RED COCONUT CHUTNEY
Chutney is a popular Indian condiment that comes in countless flavors, forms, and textures. The dish is simply a matter of crushing and bringing together a bunch of ingredients and flavors. Red coconut chutney is a classic South-Indian chutney, that’s composed of coconut, red chillies and seasonings.
Literally, every state in India has it’s own signature Chutney and more. Coconut, chillies, ginger and garlic, herbs, dry fruits, whole spices, oil are all popular ingredients that go into making different types of this dish. Vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, gherkins, gourds, red peppers, carrots etc lend themselves well to this side-dish. Some chutneys are finished off with temperings of mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves etc that’s been sizzled in oil and others don’t even need that additional adornment.
In south-India, the simple chutney is made by crushing Coconut, green chilies, salt and hing. It’s usually paired with breakfast items such as idli, dosa, upma, kozhakattai, pongal and beyond.
In this variation, green chilies are simply swapped with red chilies. But, what we end up with is an altogether different chutney. Along with their bright heat, red chilies impart a somewhat sweet and smoky flavor to the dish.
You could take this base recipe and play around with it. You could do one better and add a dot of tamarind while grinding, my MIL adds a spot of tamarind and chinna vangayam (pearl onions) while grinding the chutney. A friend adds finely chopped chinna vangayam (pearl onions) in the tempering for the chutney. The possibilities are endless!
If the sound of this chutney doesn’t float your breakfast boat, check out the ones below : –
THIS RECIPE SERVES 4
- Grated coconut – 1 cup
- Dry Red Chillies (Byadadagi) – 4 nos or 2 regular red chillies
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Hing – a pinch + a pinch
- Coconut oil -1 tsp
- Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
- Curry Leaves – a few
- Water – about a cup
- Place the coconut, hing, salt and dry red chillies into a mixer. Grind into a puree, not too fine, along with 1/2 cup of water. I used a little less than one cup of water to bring it to my preferred consistency.
- Heat oil in a small pan, add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the urad dal and hing. When the dal turns a couple of shades darker, add the curry leaves, turn off the stove and pour over the ground chutney. Mix well.
- Add a spot of tamarind and a couple of chinna vangayam (pearl onions) while grinding the chutney.
2. Make the chutney as given in the recipe. Finely chop a couple of chinna vangayam (pearl onions) and add the chopped onion along with the urad dal and hing while preparing the tempering.
- I’ve used coconut oil here, but you could use any cooking oil to season the chutney.