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How to Extract Coconut Milk (Thengai Paal/Nariyal ka Doodh) ?

Extract_Coconut_Milk_Thengai_Paal_Nariyal_Doodh_Scrapper_1 Coconut milk is a cooking base in south Indian cooking. Coconut milk is white in colour and it is not the water you find inside when you break the coconut. This is the milky fluid extracted from the white flesh of the matured coconut. Coconut milk is served with Aappam and Idiyappam as a side dish. It is also used in some curries and in some type of Biriyani as it gives a rich creamy taste to the dishes when used as an ingredient. Ayurveda considers coconut milk as a healthy drink to treat mouth ulcers.

Coconut is known as Thengai in Tamil and as Nariyal in Hindi. Milk is known as Paal in Tamil and as Dhoodh in Hindi.

Here is an easy method to extract coconut milk without using a coconut scrapper. I don’t use coconut scrapper at all in my Extract_Coconut_Milk_Thengai_Paal_Nariyal_Doodh_Scrapper_2kitchen.


  • Whole Coconut – 2 no
  • Mild hot water – 6 cup


Before proceeding let us see how a fully matured coconut breaks.

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  • It is not necessary to break the coconut as shown above; just break the coconut into two parts and take out the white fleshy part in big pieces by using a knife (I use a butter knife); further cut into small pieces.

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  • Put it in a mixi jar and chop it finely; add 2 cups of warm water, grind for 3 to 4 minutes.

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  • Squeeze, filter the milk through a fine filter or a cloth; this is called first shift milk or first grade milk; this will be more creamy and tasty; this will be thick in consistency.


  • Again put the extracted coconut fiber in the blender, add 2 cups of warm water, grind and filter; this is called second shift milk and this will be thin compared to the first shift milk.
  • Repeat this for third time also; this is called third shift milk and this will be further thin.
  • The first shift coconut milk is served as side dish to Aappam, Idiyappam by adding sugar and some flavoring agent like cardamom.


  • Second and third shift milk are used in curries and in soups as ingredient.


  • Extracting coconut milk for more than three times is not useful.
  • Do not preserve this coconut milk for long time; extract coconut milk as and when required using the right quantity of coconut.

Update: April 16

Here is the fully dry, left-over of coconut after extracting milk thrice. As it has no nutrients, I consider it as a waste.


{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Sushma Mallya April 5, 2010, 11:24 am

    Thats a very nice & simple way to extracting coconut milk,…nicely done

  • Priya April 5, 2010, 4:27 pm

    I do the same way too..useful for many of us..

  • Trendsetters April 5, 2010, 8:18 pm

    we do it the same way too…sometime if we have a lot of time we soak the coconut in hot water for some time so more milk comes out.

  • Daisyblue April 5, 2010, 10:11 pm

    Nice step by step explanation.. useful for newbies..

  • Supriya April 16, 2010, 11:56 am

    I am a newbie to this coconut milk and always used to be confused about what exactly is it… Nice explanation given here:-) I have another question. The left over coconut stuff after extracting milk…is it useless or can it be used for some purpose too.

  • Kamala April 16, 2010, 7:42 pm

    @ Supriya,
    The left over of coconut after extracting milk thrice has no nutrients. I consider it as a waste. Your response has prompted me to include one more photograph as an update. Thanks for your visit and comment.

  • Vanessa July 21, 2010, 8:48 pm

    How were you able to remove the cocunut flesh in one piece? I would really like to learn that method.

  • Kamala July 30, 2010, 8:58 am

    @ Vanessa
    Only a fully matured coconut (hardly any water inside) breaks like this. Instead of breaking the shell hard, use lighter force to break.

  • Vanessa July 30, 2010, 7:58 pm

    Thanks so much! I was waiting anxiously for your response..

  • Shashe Kumar October 26, 2010, 5:09 pm

    I needed Non_Veg Recipes, I’m a regular watcher of this program, Send me the recipes of Chicken Biryani (with Coriander Powder) and other recipes of Nov_Veg to my email.

  • Marie January 8, 2011, 2:40 am

    I was searching for uses for the leftover fiber and came across a research project that stated the leftovers after milk extraction have between 41-62% fat depending upon method of extraction. The project was comparing it as a fiber source. Therefore it still contains nutrients, I just have to figure out a good way to use it. I’m assuming it’s similar to coconut flour at this stage, maybe having a bit less nutritional value.

  • Kamala January 11, 2011, 11:06 am

    @ Marie
    I agree with your view. In industries, the left over fiber after extracting coconut oil is used as cattle feed. At home after extracting coconut milk, the quantity of left over fiber is too little for further use. Thanks for your comments.

  • kalingakanya September 12, 2011, 9:26 pm

    Thanks a lot for detail knowledge about coconut milk.

  • yashraj shukla February 3, 2015, 7:31 pm

    very very useful ……..
    not to me but to my mom
    she had a great desire to use coconut milk in differt recipies.
    she thought that to get recipy of milk she had to make another search….

  • chinna March 30, 2015, 2:40 pm

    What are the basic food to incearse body weight?

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