Coconut milk, cream and water
Coconut milk is quite close to any other kind of milk in richness and intensity. It’s made by boiling one part shredded coconut meat in one part water. It is what you would usually use in curry.
Coconut cream is richer still. It’s the fat that rises to the top of coconut milk, or the result of simmering four parts shredded coconut meat in one part water. You can use this in curries too but it has a higher fat content. Try to buy coconut cream in the Tetra Pak, rather than the ones in cans, because it has a more natural flavour. The cream’s particularly good for using with raw fish. Combine a little chopped onion, finely chopped chilli, salt, lime juice, freshly sliced fish and tomato concasse – tomato that’s been finely chopped without the seeds. Mix with the coconut cream and leave it to marinate for half an hour.
Coconut water is a thin, clear liquid found inside young coconuts and is high in electrolytes.
For more on coconuts and its uses, read Warren Elwin's article here.