Can you make your own coconut milk? And, what is meant by 'coconut milk'?

I have seen Indian recipes calling for coconut milk, but the directions called for an infusion you make yourself from fresh or dry coconut infused in hot milk / strained.

But recently, I have seen recipes calling for canned coconut milk ~ not the coconut cream ~ and unsweetened coconut milk, too?

Can you make your own, or do you simply buy it?

Thank you so much

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    One thought on “Can you make your own coconut milk? And, what is meant by 'coconut milk'?

    • Cooking Engineer (CE)

      Coconut milk/cream (gkati): Coconut milk is not the juice found inside a coconut, but the diluted cream pressed out from the thick, white flesh of a well-matured coconut.

      To make coconut milk, finely grated coconut meat is steeped in hot water until it is cool enough to handle. It is then squeezed until dry; the white fluid is strained to remove all the pulp. When allowed to sit for a while, the coconut cream (hua gkati) rises to the top. Commercially, coconut cream is obtained by pressing grated coconut flesh by itself without water, using a specialized, heavy piece of machinery.

      More hot water is added to the pulp and the process is repeated to yield a lighter fluid, or coconut milk (nahm gkati). Frequently, a third pressing is done to obtain a light coconut milk (hahng gkati), which is used for stewing meats or for thinning coconut milk to make a coconut soup or a light curry. An average mature coconut yields about one cup of coconut cream and one to two cups of coconut milk depending on how light a milk is desired.

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