All you need to prepare this recipe is 1 coconut.
Open the coconut by puncturing the indentations (called the "eyes") with an ice pick and drain the liquid. Heat the punctured coconut in a 400°F oven for about 15 minutes. Remove and split with a mallet or hammer. The shell will fall away from the meat with ease. Then, with a sharp knife, peel away the thin skin and grate on a medium-fine grater. (I usually leave the skin on, since I think it enhances the flavor and the nutritional value.)
If you're not going to use the coconut immediately, place it in a jar and cover with the coconut liquid. When ready to use, drain off the liquid and proceed with your recipe. (The liquid inside a coconut can be enjoyed as a drink or saved for later, for use in a fruit smoothie or as the base for a dessert sauce.)
Coconut will usually keep fresh for two or three days using this method. For longer storage, the coconut can be frozen in ZipLoc bags.
How to Select a Coconut
Choose a coconut that is a rich brown color, then shake it to make sure it is full of liquid. This means it's fresh and moist inside.