Husking a coconut can be done in several ways. The simplest, also seen in a popular wilderness survival show is to use a flattened stake embedded in the ground to tear into the husk and then twist out the husk in sections till the whole coconut has been husked. This in essence must been the original technique for husking a coconut. I remember a more permanent version of this standing in grandma’s gadang (The store room) where this tool used to be kept, probably for fear that the kids might accidentally spear themselves with it if they fell over it. It was an iron rod about 1″ in diameter which was embedded in part of a tree trunk flattened on the underside, so that it stood with the rod pointing upwards at about 75 degrees to its base.
The tip of the rod was ground to resemble a flat head screw driver with its square edges rounded off (or was it diamond shaped with the edges rounded off?). When we were old enough to use it, we would stand with one foot on the wood stand to keep it from tipping over and force the husk into the tip and wrench the coconut sideways and tearing off the husk strip by strip.
However, it can also be husked with the traditional multipurpose katti (sickle) with due care to avoid injuries from the blade. Lately a new mass produced dehusking tool is available in the market. It has a flat beak which is inserted into the husk, and then a lever lifted to open the beak and tear away the husk from the shell.
I don’t have photographs of our old coconut husker, I’ll try to get some pics when I go home next time provided my aunt has not sold it off to the scrap dealer. I am sure that there must be numerous other ways of dehusking coconuts -some even more efficient; this post just describes how I saw my elders doing it
Now all you need to do is to swing the tip of the katti into the husk a couple of inches away from the peeled area and twist the katti away from the peeled area. Do the same thing at a point below the initial cut and soon another strip of husk will be ready to be pulled out. Do this till the coconut is liberated from its husk.
Using the new coconut husker available in the market:
We dehusk only a few coconuts at a time as coconuts stay longer in their husks. Their shelf life and water content drops drastically once they are dehusked.
Note: If you are going to husk several coconuts at a time and will use them over a week or fortnight, it is good to leave a tuft of coconut coir covering the eyes -the shoot end of the coconut to prevent the coconut from going bad. Any damage to the soft eye (from where the shoot comes out) will cause the coconut to spoil.
Here is an interesting Youtube video on husking and breaking open a coconut without any tools!
CREDITS: | Manorama Soans | Prabhavati Kunder | Sunayana Walters |
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