Coconut Chutney in 5 Minutes!
Easy Coconut Chutney
Coconut chutney, oh boy, it’s one of those delicious accompaniments you’ll find almost always in the buffet condiment section of an Indian restaurant! If you’ve ever had South Indian dishes like Dosa and Idli, you must have tasted it because it’s always paired with these delicious dishes.
Growing up I was a huge of coconut chutney but being a regional condiment from the Southern parts of India, and us being from the East, my mom never made it at home and I always got a taste only in South Indian restaurants. Fast forward many years and I get married to a wonderful man with roots in Southern India, And you know what? The first thing I asked my mom-in-law to teach me was how to make coconut chutney! This chutney has many variations because almost every South Indian family seems to have their own secret coconut chutney recipe!
Today I’ll share with you my mother-in-law’s recipe for coconut chutney.
But What Exactly is Coconut chutney?
Imagine this – freshly grated coconut, a smattering of chilies, some ginger, a handful of roasted chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), and salt all ground together.
A paste with a smooth texture, a bit creamy from the coconut, and it’s usually served cold. The flavors? It’s mildly spicy and sweet with a pleasant kick from the ginger and green chilies.
It’s finished off with some infused oil (we call it tempering) and stirred gently for the flavors to mix and explode. Yum, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!
For the Coconut Chutney Base
Shredded Coconut: I mostly buy fresh frozen from the Indian store. They have it in the freezer section.
Green chili: One or two is enough.
Roasted Chana Dal (also called Dalia): Find it on Amazon or in your local Indian store.
Fresh ginger: 1-inch piece
Salt: 1 teaspoon
Black mustard seeds: 1 tablespoon
Dried red chili: 1
Asafoetida (hing): a small pinch, optional
Curry leaves: 8-10, roughly chopped.
You will find all these ingredients in any Indian store.
How do I make coconut chutney?
Alright, let’s dive into this together, okay?
- First things first – we gotta prep the chutney. Got some frozen shredded coconut? Great, take it out so it can thaw naturally. Or if you’re a bit impatient like me, just zap it in the microwave for about a minute to get a cup’s worth. Don’t forget to stow the leftover coconut back in the freezer for future culinary adventures – we want that goodness to last as long as possible!
Blending the Ingredients:
Now, comes the fun part.
- Toss that defrosted coconut in a blender bowl. Join it with some ginger, green chili, roasted chana dal, and a teeny-tiny pinch of salt. Add 1/4 cup water. Now let’s get grinding to turn this ragtag group into a glorious, smooth paste!
- You might have to stop and scrape down the jar and perhaps a little more water although try not to as the chutney should be smooth and creamy not watery.
- Once it’s done, pop it to the side for a sec. We’re well on our way to chutney perfection!
Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do next for our to-die-for chutney!
- Grab a small pan and pour in about a tablespoon of your preferred neutral oil. Get that pan sizzling hot and toss in a teaspoon of black mustard seeds. Let them crackle and pop like a mini fireworks show.
- Once they’re doing their thing, add a pinch of asafoetida, a dry red chili cut into 2 or 3 pieces (don’t worry, our chutney won’t bite too hard), and, of course, our all-star chopped curry leaves. Give it all a little dance in the pan for about a minute.
- Now, let’s marry this flavor fiesta with our smooth coconut paste from earlier. Gently whisk them together for a match made in culinary heaven. Voilà! Your taste-bud-pleasing chutney is ready.
Coconut chutney is not only great with South Indian food but also a great spread for sandwiches, as a topping for crackers, and as an accompaniment to naan and pita bread. Enjoy!
Some expert tips for preparing coconut chutney
- Buy fresh frozen shredded coconut from the Indian store. Do not use coconut milk because the chutney needs to be thick and creamy. So it needs the coconut flesh.
- If you don’t have the roasted gram, use 1-2 tablespoons of peanut butter. It tastes REALLY great in this chutney- a tried and tested many time hack!
- Coconut chutney can be frozen for a few weeks but it should be eaten within 2-3 days if stored in the fridge.