Helou Hindi (Candied Coconut with Pistachios) Helou Hindi (Candied Coconut with Pistachios)

Helou Hindi (Candied Coconut with Pistachios)

This is the Aleppian Jews' sweet of choice for Passover. Freshly grated coconut meat is best but somewhat labor intensive. (Break open a coconut with a hammer, drain out the liquid, and pry out the meat with a dinner knife. Peel off the thin, brown skin with a sharp knife. Grate the meat.) If you opt for store-bought coconut, be sure it is unsweetened. This recipe is adapted from Aromas of Aleppo.

Makes 2 quarts, or 10 to 12 servings

2 pounds fresh coconut meat shredded (2 to 3 coconuts) or store-bought unsweetened coarsely shredded coconut*

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon orange blossom water**

1 cup pistachios, shelled and peeled***

In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients but pistachios. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring the mixture occasionally with a wooden spoon.

While the mixture is still hot, stir in the pistachios. Mix well and cool before serving.

*If using store-bought coconut, place in a mixing bowl and cover with cold water. Gently fluff the coconut with your hands and let stand for 1 hour to plump and moisten the flakes. Drain before using.

**Orange blossom water is available at Middle Eastern markets and some specialty stores.

***Shelled pistachios are available at some specialty stores.