Red Chilli Chutney

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This Red Chilli Chutney is another version of the classic Red Chutney for dosa that I usually make at home. The main difference is that this Red Chilli Chutney has coconut in it along with red chillies, chana dal and spices, and the other one is made without coconut. Thus, this can also be called as Red Coconut Chutney. This chutney is a speciality from Tamil Nadu and slightly spicier too. It goes best with Idli, Masala Dosa and Medu Vada.

red chilli chutney in a white bowl with red chillies all around on a brown paper board

About Red Chilli Chutney

This Tamil Nadu style Red Coconut Chutney is zingy, hot and surely packs a punch with its flavors. Though, I have kept this chutney mildly spiced by using less chillies, you can add to the fieriness by increasing the number of chillies in it.

To get a more reddish hue in this Red Chilli Chutney with Chana Dal, you can add Kashmiri dried red chillies. These are not too hot as well and impart a natural red color to the chutney. Another similar recipe which you must try is this Red Coconut Chutney (Kerala Style).

There’s a certain sourness in this Red Chilli Chutney which is due to the addition of tamarind. It balances out the heat in the chutney that comes from the chillies. However, the best part about this chutney is the cracking flavorful tempering that is added in the last.

While this Red Chilli Chutney is perfect with idli, dosa and medu vada, you can also savor it with uttapam, Mysore Bonda and different pakoda. The ideal way to consume it is immediately after preparing.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Red Chilli Chutney

Prep and Blend Chutney Ingredients

1. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready for making the chutney.

measured ingredients for red chilli chutney with chana dal

2. In a grinder jar or a sturdy blender, take ½ cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen) and ¼ cup roasted chana dal (split and hulled Bengal gram).

You can skip the roasted Bengal gram if you don’t have it. If skipping, then add less water while grinding.

adding grated coconut and roasted Bengal gram in grinder jar

3. Next, add 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves (small to medium-sized), 1 teaspoon chopped ginger, 1 to 2 dried red chillies (broken and seeds removed) and 1 teaspoon tamarind.

You can increase the number of red chillies for a spicier chutney.

adding chopped garlic cloves, chopped ginger, dried red chilies and tamarind in grinder jar

4. Also, add salt as required.

adding salt in grinder jar

5. Lastly, add water as required. I have added ½ cup water but you can add as per the required consistency of the chutney you prefer.

adding water in grinder jar

6. Grind or blend all the ingredients till a smooth and fine consistency is achieved.

grinding the ingredients till a smooth chutney is achieved

7. Take the Red Chilli Chutney in a heatproof bowl.

red chilli chutney in a heatproof bowl

Tempering For Chilli Chutney

8. Measure and keep all the ingredients ready for the tempering of the chutney.

measured ingredients for tempering of red chilli chutney

9. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan. Keep heat to a low. Add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds first and let them crackle.

crackling mustard seeds in hot oil for tempering

10. Next, add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and fry them till they splutter.

frying cumin seeds in hot oil for tempering

11. Add 1 pinch asafoetida and 1 sprig curry leaves.

adding asafoetida and curry leaves in hot oil for tempering

12. Fry them for a few seconds until the curry leaves become crisp.

frying ingredients in hot oil for tempering red chilli chutney

13. Pour all of the hot tempering mixture over the chutney.

hot tempering poured over red chilli chutney

14. Mix well and serve the Red Chilli Chutney with rava idli, masala dosa, rava dosa, oats idli, Mysore bonda, uttapam or medu vada.

red chilli chutney served in a bowl with a jar filled with dried red chilies

Expert Tips

  1. You can skip the roasted chana dal while making the chutney. If skipping the lentils, add less water while grinding.
  2. For a spicier chutney, you can increase the number of dried red chilies. To make the chutney less hot, deseed the chillies. Use Kashmiri dried red chillies for a deep color and less spicy chutney.
  3. The quantity of water while grinding can be adjusted according to the required consistency of the chutney.
  4. This Red Chilli Chutney with chana dal can be frozen and consumed within 1 to 2 days.

More Chutney Recipes To Try!

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red chilli chutney in white bowl

Red Chilli Chutney

This Tamil Nadu style Red Chilli Chutney is made with red chilies, chana dal, coconut and spices. It tastes good with idli, dosa, vada, uttapam, pakoda and bonda.
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine South Indian, Tamil Nadu
Course Appetizers, Side Dish
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3


main ingredients

  • ½ cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup roasted chana dal (roasted hulled and split bengal gram)
  • 1 or 2 dry red chillies – broken and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves – small to medium-sized, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind
  • salt as required
  • ½ cup water for grinding – or add as required

for tempering the chutney

  • 1 tablespoon oil – any neutral flavored oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 1 sprig curry leaves or 10 to 12 curry leaves


  • Take the grated coconut, roasted chana dal, dried red chillies, chopped ginger, chopped garlic cloves, tamarind and salt in a grinder jar or blender.
  • Blend or grind all the ingredients with ½ cup water or as required, to a smooth and fine consistency.
  • Transfer the chutney to a heat-proof bowl – like a steel or glass bowl.
  • Heat oil in a small pan and keep the flame to a low.
  • Add the mustard seeds first and let them crackle.
  • Add cumin seeds and fry them till they crackle.
  • Add the asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Fry for a few seconds until the curry leaves become crisp. Switch off the heat and add the entire tempering mixture to the prepared chilli chutney kept in the bowl.
  • Mix well and serve the chutney with idli, dosa, uttapam or medu vada.


  • Alter the consistency of the chutney by adding less or more water. But be mindful of the salt when you add it if changing the consistency. 
  • Make a spicy and pungent tasting chutney by adding more red chillies. For a mildly spiced and brighter colored chutney use Kashmiri red chillies or byadgi red chillies. If using a hot and pungent variety of red chilli add in lesser amounts.
  • Skip asafoetida to make this red chilli chutney recipe gluten-free. 

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Red Chilli Chutney
Amount Per Serving
Calories 324 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 13g81%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Sodium 630mg27%
Potassium 387mg11%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 11g46%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 847IU17%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 59mg295%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 199mg241%
Vitamin E 3mg20%
Vitamin K 10µg10%
Calcium 97mg10%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 606µg152%
Iron 3mg17%
Magnesium 45mg11%
Phosphorus 90mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Red Chilli Chutney post from the blog archives first published in April 2013 has been republished and updated on 20 April 2022.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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Comments are closed.


  1. Hi
    All your recipes are awesome.. thanks for sharing.. have tried few of them.. In the above chutney you have used roasted gram. I.e, putaani..and not Channa dal. .
    The pics shows putaani.
    Pls clarify..

    1. thanks aparna. roasted gram or putaani is roasted chana dal. roasted chana dal is easily available in indian stores.

  2. Hey, this s my go to recipe for chutney, bookmarked! Also i fry onions before adding chutney, makes it even better.5 stars

    1. Thanks Binu for your positive feedback on coconut chutney. Good to know this.

  3. All your recipes are perfect and the picture presentation makes it even more easier and interesting!!

  4. Made it today for breakfast with idli, it was awesome! Thank you so very much 🙂

  5. Looks easy and should be delicious….I’m trying it out today itself.
    I love the way u present ur recipe with pictures.

  6. Planning to make dosas for the weekend. Have to try this recipe out. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. i am a hardcore fan of this chutney 🙂 well go with my very own fried rice 🙂 and Dosai !

  8. you can make simple things look amazing Dassana.. not only your recipes and your pictures bt the theme and writing style is so inviting and really interesting.. I am quickly moving towards the top of your fans list 😉