Coconut milk is a liquid made from the pressed meat of the coconut, not the "liquid" found inside the coconut. The milk is used extensively in Asian and some Indian cooking. Not to be confused with "coconut cream" or "cream of coconut," which is a thick, sweetened mixture used for desserts and beverages.
You can purchase full-fat or light coconut milk in cans. Look for it in the Ethnic foods section of your grocery store. You can also buy it in most Asian and India markets.
Madhur Jaffrey suggests a way to make coconut from dried, shredded, desiccated coconut. Place 2 cups of the dried coconut in a medium saucepan then add 2 1/2 cups of water. Heat the mixture until it starts to simmer. Pour the mixture in a blender or use your food processor and blend for one minute. Strain the mixture through a double layer of cheesecloth and squeeze as much milk out as you can. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk. See more substitutions below.
Here are some additional alternatives for coconut milk.
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