This recipe and others can be found in the 12-part illustrated series "A World of Curries". You can read all about this unique Indian flavor here.
4 cups grated coconut
2 1/4 cups boiling water or hot milk
In a bowl, cover the grated coconut with with the boiling water (or milk for a thicker coconut "cream") and let it steep for 15 minutes. Using a strainer, drain the coconut and reserve the "milk." The coconut meat may be squeezed through muslin cloth or a double layer of cheesecloth to collect the rest of the "milk."
Store the "milk" in the refrigerator (it has about the same shelf life as whole milk), and the "cream" will rise to the top.
Variation: For a thicker milk, approaching cream, instead of steeping the grated coconut in hot water, puree it in a blender with the water and then strain it through cloth.