This Easy Coconut or Kopra Paak, Is just one of many, ‘South African Indian’s ‘, favourite among the array of sweetmeats. If you haven’t as yet attempted making Sweetmeats (Mithai), this is one of the simplest and delicious sweet treat to begin with.
Growing up, I had marvelled at how my Dadi (paternal grandma) and my aunts had so effortlessly been able to whip up a batch of these coconut paak / kopra paak in no time at all. Like many South African Indian’s, my family too had some sweetmeats we were a lot more fond of than others. Sweetmeats, are no ‘meat products that are sweetened’, if that is what you may be thinking?. It is actually sweet treats or MITHAI, that is commonly made during special occasions or festivals. These days, one can find these being made almost anytime in the year.
Coconut or Kopra Paak, is primarily made with COCONUT. Very Much like a Coconut Ice, but with a slight ‘indian’ twist. It is gently enhanced using cardamom powder for flavouring and a simple sugar syrup, and condensed milk, that adds the sweetness. As I sit typing this out, I’m in awe of the older generations, that truly had no proper measurements, or electronic gadgets like we do today, YET, what came out of their kitchens were amazing products the whole family enjoyed. This recipe I share today, has been in my family for generations, and with time I’ve finally managed to put down some proper measurements that we are used to these days. My Dadi, Allah bless her Soul ameen, would say add ‘some of this’, and ‘a little of that’ and ‘half a can’ of another.
I know Kopra Paak is my youngest sister, Humarah’s, absolute favourite among the sweetmeat range, and without fail, every year, she would be calling me asking to explain again what the exact measurement were for this Kopra Paak. So, as I prepared a batch of these for Eid-Ul-Fitr, I managed to click a few pics along the way, and you can find my step by step collage below, to help you along.
Happy Kopra Paak Making Lovelies
Easy Coconut OR Kopra Paak (Marsay Family Favourite)
Author : Foodeva Marsay
6 Cups Dessicated Coconut (500g)
1/2 Cup Nestle Dessert Cream
1/2 Cup Condensed Milk
2 teaspoon Elachie Powder (Cardamom Powder)
Pink/Green Food Colouring
1 and 3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
# Boil Sugar and Water, on a medium heat setting, until thread consistency is reached. (If you have a candy thermometer, when syrup reaches 101° C–112° C, OR when the syrup makes a thin thread like a spider’s web, when spoon is lifted, or similarly if the syrup is dropped into a glass of cold water).
1. Add Coconut, Cream and Condensed milk to a large enough dish for mixing.
# Stir through well to combine
2. Add the Elachie Powder and a few drops of Food Colouring and mix in well. (You can use your hands to ensure the colour is properly distributed into the coconut).
3. When the syrup is done, pour onto the coconut and mix all well.
4. Now add the Coconut to a lightly greased, large casserole, and flatten well. Using a fork, gently scrape the top of coconut, to add a little bit of texture once the coconut/kopra paak is set.
5. Sprinkle on Hundreds and Thousands or anything you prefer to deco with.
# Cover the casserole with cling wrap and allow to set for a few hours or overnight. This allows for the syrup to be absorbed by the coconut.
# The Coconut/Kopra PAAK is then ready to be sliced into squares and can be stored in an airtight container. (No need to refrigerate).
# You could also opt to shape them either in moulds or cut with biscuit cutters, but you have to do This before the Coconut/Kopra Paak sets.
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