coconut chutney

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.

This 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).

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coconut chutney, coconut chutney for idli dosa

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. It can also be 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 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.

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.

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

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

coconut chutney

4.92 from 34 votes
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 can be halved or doubled or tripled. 
coconut chutney
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:2 mins
Total Time:12 mins
Course:side dish
Cuisine:south indian
Servings (change the number to scale):3
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


for grinding

  • 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

for tempering

  • 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.


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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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in 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 formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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77 comments/reviews

  1. Good recipe. Made and liked it.5 stars

  2. Good and like my family enjoy that5 stars

    • thanks and nice to know.

  3. 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!

    • Welcome Kamal. We had to delete the app because of technical issues.

      • Good and like the taste of the coconut chutney also my family enjoying that with BANANA BAJJI RECIPE | VAZHAKKAI BAJJI RECIPE thanks and greatful to you5 stars

  4. 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.5 stars

    • Welcome Kate. Glad to know this. Thanks for sharing your positive feedback on recipes.