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Here's why coconut is more Indian than we think!

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Mishkaat Imrani
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coconut is more indian

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From being a part of our festivities and poojas to our kitchens and plates, coconuts can be found everywhere. And so, it wouldn't be wrong to say that this fruit is more Indian than we think, and to know more, keep scrolling. 

Coconut, aka Naryal, is a multipurpose fruit and is considered a symbol of prosperity, bliss, and an auspicious object for many ceremonies in our country. Rich in nutrients, this fruit is called 'Indian nut' by the Arabs and is even mentioned in 'One Thousand and One Nights' story of Sindbad the Sailor. It's actually a drupe which means it's neither a nut nor a fruit. The coconut sits between both but it leans more towards the former than the latter. It is also known as “Kalpavriksha” meaning a legendary tree believed to offer all the essentials of life in India. And probably that's why it's everywhere! Be it our curries and chutneys or our festivities, and even the name of the states (Kerala literally means The land of coconuts), this drupe has been an important part of our culture, so it wouldn't be wrong to say coconuts are more Indian than we think, so keep reading. 

coconuts are more Indian

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In culture and rituals

Coconuts hold a very special place in the Hindu culture and breaking a coconut before holy events and ceremonies is considered shubh (good luck). Both its water and flesh are essential for worshipping ceremonies and during festivities, pots with green coconuts and mango leaves are kept on the sides of the main door of temples, households, and even workplaces as protection and good luck.

coconuts is more Indian

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During Narali Purnima, which is the festival of the fishermen community (Kolis) in Maharashtra, Daman and Diu, and Kerala, coconuts are painted golden and offered to the god of the sun with a belief that they will calm down the water and save them from natural calamities. Another festival, Aadi Perukku is celebrated in Tamil Nadu, in which the breaking of coconut on the devotee’s head is part of the ritual with a faith that it will make the god happy. 

In food

A dosa is incomplete without the coconut chutney and so is the South Indian and Goan cuisine that uses this drupe extensively. And why not, especially when it offers different ingredients? Coconut water, milk, sugar, oil, and flesh, each of these have a unique texture and flavour and that's why the South Indians are obsessed with coconuts. 

coconuts are more Indian

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Be it chutneys made of grounded coconut, curries, and appam with milk in Kerala or the popular Goan dishes such as Maas Kodi, sanas, and sorpotel that also uses coconut milk as its base or foogath made with desiccated coconuts, and even desserts like laddoo, gujiya, barfi, and kheer, coconut is an absolute favourite of Indian taste palate. 

coconuts are more Indian

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In Arts and crafts and daily articles

This tender and hard drupe goes even beyond food and religion and is also pretty useful when it comes to making handicrafts like baskets and mats. Coir, a fiber present in its husk is highly resistant to salt water and thus is used for manufacturing ropes, brooms, and brushes. Many homegrown brands like Amala Earth and Dusaan have also started making bowls and other utensils from coconut and it has become a brand-new favourite of those who are sustainability enthusiasts. Dry shells, too are carved in different shapes with intricate details to make decorative pieces like pen holders, wall hangings, and vases. 

coconuts are more Indian

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In a museum 

India, especially the south, loves coconuts and takes them seriously and to prove the same, Kochi even came up with its own Coconut Museum, which is home to a variety of artifacts and products made from various parts of the coconut tree. Founded in 2009, this museum displays products made by local artisans along with Patachitra paintings and posters providing information on coconut farming and its uses. You'll even find the idols of Ganesha, and Buddha carved out from a single log of coconut trees here.

coconuts are more Indian

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And so coming back to the title of this piece, we have to say again that mango may rightfully hold the title of 'king of fruits,' coconut, despite being a drupe, holds a special place in the tummies and hearts of Indians and its culture. 

The land of coconuts chutneys made of grounded coconut and sorpotel sanas Maas Kodi Amala Earth and Dusaan coconut museum coconut shell coconut coconut is more Indian