When you travel to Kerala, you will find banana plants galore and mango trees aplenty. But it’s the coconut trees that truly define the region’s landscape. The lanky palms border rice patty fields and tower over sandy beaches. They rise above rural huts and nestle next to urban high rises, projecting a sense of ease amid the continuous cacophony of car horns.
The ever present palms offer an ample supply of raw materials including wood, leaves, and, of most importance culinarily, coconuts. Malayalees use every component of the tropical fruit (the oil, the milk, the flesh) to make a wide variety of sweet and savory dishes. As such, Kerala cuisine is a treat for anyone who’s crazy for coconut.
Stay tuned for more coconut-centric recipes…
Makes 10 crepes
When my mom was young, she ate these crepes as an after school snack. I prefer to dig into them at breakfast, with a mix of bananas and pineapple on the side. Wondering what really sets them apart? It’s the contrasting textures of the crepes and the shredded coconut and alluring combination of cardamom and vanilla.
1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened shredded coconut 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon cardamom 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Susan developed a passion for flavorful food as a child. Under her mother's wing, she learned to prepare everyday Kerala dishes.
In her twenties, Susan moved to Tokyo in search of adventure where she embraced Japanese culinary traditions. There she learned to value individual ingredients and tapped into the power of plating.
Once back in the U.S., Susan earned a Masters Degree in Public Policy. The hypnotic rhythms of the kitchen (mincing, chopping, mixing) drew her to Kendall College in 2005 where she trained as a chef. After a foray in the food industry, she started Cardamom Kitchen. Her mission is to promote all the benefits of home cooking. Susan leads cooking classes, and has taught at Whole Foods Market, the Fearless Food Kitchen, Gilda's Club, Common Threads, Swedish Covenant, farmer's markets and provides private instruction for children and adults. She also hosts a Culinary Tour of Devon Avenue, Chicago's Little India. Susan created and managed the "Kitchen Basics" column for Whole Foods Market.