Coconut chutney

Which came first? Idli or Coconut chutney?

Idli and green coconut chutney are a made for each other item. It’s difficult to imagine one without the other. Distinctly south indian, coconut chutney is almost always made with the purpose of eating it with idlis or dosas and it does perfect justice to that role. The hot and pungent taste imparted by the green chilies in the chutney perfectly complements the bland, slightly sweet & salty taste of idlis and dosas.

Coconut chutney is a simple dish to make. However, for it to have that zesty oomph, you have to be careful to not over-fry the green chilies. If the green chilies are over-cooked even a little bit, it kind of ruins the taste of chutney. Here is the traditional, south indian style coconut chuntey I make at home.



¾  cup fresh grated coconut
8-10 hot green chilies (if using jalapenos, use 2-3)
1 small bunch cilantro/green coriander leaves/hara dhaniya
1 table spoon chana dal (adds good texture and taste to the chutney)
2-inch piece ginger, grated or cut into small pieces
7-8 curry leaves
1-inch diameter ball of tamarind without any seeds
1 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon oil
½  tea spoon mustard seeds
¼ tea spoon hing
3-4 dry red chilies

  1. In a small pan, heat oil.
  2. Add chana dal and fry for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
  3. Add green chilies, ginger, cilantro, curry leaves and tamarind. Cook for just about 1 minute.
  4. Take it off the stove and cool a bit.
  5. Add coconut and the green chilies mixture to the blender jar. Add salt and ½ cup of very warm water.
  6. Blend until smooth.
  7. Empty the chutney into a bowl.
  8. Do a vaghar/tadka with oil, mustard seeds and hing. Take the vaghar  off the stove and immediately add the dry red chilies to the hot vaghar. Pour the vaghar on chutney.

15 Responses to “Coconut chutney”

  1. S J Says:

    Hi Anupema,
    I found your blog just a few weeks ago, have tried most of the recepies and they came out very good. I am still waiting for sambhar recepie.

    • Anupama Says:

      I am happy to know you liked the recipes. Sure, I will post the recipe by Sunday. Look out for it!

      Thanks, Anupama

    • Anupama Krishnamurthy Says:

      Hi S J,
      Here is the recipe. I hope to blog it with pictures soon as a lot of my readers have asked for the recipe.

      Making of the sambar involves 4 steps:
      Making of the sambar paste from fresh ingredients
      Cooking of toor dal
      Cutting vegetables
      Boiling the above ingredients together and adding the vaghar/chaunk/tadka.

      Ingredients for Sambar paste:
      4 tbsp dhaniya seeds
      1 tsp jeera
      1/2 tsp dry methi seeds
      1/2 tsp black pepper
      1/2 inch (very small) piece of cinnamon
      1 tsp chana dal
      3/4 tsp urad dal
      8-10 dry red chilies (make sure they are of good quality
      2 table spoon dry or fresh coconut (I prefer fresh)
      2 lavang/clove
      1 marati moggu ( It looks like a big clove)

      Some more info on Marati moggu:
      Marati Moggu is a type of caper used in South India specially in Karnataka
      and Andhra Pradesh in rice dishes like Bisi bele bhat (Bisiblle bhat /
      Bisebele Bhat), Vangi Bhat, etc. Marati Moggu is an important ingredient in
      most of the Kanadda rice dishes. The different names of Marati Moggu are:
      Karer, Shalmali, Semul, Marathi Moggu, Badi Laung, Andhra Moggu, Marati
      Mogga or Andhra Mogga.

      Other ingredients:
      1/2 cup toor dal
      1/4 tea spoon haldi/turmeric
      1/4 cup tamarind juice squeezed from a lemon sized Tamarind (Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water for 10 minutes. Get the juice out by properly squeezing the tamarind)
      A few leaves of curry leaves
      1/2 tea spoon mustard seeds

      To make sambar paste:
      In 1 tea spoon of ghee, fry all the ingredients for the sambar paste except coconut. Fry on low heat for about 5 minutes. Now add coconut and grind it by adding some water so that you get the consistency of a paste. Make sure the paste is finely ground. Keep aside.

      To make sambar:
      1. Cook 1/2 cup of toor dal in 2 cups of water in pressure cooker or on stove until soft.
      2. Cut approx. 2 cups of vegetables of your choice. I suggest eggplant, onion, and potato. Take 2 medium baigan/brinjal/eggplant, 1 medium onion and
      1 small potato and cut into medium size pieces.
      3. In a big pot, add 1 cup of water and the above cut vegetables. Cook until vegetables are done. Make sure they are not overcooked.
      4. Add tamarind juice and 2 table spoon of the sambar paste.
      5. Boil on medium heat for about 5 minutes.
      6. Add toor dal and salt and boil for about 3 minutes.
      7. Taste and add more salt or sambar paste as required.
      8. Do tadka/vaghar/chaunk with 1 table spoon oil/ghee, curry leaves and mustard seeds.

      If you have sambar paste leftover, you can freeze it use it later.

      All the best!


  2. Kajal Trivedi Says:

    Hi Anupama,
    I made your coconut chutney last week and it came out excellent. Thank you so much.

  3. Mona Says:

    I am a big fan of Chutneys. Love them along with bhajiyas, idli, dosa, khichdi.. etc.
    Delectable snaps! Keep it up!!

  4. nina Says:

    Thanks! I will try the warm water next time. I have used chana dal too. Didn’t help.

  5. Anupama Krishnamurthy Says:

    Hi Nina,
    I almost always use frozen coconut too. (Daily Delight brand). Yes, I do have a suggestion. Firstly, use very warm water (almost hot) when you grind the chutney. Secondly, I have never used daliya. Instead try the chana dal. I am sure this will help. Thank you so much for your feedback. I will go ahead and add the hot water tip for the recipe.


  6. nina Says:

    Hi Anupama,

    I use frozen grated coconut for my chutney. When I grind it with chillies and chana dal (dalia), the oil separates and the texture doesn’t look good. I can see oil (white) on the side of the grinder. Taste is good though.

    Any suggestions?


  7. vanamala Says:

    yeah iam using same ingredients..nice pic

  8. Anupama Krishnamurthy Says:

    Thanks Anudivya. Thanks to the availability of freshly grated coconut, it’s so easy to make this chutney.


  9. Anupama Krishnamurthy Says:

    Hi Ruchi,
    Hi there Mysorean, so nice of you to leave a note here. Well, I can’t disagree with your logic as to why idli came first!
    I checked out your blog and it’s amazing. Very nice recipes. I am going to try your oven roasted potatoes soon.


  10. ruchii Says:

    First time here, so many of your recipes are so familiar since i am from mysore too. Like the gujurathi recipes as well yet to try them..
    I think Idly come first from steamer on to the plate and then chutney, :)Classic ultimate combination….

  11. anudivya Says:

    Looks very traditional and nice. I make this a lot too, and love it.

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