Coconut French toast

Coconut French toast

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

A lovely weekend breakfast dish; easy but really special. Brioche is the best bread to use in my opinion, as the resulting toast is both buttery and soft on the inside and lightly crisp on the outside, but your everyday loaf of bread would be just fine, too. Desiccated coconut is one of my storecupboard staples and here it adds a lovely texture as well as its sun-drenched, coastal flavour. If I am making this for guests at a weekend brunch, I add fresh seasonal soft fruit on the side as well as a little Greek yogurt and a handful of jaggery caramelised walnuts.


Quantity Ingredient
2 large eggs
200ml whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
6 good tablespoons desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
couple of knobs unsalted butter
4 slices brioche, or everyday bread
natural maple syrup, to serve (optional)


  1. Whisk together the eggs, milk and sugar. Spread the desiccated coconut on a small plate.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium flame. Dip one slice of bread in the batter for about 30–40 seconds, pressing lightly to help the bread absorb the custard. Transfer to the plate of desiccated coconut and press gently, turning to coat both sides. Place straight in the hot pan, then repeat with the other slices.
  3. Cook over a moderate flame for about two minutes, or until golden, then carefully flip and brown the other side. Serve hot from the pan, or keep warm while you cook the rest. Offer maple syrup on the table for those who want extra sweetness.

Jaggery caramelised walnuts

  • I love these scattered over sweet breakfasts, or they make a great snack when I want something sweet but healthy. Jaggery is a completely unrefined sugar, sold in blocks and renowned for its healthy properties. It is full of iron and other minerals and believed to keep your lungs clean. The best quality is dark and hard, but larger supermarkets sell a softer jaggery which also works here.

    Take 80 g of jaggery and chop or pound it into smallish pieces. Place in a frying pan and cook over a medium-low flame, stirring often, until it melts and starts to get more glassy and less cloudy; this only takes a few minutes. Stir in 80 g of walnuts, stir to coat well and cook for another minute. Pour out on to a sheet of baking parchment, or an oiled plate, and separate the walnuts. You have to work quickly as the jaggery will start to harden. (If so, return to the pan and heat a little to melt it again.) allow to cool and harden. Store in an airtight container.
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