coconut chutney recipe, how to make coconut chutney

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coconut chutney

coconut chutney is a side dish that is served with idli, dosa, vada and pongal. this coconut chutney recipe is an easy and simple recipe versatile enough to go with any south indian tiffin breakfast or tiffin snacks. the recipe is easily adaptable and can also be made with desiccated coconut flakes. this recipe of coconut chutney can be halved or doubled or tripled. 

4.83 from 17 votes
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coconut chutney recipe for idli, dosa and vada. one of the essential side dishes that is served with south indian tiffin breakfast like rava idli, dosa and medu vada is coconut chutney. in this post, i am sharing an easy and a basic recipe of coconut chutney that i am making for decades now and still do. there are many ways a coconut chutney can be made by using a mix of different herbs and spices, but coconut is always the essential ingredient.

coconut chutney, coconut chutney for idli dosa

this coconut chutney recipe is a tamil nadu style coconut chutney, where apart from coconut, roasted chana dal is also added. now i know that roasted chana dal is not available everywhere, especially outside india. so when you do not have roasted chana dal, just skip it and make the coconut chutney with the other ingredients – and yes the coconut chutney will still taste delicious. roasted chana dal is directly edible and different from raw chana dal (husked and split bengal gram).

the recipe is very easy and you can use either fresh or frozen coconut – whatever you have. the versatility of this coconut chutney recipe is that apart from serving with the regulars breakfast food like idli, dosa and vada – you can even serve it with upma, mysore bonda, onion pakoda, semiya upma, pongal and many more south indian snacks. coconut chutney can also served with rice but not this recipe. i make a different variety of coconut chutney with sesame seeds which i serve with rice.

i make idli, dosa and medu vada regularly and hence this simplest coconut chutney recipe gets made often. we are fond of coconut chutney and sambar served with idli, dosa and vada. in fact my mom-in-law who is actually a punjabi, loves south indian food, especially masala dosa, idli, sambar and rasam. all other south indian recipes made with coconut are her favorite.

below i have answered a few questions related to coconut chutney. if you are new to indian cuisine, this will help you or you can jump directly to the recipe.

what is coconut chutney ?

coconut chutney is basically a condiment or a dip made by finely grinding fresh white coconut meat. a simplest coconut chutney would have green chilies or dry red chilies and salt added to it. chilies lend a bit of heat and spice in the chutney. even garlic or ginger can be added. a tempering of oil with crackled mustard seeds, fried urad dal (black gram), crisp curry leaves and asafoetida brings more flavor to an otherwise plain coconut chutney.

coconut chutney varieties

myriad variations of coconut chutney can be made by adding various ingredients like fresh mint leaves, coriander leaves, garlic, curd, tamarind, tomatoes, onions, almonds, carrots, beetroot, unripe mangoes, peanuts, capsicum, greens like spinach etc. the ingredient you add make a lot of difference to the final taste and flavor in the coconut chutney – eg adding tamarind or tomatoes will impart a sour taste in the chutney. i have shared many coconut chutney varieties like:

how to make white coconut chutney

  • for a white coconut chutney, add less of the roasted chana dal or skip it entirely. thus you can add ½ tablespoon of roasted chana dal.
  • also add less green chillies or you can skip them.
  • do use only the white part of the coconut and not the brown part.
  • you can even add some milk or thin coconut milk instead of water while grinding.

tips for making coconut chutney

  1. if you want a little sourness in the chutney, you can add the following ingredients to impart sourness:
    a) tamarind: Take about ½ to 1 tsp of tamarind and grind it with the rest of the ingredients.
    b) curd (yogurt): when the chutney mixture is ground, then take it in a bowl. mix it with 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh curd or yogurt. this has to be done before you temper the coconut chutney.
  2. coconut chutney has to be consumed fresh. avoid keeping the chutney for long outside. if you have to keep it for some hours, then keep it in the freezer section of your refrigerator. However, consume the coconut chutney in a day.
  3. adding tamarind to the chutney increases its shelf life a little more. thus the coconut chutney does not spoil quickly if you add tamarind to it.
  4. if you are using desiccated coconut or coconut powder, use warm water while grinding the chutney.

coconut chutney

4.83 from 17 votes
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:2 mins
Total Time:12 mins
coconut chutney is a side dish that is served with idli, dosa, vada and pongal. this coconut chutney recipe is an easy and simple recipe versatile enough to go with any south indian tiffin breakfast or tiffin snacks. the recipe is easily adaptable and can also be made with desiccated coconut flakes. this recipe of coconut chutney can be halved or doubled or tripled. 
coconut chutney
Course:side dish
Cuisine:south indian

INGREDIENTS FOR coconut chutney

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

for grinding coconut chutney

  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh grated coconut or ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tablespoons roasted chana dal (bhuna chana dal) - optional
  • 1 or 2 green chilies (hari mirch)
  • ½ inch ginger (adrak) - optional, you can also add 1 to 2 small garlic cloves
  • salt as per taste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons water or add as required - for grinding

for tempering coconut chutney

  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds (rai or sarson)
  • ½ teaspoon urad dal (split & husked black gram)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera) - optional
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves (kadi patta) or 9 to 10 curry leaves
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 dry red chili (sookhi lal mirch) - broken and seeds removed
  • ½ tablespoon oil - sesame or peanut or coconut or sunflower oil

HOW TO MAKE coconut chutney

grinding coconut chutney

  • take ½ cup tightly packed freshly grated coconut in a chutney grinder jar or a small grinder jar.
  • then add 1 green chili (chopped) and ½ inch ginger (chopped).
  • next add 2 tablespoons roasted chana dal. also add salt as per taste. add 3 to 4 tablespoons water.
  • grind to a smooth consistency. if unable to grind or the coconut chutney looks thick, then you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water.
  • remove the coconut chutney in a heat proof bowl like a steel bowl or a pyrex bowl.

tempering for coconut chutney

  • heat oil in a small pan. add the mustard seeds. 
  • when the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the cumin seeds and urad dal. fry till the urad dal starts to become golden and aromatic.
  • then add the curry leaves, red chili and asafoetida. 
  • fry for a couple of seconds till the curry leaves become crisp and the red chillies change color.
  • switch off the flame and immediately pour the tempering on the coconut chutney in the bowl.
  • mix the tempering mixture very well with the coconut chutney.
  • serve coconut chutney with idli, dosa, vada, pongal or pakoda of your choice.


suggestions for making coconut chutney

  • this coconut chutney recipe can be halved or doubled or tripled. 
  • add 2 to 3 green chillies for a spicy taste in the coconut chutney. 
  • instead of ginger, you can add garlic. 
  • ginger can be skipped completely. 
  • you can even add 2 to 3 dry kashmiri red chillies and make a red coconut chutney. a bit of tamarind can be added if using dry red chillies to balance the pungency and heat of the chillies. remove the seeds from the chillies before you grind them with the rest of the ingredients. 
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how to make coconut chutney for idli dosa

1. take ½ cup tightly packed freshly grated coconut in a chutney grinder jar or a small grinder jar.

making coconut chutney recipe

2. then add 1 green chilli (chopped), ½ inch ginger (chopped) and 2 tablespoons roasted chana dal. you can even add 2 green chillies. for a spicy taste add 2 to 3 green chillies. ginger can be skipped. 1 to 2 small garlic cloves can also be added instead of ginger.

making coconut chutney recipe

3. add salt as per taste. you can add less salt first. then after grinding check the taste and add some more salt if required.

making coconut chutney recipe

4. add 3 to 4 tablespoons water. you can even make coconut chutney thick by adding less water. you can even skip roasted chana dal if you do not have it. roasted chana dal is different from raw chana dal. roasted chana dal is crunchy and directly edible, unlike raw chana dal.

making coconut chutney recipe

5. grind to a smooth consistency. if unable to grind or the chutney looks thick, then you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water.

making coconut chutney recipe

6. remove the coconut chutney with a spoon or spatula in a heat proof bowl like a steel bowl or a pyrex bowl or a glass bowl. check the taste and at this step, you can add more salt if needed.

making coconut chutney recipe

tempering for coconut chutney

7. in a small pan or a tadka pan, heat ½ tablespoon sesame oil (gingelly oil – made from raw sesame seeds). keep the flame to a low. you can also use sunflower oil or peanut oil or coconut oil or any neutral flavored oil.

making coconut chutney recipe

8. add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them begin to crackle.

making coconut chutney recipe

9. once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add ½ teaspoon urad dal (split and husked black gram).

making coconut chutney recipe

10. next add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. you can skip cumin seeds if you prefer.

making coconut chutney recipe

10. stir often and fry keeping the flame to a low.

making coconut chutney recipe

11. the urad dal should start becoming golden. the cumin seeds will also crackle and get browned.

making coconut chutney recipe

12. once the urad dal begins to turn to a golden color, then add 1 dry red chilli (broken and seeds removed), 9 to 10 curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida (hing). if the pan becomes very hot, then switch off the flame after adding the red chili, curry leaves and asafoetida.

making coconut chutney recipe

13. stir and fry for a couple of seconds till the curry leaves become crisp and the red chilli changes color.

making coconut chutney recipe

14. switch off the flame and immediately pour the entire tempering on the ground coconut chutney in the bowl.

coconut chutney recipe

15. mix very well.

coconut chutney recipe

serve coconut chutney with idli, dosa, vada, pongal or pakoda of your choice.

coconut chutney recipe

namaste, i am dassana

dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

i started in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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76 comments/reviews

  1. Hello,
    Could you please let me know what happened with your ‘app’. I had often used it in the past to make so many delicious and wonderful recipes, unfortunately recently I noticed that your app is no longer available. I have been missing it a lot.

    I just hope it is only temporary.
    Thank you and have a pleasant evening!

  2. I made this recipe with the desiccated coconut. It was incredibly delicious and I will be making it again! The only differences I found were that I needed to add much more water to the desiccated coconut to make a good paste and I used a little more oil for the spice rendering.
    My husband is from the Seychelles and we love indian food! Thank you for so many great recipes.

  3. I use frozen grated coconut, that I thaw in the fridge to make this chutney. but I’ve notice that if I grind enough to make a smooth paste, the cream separates from the coconut and the chutney becomes watery. How do I avoid this from happening. If I don’t grind enough the masalas don’t blend, but if I grind till it becomes a smooth paste, it separates. Please help

    • sanchali, i also use frozen coconut. but i don’t buy frozen coconut from market. i grate coconut with a table top grater. then store the grated coconut in a steel dabba in the freezer. when i want to use, i remove the required amount. i have never faced any issue with the cream separating. always the coconut blends well with the chutney. i do not thaw the coconut. i add it directly in the mixer or grinder jar and grind. so i am not sure why this is happening. may be you can try not thawing the coconut and then grinding it.

      • I also experienced the same problem several times. Whole character of the chutney alters when the cream separates after grinding. I use the store bought frozen grated coconut. I used to buy fresh coconuts way back but invariably 98% of the time, the whole coconuts are rotten inside. I got tired of this and started buying frozen coconut. I need to investigate why the cream is separating out of coconut.

      • rom, this happened with me only once when recently when i purchased a pack of frozen grated coconut. usually, i grate coconut and store in the freezer. but for the first time, i used a pack of frozen grated to make chutney and the cream separated. this has only happened with the readymade pack of frozen coconut. when i grate fresh coconut and keep in fridge, this does not happen. i know the chutney consistency, taste completely changes once the cream is separated. it no longer remains a coconut chutney 🙂. you can even try grinding with warm water. it helps.

  4. Thanks I have gone through all .still I m always confused ,what means bhuna chana it DALIYA WHICH WE GET AT FUTANAWAL,OR SHOUD I TAKE SPLIT CHANA DAL AND FRY IN OIL OR JUST BHUNANA OR USE SOKED CHANA DAL WHICH

    • it is the daliya or futana which is roasted chana dal. you can also fry chana dal in oil and then use it. if you use soaked chana dal, then just fry it in some oil and then add while grinding. for daliya or futana, remove the outer brown cover of the chana before adding.

  5. This recipe is a big hit with my husband who is a big fan of South Indian cuisine.
    How much ever I thank you, it’s not enough!!
    A big bunch of thanks to you.


  6. Dear Dassana,
    Thank you for many great recipes. I find your site very well organized, and recipies delicious. Living outside India it is difficult to find some ingredients like ChanaDhal though. How would you best substitute them? Roasted chickpeas? Thank uou! Bojana

  7. Dear Dassana, thank you for sharing yet another wonderful recipe! I have been following your recipes for a long time. I used to be able to copy/paste into a word file collection of your recipes to access in case of internet access failure and to have in front of me while preparing these dishes. I can’t seem to be able to do that any more…has something changed on your site that doesn’t allow this feature any more? It would be most useful to be able to save these awesome recipes for ready reference!

  8. This is almost identical to the way I make coconut chutney, I also add fresh cilantro (coriander leaves). My tempering ingredients are only rai, sukhi mirch and karyapak. Today I used dried coconut since I didn’t have fresh on hand. It still tastes really good. But if I have a choice I would definitely used fresh grated coconut. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • thanks sana. even i add coriander leaves to coconut chutney at times. fresh coconut is always better, but sometimes one does not have access to fresh coconut, so one can always use dry coconut. welcome sana and happy cooking.

    • jyothi, i have seen some folks using store brought grated coconut. but i never use it. so i cannot say if the chutney made with store brought coconut is good or not.

  9. Thank you so much for this recipe! I have questions about the dals:

    Chana Dal: I was planning to soak and roast dry yellow split peas- is that the correct process?

    Urad dal- I have dry black split dal that I was planning to soak overnight and use in the recipe. Is that the correct process?

    Thank you again for all your helpful recipes! I might have more questions after I attempt the recipe. >.<

    • 1. for chana dal, soak them and then saute them in some oil, till they become nicely golden. then grind with the coconut and other ingredients.
      2. for urad dal, no need to soak them. you can add them directly to the tempering. with the black husk on it, the dal still tastes good in the tempering. if you want, you can even saute urad dal in some oil till golden and then grind with the coconut.

      sure christine, you can always ask me any queries. happy cooking.

  10. Hi! thank you so much for your beautiful recipes. I am writing from Berlin, Germany and sometimes it is a bit difficult to get the ingredients here. I have a question concerning the spices you use. So far I have never used asofoetida and I checked out some brands here in Germany and it’s never 100% pure hind, but always a spice blend with fenugreek and sometimes even rice or wheat flower. can you give me a tip? that would be much appreciated!
    thanks so much and best wishes from Berlin!

    • thanks alina. hing is also available in small rocks (similar to rock sugar in size) just that it has a dark brown color. this solid hing won’t have any spice blend or wheat flour. this hing is difficult to break also. so you need to roast it well. break in pieces and then grind. grind the these hing pieces in a very good dry grinder and make a powder. you can also use a mortar-pestle to grind to a powder. store and use it as required. most indian brands of hing have wheat flour in it. you can try searching onion for a gluten free hing. you will get some brands.

  11. Made yesterday. Didnt have chana dal -so did with urad dal. Forgot to put red chilli. It was yum. Will be making it more. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. I used desiccated coconut.

  12. Hi Dassana,
    I prepared this chutney today alongwith Idli . It was perfect…Thanks aton for this easy and yummy chutney….
    I was wondering whether roasted chana dal is added for smooth consistency of the chutney or does it enhance taste also ??..

  13. I made this chutney last night and it was excellent. Would highly recommend it and will trying other recipes on this website.