Coconut "Butter" with South Indian Flavors
- 3/4 cup pure coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 4 large shallots)
- 1/4 cup fresh curry leaves, torn into pieces (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon hot Indian chile powder, cayenne, or similar hot red chile powder (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
Yield: About 1 1/2 cups
Heat 3 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and cook until the mustard seeds pop. Add the shallots and curry leaves, if you have them, and cook until the shallots are brown and the curry leaves have turned dark and crisp, about 6 minutes.
Put the remaining coconut oil in a bowl. Add the cooked shallot mixture, the salt, chile powder, and turmeric and stir together. Serve.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week. The chilled mixture will look grainy, but it will melt evenly when heated.
Photography and recipe from Mastering Sauces by Susan Volland. Copyright © 2015 by Susan Volland. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company. All rights reserved.