It's been called the 'tree of life'. The coconut palm (cocos nucifera, to give it its botanical name) is an evocative symbol of tropical paradise. But it's also a healthy source of vitamins, minerals and other trace elements, useful for juice and fruit. Every part of the tree is used - in building, for utensils, right down to the milk, the oil and of course the flesh. Finely grated in sambols and mallungs, added to curries and baked into sweet delights, it is the quintessential Sri Lankan ingredient. Mauritians use finely grated coconut combined with mint, dried chilli and garlic for a refreshing chutney.