Coconut chutney is an essential side dish served as a dip with South Indian tiffin breakfast like Idli, Dosa and Medu Vada. Get two awesome coconut chutney recipes in this recipe post.
- Classic Coconut Chutney (With tempering)
- Quick Hotel Style Coconut Chutney (Without tempering)
Both of them are extremely easy and tasty. They complement your South Indian snacks of idli, dosa, uttapam so well.
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 (hing) brings more flavor to otherwise plain coconut chutney.
Coconut Chutney Variations
Myriad variations of coconut chutney can be made by adding various ingredients like fresh mint leaves, coriander leaves, garlic, curd (yogurt), 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.
Some popular variations are
- Mint Coconut Chutney
- Coriander Coconut Chutney
- Tamarind Coconut Chutney
- Red Coconut Chutney (Kerala Style)
Classic Coconut Chutney
Tamil Nadu Style Chutney: I have been making this easy peasy basic coconut chutney recipe for decades now and still do. Particularly, this recipe is of the Tamil Nadu style coconut chutney, where apart from coconut, roasted chana dal is also added.
Roasted Chana Dal: Roasted chana dal are husked split black chickpeas which are roasted. These are edible and different from raw chana dal. 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.
Coconut: By the way if you are out of fresh coconut, swap them with frozen coconut or desiccated coconut flakes (unsweetened). The recipe is very easy and you can use either fresh or frozen coconut – whatever you have.
One dip, Many uses: 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. If you add some roasted sesame seeds, dry red chillies and a bit of tamarind, then you can serve it with steamed rice.
Tips for Coconut Chutney
- For adding some sourness: If you want a little sourness in the chutney, you can add the following ingredients to impart sourness:
- Tamarind: Take about ½ to 1 tsp of tamarind and grind it with the rest of the ingredients.
- 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.
- Freshness: 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.
- Shelf life: 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. You can even freeze the chutney for 1 to 2 days.
- Desiccated coconut: If you are using desiccated coconut or coconut powder, use warm water while grinding the chutney.
- Scaling: You can easily halve or double or triple the recipe.
I make idli, dosa and medu vada regularly and hence this simplest classic 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.
How to make Classic Coconut Chutney
1. Take ½ cup tightly packed freshly grated coconut in a chutney grinder jar or a small grinder jar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tempering for 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.
8. add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and let them begin to crackle.
9. Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add ½ teaspoon urad dal (split and husked black gram).
10. Next add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. You can skip cumin seeds if you prefer.
10. Stir often and fry keeping the flame to a low.
11. The urad dal should start becoming golden. The cumin seeds will also crackle and get browned.
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.
13. Stir and fry for a couple of seconds till the curry leaves become crisp and the red chilli changes color.
14. Switch off the flame and immediately pour the entire tempering on the ground coconut chutney in the bowl.
15. Mix very well.
Serve the Classic Coconut Chutney with idli, dosa, vada, pongal or pakoda of your choice.
This recipe post is from the archives has been republished and updated on 19 May 2020
Classic Coconut Chutney
- ½ cup tightly packed fresh grated coconut or ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tablespoons roasted chana dal - optional
- 1 or 2 green chilies
- ½ inch ginger - 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
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon urad dal (split & husked black gram)
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds - optional
- 1 sprig of curry leaves or 9 to 10 curry leaves
- 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- 1 dry red chili - broken and seeds removed
- ½ tablespoon oil - sesame or peanut or coconut or sunflower oil
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 chutney looks thick, then you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water.
- Remove the chutney in a heatproof 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 chutney in the bowl.
- Mix the tempering mixture very well.
- Serve coconut chutney with idli, dosa, vada, pongal or pakoda of your choice.
- Scaling: This coconut chutney recipe can be halved or doubled or tripled.
- Spiciness: Add 2 to 3 green chillies for a spicy taste in the coconut chutney.
- Herbs: Instead of ginger, you can add garlic. Ginger can be skipped completely. You can even add some fresh coriander leaves (cilantro) or mint leaves.
- Dry Red Chillies: You can even add 2 to 3 dry Kashmiri red chillies or 1 to 2 dry 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.
- To Make White Coconut Chutney:
- For a white coconut chutney, add less of the roasted chana dal or skip it entirely. So for this recipe 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.
Nutrition Info (approximate values)
Quick 10 Minutes Hotel Style Coconut Chutney
This is my quick coconut chutney recipe that also goes extremely well with idli, dosa, uttapam and medu vada. This vegan chutney also goes well with upma.
What contributes majorly to the earthy taste of this chutney is a good amount of roasted chana dal.
Here there is no tempering done but there is some before work which does not take much time. The curry leaves are fried and they get fried quickly releasing their aromatic flavors in the oil. Thats what you need to do and then grind everything and the coconut chutney is ready to be served with dosa or idli or vada.
This coconut chutney can be made with frozen or fresh coconut. To avoid grating coconut at the last minute, I usually grate the whole coconut and then freeze it. When I want, I just take some of the frozen coconut and my work is easy whether it is making chutneys, sambar or vegetable stir-fries.
Hotel Style Coconut Chutney Recipe (No Tempering)
1: First heat 2 teaspoons oil (sunflower or coconut oil). Then add 15 to 20 curry leaves. Fry them till they become crisp and this takes just about 1 or 2 minutes.
2: Put all the ingredients (½ cup grated fresh or frozen coconut, ¼ cup roasted chana dal, ½ inch chopped ginger, 1 to 2 green chillies and salt (as required) along with the curry leaves and the oil in a chutney grinder or small blender.
3: Add ¼ cup water or as required and grind to a smooth chutney. Do not add too much water. For a thicker consistency, add less water.
4: Serve the Hotel Style Coconut Chutney with plain dosa or rava dosa or rava idli or uttapam. Consume when fresh. At the most you can freeze the chutney and use it for a couple of days. In cold temperatures, the chutney will stay longer than in warmer or hotter climate.
Hotel Style Coconut Chutney (without tempering)
- ½ cup grated fresh or frozen coconut
- ¼ cup roasted chana dal (roasted bengal gram)
- ½ inch ginger - chopped
- 1 to 2 green chilies - chopped
- 15 to 20 curry leaves
- 2 teaspoon oil (coconut oil or sunflower oil)
- salt as required
- ¼ cup water or add as required
- Wash and rinse the curry leaves. Dry them on a kitchen towel.
- Heat oil in a small pan. Add the curry leaves and fry till they become crisp.
- Let the curry leaves-oil mixture become warm.
- Add the rest of the ingredients along with the curry leaves and oil in a chutney grinder or small blender.
- Add some water, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup (depends on what consistency of chutney you want) and blend to a smooth chutney.
- Check the salt and add more if required.
- Serve the hotel style coconut chutney with idli, dosa, medu vada or uttapam.