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
- In a small pan, heat oil.
- Add chana dal and fry for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
- Add green chilies, ginger, cilantro, curry leaves and tamarind. Cook for just about 1 minute.
- Take it off the stove and cool a bit.
- Add coconut and the green chilies mixture to the blender jar. Add salt and ½ cup of very warm water.
- Blend until smooth.
- Empty the chutney into a bowl.
- 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.