While theories about the goodness of coconut are hotly contested everywhere, we can see a drastic number of views that take sides with this tropical fruit, claiming that its all-round quality and versatility are factors that could be of incredible value to us mortals. At first look, the coconut seems like a not-so-malleable fruit. And it's a herculean task to break it open. But once that is done, the pristine white flesh inside stands as a stark contrast to the rugged outside of the coconut. It can be scraped, ground, brewed with water to make for creamy milk, and it doesn't end there. The coconut oil is being recognized as one of the more nutritious oils, (some scientists even side-stepping the much hyped olive oil) with saturated fats that aid in regularizing blood cholesterol levels. We Keralites have been smartly incorporating coconut oil for decades now, notwithstanding the collective smirk of the rest of the nation! The milk of the coconut has very high nutritive value as well; vegans prefer it to make their coffees! But that's not all. In all tropical regions, the milk of the coconut is a vital ingredient in the preparation of dishes, be it vegetarian, seafood or meat. So, a quick run through the benefits of the coconut will tell us that, It protects against heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and lowering the ratio of bad and good cholesterol Helps treat malnutrition because it is easy to absorb and digest. Kills disease-causing bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses. Helps diabetics by slowing sugar release into the bloodstream. Prevents strokes and brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Boosts metabolism and increases energy because it is more likely to be burned as fuel than stored as body fat. So there! Now, let's check out some of the delectable recipes made more tasty by coconut! **Olan** Ever had the creamy white olan grace the plantain leaf spread out in front of you for the traditional feast in Kerala? There's a moment right there; the urge to dip your fingers in the sweet pool of coconut milk and lick them off or wait until the entire legion of curries have fallen in their rightful place, the cue to start eating. Most of us don't wait that long! **Tender coconut appam** Appam is a breakfast to relish in Kerala, but here we give you a variation of the stellar dish—tender coconut infused mini-appams. Think, waking up to the resounding lashes of the beaches, and an inviting breakfast of tender coconut appams with fish molee or any spicy treat. Surely, the dish is best enjoyed in coastal Kerala. **Fish molee** Not letting seafood fall far behind, here is fish cooked in loads of sweet coconut milk and spiced mildly to strike a perfect balance between savoury and sweet. Douse those appams in the fish molee gravy and relish them. **Yam stem and green gram thoran** Vegetable stir-fry topped with scraped coconut is a lunch staple in Kerala. There's no replacing the sweet crunch of the coconut pieces between the hot chillies and soft veggies. Try this especially nutritious stir fry. **Jackfruit aviyal** What's new in aviyal, you must be thinking. Well, a jackfruit aviyal with loads of coconut with chillies and other vegetables makes for a strong opinion in taste. The best part? A spoonful of coconut oil drizzled over it that only draws you closer to it. **Coconut and roasted gram chutney** How can we do without a coconut chutney in Kerala? However, unlike the all-coconut chutney, this is one that incorporates a healthy handful of roasted gram as well as some ginger and tamarind. Sounds good right? **Tender coconut pudding** The soft jelly-like pudding is as such hard to resist. Add to it, the tender coconut, and it's a battle won over the temptation.