I’ve said this earlier and I’m saying it again, the chutney obsession for us Indians is for real! We really can’t get enough of the innumerable varieties of this particular condiment that Indian cuisine has to offer. One such amazing Chutney creation is this Kerala style Red Coconut Chutney. Yes, red because of the dried red chilies in it, yet not something that is too spicy to handle! The flavor of this chutney is as beautiful as it looks. Thus, instantly becomes a great pair with Dosa, Idli, Medu Vada and Uttapam.
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About Red Coconut Chutney
Get your chutney ingredients together and give them a blitz in the blender to a smooth chutney. Follow up with a basic South Indian tempering, pour it over the prepared chutney and give it a good mix. See, how simple, easy and quick this Red Coconut Chutney is!
In addition to the coconut, another typical ingredient that I add in this Kerala special Red Coconut Chutney recipe are pearl onion or sambar onions. These tiny onion variety are milder and sweeter. Thus, bring in just the perfect balance in the chutney too. But don’t fret, if you can’t source them. You can use shallots or onions too, if you don’t have these.
For the tempering, there’s nothing fancy at all. You have your regular mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal (husked split black gram) and again some pearl onions. The obvious choice of oil to keep the authenticity intact is coconut oil. I would totally suggest sticking to this only.
In case you want to tone down the raw taste of the red chilies in this Red Coconut Chutney, then you can either dry roast or roast lightly in some coconut oil before adding to the grinder jar. Also, if you can’t imagine your food without garlic, go ahead add some in this chutney too.
However, while adding the water, take care. You don’t want to turn this gorgeous Red Coconut Chutney too thick or super runny. The quantity that I have mentioned in my recipe list is good enough to result in the perfectly smooth, thickish chutney.
This Red Coconut Chutney is quick to prepare, if you have the grated coconut ready and handy. Besides adding the required bit of heat in this chutney, the dried red chilies also bring in a unique smoky flavor. Like I said in the previous section, the pearl onions too also add their flavor and make the chutney special.
Usually, at my home, we all prefer a coconut chutney with roasted chana dal and coconut. However, to have a change and variety at times, I make this Kerala style Red Coconut Chutney too.
Sometimes I also add green chilies, if I have them. Otherwise, there are the red chilies. Depending on the type of red chilies added, the taste may vary in pungency and spiciness. So, you can add the red chilies accordingly.
This Red Coconut Chutney made Kerala way is a fantastic accompaniment with South Indian tiffin snacks like rava idli, rava dosa, medu vada, Mysore bonda and even uttapams.
How to make Red Coconut Chutney
1. In a chutney grinder or a small high speed blender, take the below listed ingredients:
- ½ cup tightly packed grated coconut
- 1 tablespoon chopped sambar onions/pearl onions (or chopped shallots or onions)
- 2 to 3 dried red chilies (halved or broken or chopped and deseeded)
- 1 inch peeled and chopped ginger
If you want to tone down the raw taste of red chilies, then just roast them lightly in a pan. You can also sauté them in a bit of coconut oil.
Apart from ginger, you can also add a few peeled garlic cloves.
2. Add salt as required and ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon water. You can also add water as required, depending on your grinder and its speed.
3. Grind or blend to a fine consistency.
4. Take the chutney in a small steel bowl or pan and keep aside.
Temper Red Coconut Chutney
5. Heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a small pan. In the picture below, this is coconut oil which has solidified due to winters.
6. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and allow them to crackle on low heat.
7. Then, add ½ teaspoon urad dal (husked split black gram).
8. Stirring often, fry the urad dal till it turns maroonish golden.
9. Add 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 tablespoon chopped sambar onions/pearl onions (or chopped shallots or onions).
10. Sauté till the shallots are light golden.
11. Add the tempering along with the oil to the Red Coconut Chutney.
12. Stir well to mix.
13. Serve the Kerala style Red Coconut Chutney with oats idli, dosa, medu vada or uttapam.
- Dry roast or roast red chilies in some coconut oil before blending them for the chutney, to lessen the raw taste in them.
- Depending on the spiciness and pungency in the red chillies, you can add less or more. If the chillies are too spicy or hot, add less of them.
- You can also soak the dry red chillies in warm or hot water to soften them. This makes them easy to grind and blend.
- If you feel like adding garlic to this chutney recipe, go ahead add it.
- In case you don’t have pearl onions or sambar onions, use shallots. You can also use onions. If you do not prefer the raw flavor of pearl onions or shallots, do not add them or opt to sauté them in some oil until they soften.
- It is best to use coconut oil for the tempering of this chutney recipe. It keeps the traditional touch intact.
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Red Coconut Chutney (Kerala Style)
For red coconut chutney
- ½ cup coconut – fresh, grated and tightly-packed
- 1 tablespoon pearl onions – chopped or 1 tablespoon chopped shallots or onions
- 2 to 3 dry red chilies – halved or broken or chopped, deseeded
- 1 inch ginger
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon water – for grinding or blending
- salt as required
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon urad dal (husked and split black gram)
- 8 to 10 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon pearl onions – chopped or 1 tablespoon shallots or onions
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil – edible
Making red coconut chutney
- Take the tightly packed grated coconut, chopped shallots or pearl onions, dried red chilies and ginger in a chutney grinder or small blender.
- Add salt as required and water.
- Grind or blend to a fine consistency.
- Note that, if you want to tone down the raw taste of red chilies, then just roast them lightly in a pan. You can also sauté them in a bit of coconut oil. Apart from ginger, you can also add 1 to 2 cloves of peeled garlic.
- Transfer the ground red coconut chutney in a small steel bowl or pan and set aside.
- Heat coconut oil in a small pan.
- Add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle on low heat.
- Then add the urad dal.
- Fry the urad dal on low heat stirring often, till they are a maroonish golden.
- Add the curry leaves and chopped shallots or pearl onions.
- On a low heat, sauté stirring often till the shallots are light golden.
- Next add the tempering mixture along with its oil to the red coconut chutney kept in the bowl.
- Stir and mix well to combine.
- Serve the Kerala style Red Coconut Chutney with idli, dosa, medu vada or uttapam.
- Depending on the spiciness and pungency in the dried red chillies, you can add less or more.
- The color of the chutney will vary with the kind of chillies you have used. Kashmiri red chillies and Byadagi chillies will give a nice deep orange color to the chutney.
- You can use frozen coconut, instead of fresh coconut.
- For a bit of sourness, add some tamarind or tamarind pulp while blending the ingredients.
- If out of coconut oil, use any neutral flavored oil.
- If you do not prefer the raw flavor of pearl onions or shallots in your chutney, then simply omit adding them. You can also opt to sauté them in some oil until they soften.
Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)
This Red Coconut Chutney from the archives first published in January 2015 has been updated and republished on January 2023.