, why not do Coconut rice? Then the horrible memoir begins to unfold of my ordeal with Coconut rice. My dear people, in a humble way I say this. I am a good cook. I could watch a recipe and replicate it as far as I like what it’s involved in the process. Soups, stews, sauces, gravys, name it….I’m in but I just can’t understand my deal with Coconut rice. Back then when I was working in Calabar, Nigeria, there was a lady at the canteen who cooked it so well. I could use all my money for her coconut rice. Even When I moved to another Organization, the domestic staff knew by default what they needed to go buy from that lady- Coconut rice. As a child, I could also remember the sweet rich taste from my Mom’s Coconut rice. There were no ready-made coconut milk then, they cracked the hell out of coconuts and grated it and squeezed out the juice. Imagine such rich flavour with smoked fish. Somebothy, shift let me faint***10 mins black out***

I’m back! As I was saying, that was gold. So with my ‘magic hands’, I gave the coconut rice recipe a try. Not once, not twice…and I used the coconut milk only and I never got that rich taste. This was in Saudi and all I could lay my hands on were the canned coconut milk which in my opinion was supposed to be rich because it was a product from the Philippines and I knew their natives used it a lot. Well, Epic fail One. It just had the smell but not the taste. Fast forward to few weeks ago, I stumbled on real coconuts at the grocery store. We are in the Caribbean, d’uh!….Coconut is like the thing that goes with a shirtless dreadlock stud in every Caribbean advert. So I happily grabbed two of those Coconuts and couldn’t wait to crack them open and grate them to get the milk out. At this point I was more than convinced, I had hit it right. I got enough Coconut milk out and started my cooking. To my uttermost shock it tastes just the same like I had done with canned milk. I kept wondering what the problem was. With all the YouTube videos on how to cook Coconut rice, the directions were the same and while the end of the YouTube videos make me see how yummy their Coconut rice looked, I was still mourning mine. So it’s two things: Either the Youtubers are not saying truthfully how their Coconut rice tastes in reality or the Coconut gods have an issue with me. Lol. I have tried and I’m still wondering at what try I’d get it right. If you have a tried and true recipe on Coconut rice and you are 100% certain I’d get the taste, please help this Sister. So that’s what’s bothering me now……LOL

Or wait! Could it be the Caribbean Coconut?…cos I have not tried it with Nigerian coconut. Hmmm, who knows? What are your plans this Christmas?

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  • Reply
    December 11, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    The magic with getting the real taste of coconut is having enough coconut, for the amount of rice you make, try increasing the number of coconut you use instead of 2 try using 4, and secondly, use hot water not warm, boiling hot water to extract the the milk. soak the grated coconut in boiling water and make sure you have enough for boiling the rice, never add ordinary water when you have to top up. that usually dilutes the coconut taste. try that and see what happens, good luck bubu. oh and one more thing make sure the coconut mature well well oo.

    • Reply
      December 11, 2017 at 9:41 pm

      Taking down notes. 4 coconuts, I’ll try. That’s a lot of grating. Lol. Will do that.

  • Reply
    December 11, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Ha nice post! For how long have you resided in Grenada? I’m looking for a real Nigerian to teach me how to make coconut rice. Not on the Tube, I need them in my kitchen! I’m planning to have simple Christmas. I haven’t even put up a tree!

    • Reply
      December 12, 2017 at 9:00 pm

      Thanks Madeline. Been here for 8 months plus. I think I’d join you on that wish.

  • Reply
    Highly Favored
    December 14, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Hi Bubu,

    Just to make life easier, have you tried using a blender for the coconut instead of grating? Cut them up in manageable pieces and add some water to the blender. you will then need a strainer to squeeze out the coconut milk for cooking.

    All the best with getting your rice to turn out just the way you like it, hope you’ll get some helpful tips.

    • Reply
      December 20, 2017 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks Lady. Just yesterday, someone messaged me on this method. Now this is a confirmation that I should use it. Thanks for your help.

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