Helou Hindi (Candied Coconut with Pistachios)
Source: “Aromas of Aleppo” by Poopa Dweck
2 pounds fresh coconut meat, shredded (about 2 to 3 coconuts), or store-bought unsweetened coarsely shredded coconut (see cook’s note)
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange blossom water
1 cup pistachios, shelled, blanched, and peeled
Cook’s note: If you use store-bought unsweetened coconut, place it in a mixing bowl and add cold water. Gently fluff the coconut with your hands and let stand for 1 hour to plump and moisten the flakes. Drain before using.
1. In a medium saucepan, combine coconut meat, sugar, lemon juice, 1 cup water, and orange blossom water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally with a wooden spoon. While coconut mixture is still hot, stir in pistachios. Mix well, and cool before serving.
Yield: 40 servings (2 quarts)