Saturday, May 10, 2014

Madakku San (Coconut-Filled Crepes)

Bicycle with coconut tied on the back and shredded fresh coconut

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. 

Adding cardamom to coconut

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. 

Cooking crepes for Madakku san

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. 
Crepes and cardamom flavored coconut


For filling:

1 cup fresh or frozen unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

For crepes:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Coconut oil or butter


In a small bowl, mix together the coconut, sugar, cardamom, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together to form a smooth batter. 

Lightly coat a skillet with coconut oil or butter. Heat on medium low heat.

Pour 1/4 cup of batter on the skillet. Rotate the skillet to  thinly spread the batter across its surface.

Cook until light brown. With a spatula, loosen the edges of the crepe and flip it to cook the other side. 

When both sides have cooked, place the crepe on a plate to cool. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Lay a crepe on a cutting board. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of coconut filling along the edge of the crepe and roll it tightly. Repeat with the rest of the crepes.

Filling a crepe with cardamom flavored coconut
Madakku san (Coconut Filled Crepes)
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