Red Coconut Chutney (Kerala Style)

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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, Uttapam and Appe.

red coconut chutney served in a green colored bowl placed on a green colored plate with folded dosas kept on the upper left side and text layovers.

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.

If you are looking for more variations of a chutney made with coconut, then make sure to not miss on these recipes of Red Chilli Chutney and this Coconut Chutney Recipe made in 2 ways.

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.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Red Coconut Chutney

Blend Ingredients

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.

grated fresh coconut, chopped shallots, dried red chilies and chopped ginger added in a grinder jar.

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.

salt and water added to grinder jar.

3. Grind or blend to a fine consistency.

ingredients ground to a smooth chutney.

4. Take the chutney in a small steel bowl or pan and keep aside.

prepared chutney added in a steel bowl.

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.

heating coconut oil in a small pan for tempering red coconut chutney.

6. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and allow them to crackle on low heat.

crackling mustard seeds in hot coconut oil.

7. Then, add ½ teaspoon urad dal (husked split black gram).

urad dal added to coconut oil.

8. Stirring often, fry the urad dal till it turns maroonish golden.

frying urad dal in hot coconut oil.

9. Add 8 to 10 curry leaves and 1 tablespoon chopped sambar onions/pearl onions (or chopped shallots or onions).

curry leaves and chopped shallots added to hot coconut oil.

10. Sauté till the shallots are light golden.

sautéing till shallots turn light golden.

11. Add the tempering along with the oil to the Red Coconut Chutney.

tempering added to red coconut chutney.

12. Stir well to mix.

tempering mixed well in the chutney.

13. Serve the Kerala style Red Coconut Chutney with oats idli, dosa, medu vada or uttapam.

red coconut chutney served in a green colored bowl placed on a green colored plate with folded dosas kept on the left side.

Expert Tips

  1. Dry roast or roast red chilies in some coconut oil before blending them for the chutney, to lessen the raw taste in them.
  2. 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.
  3. You can also soak the dry red chillies in warm or hot water to soften them. This makes them easy to grind and blend.
  4. If you feel like adding garlic to this chutney recipe, go ahead add it.
  5. 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.
  6. It is best to use coconut oil for the tempering of this chutney recipe. It keeps the traditional touch intact.

More Chutney Recipes To Try!

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red coconut chutney recipe

Red Coconut Chutney (Kerala Style)

Easy and tasty Kerala style Red Coconut Chutney that is made with coconut, dried red chillies, pearl onions, curry leaves and some more spices. Best paired with snacks like Idli, Dosa, Medu Vada and Uttapam.
4.95 from 19 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Kerala, South Indian
Course Condiment, Side Dish
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 3


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

For tempering

  • 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.

Making tempering

  • 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)

Nutrition Facts
Red Coconut Chutney (Kerala Style)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 99 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 1168mg51%
Potassium 82mg2%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 189IU4%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.02mg1%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.01mg1%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 31mg155%
Vitamin B6 0.03mg2%
Vitamin C 55mg67%
Vitamin E 0.1mg1%
Vitamin K 0.5µg0%
Calcium 19mg2%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 320µg80%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 9mg2%
Phosphorus 24mg2%
Zinc 0.2mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Red Coconut Chutney from the archives first published in January 2015 has been updated and republished on January 2023.

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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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  1. I love different chutneys but this one is definitely one of my favourite ones. Recommend it!5 stars

  2. Hi Mam,

    Great tasting recipe! When I made it at home, I used the same amount of red chillies as you mentioned above. But the color of my chutney isn’t as red as yours. Is there a specific kind of red chillies you use to get this beautiful color?

    1. thanks tejaswini. for a deep orange or red color in any recipe, use kashmiri red chillies. they give a nice red color. they are also not hot or pungent. another variety you can use is byadagi red chillies. in this recipe you can use any variety of red chillies and add less or more accordingly. but for an orange color use kashmiri red chillies or byadagi red chillies.

    2. I am a great lover of coconut chutney, and this was a new twist to my favourite Indian sauce, love it!5 stars

  3. Nice looking beautiful recipe. I did this without the shallots. Great to know that I can use these now. Thank-you.5 stars

  4. Hi .. your recipes are all awesome ..I am a learner and whenever I try a new dish I search the recipe in your website only .. I have followed your recipes for one year and I wonder how much patience you have to post very dish with minute steps and images .. thank you so much ..

    1. thanks a lot vishwa. your comment has made me feel good and encouraged also to keep on adding good recipes. thanks again and happy cooking.

  5. Helloo Dassana,

    Your website is awesome..Your all recipes are just too good…..Its been almost around an year I have followed and still following your recipes..I must say that if any new dish comes in my mind I only search it in your website.I am really a big fan of your recipes. .Your explanation is so minute and precise that hardly I ever did any mistake while cooking….I simply wants to Thank u for posting such scrumptious cuisines so that person like me will never ever find cooking as a difficult task rather will find it very exciting and interesting.5 stars

    1. thank you very much priyanka for this lovely encouraging comment from you. in fact i do feel motivated and encouraged to share more recipes when i get to read comment like yours. its nice to know that cooking does not look like a difficult task. thanks again. wish you a happy diwali.

    1. pearl onions are smaller in size than regular onions and they are usually in bunches of 3 to 4 or 6. like 4 small onions in one bunch.

    1. you can use dried coconut. but with dried coconut the taste will be slightly different.

  6. wht can I say abt this excellent part of cooking bcoz I impress upon yor all recipe n after read n seen yur recipe I can removed all doubt of any seasonig n spicies…so thax a lot n I happy with yur web service.

  7. I love your blog. Very Very excellent. No world describe your passion for not just cooking but the effort you put it in step by step.. I love to meet you in person. I love cooking my self.Thanks. I like this red chutney.

    1. thanks mina for sharing your positive feedback. glad to read your positive comment.

    1. dipali, i have added it in requested recipe list. will try to post it soon.

  8. very beautiful…n delicious chutney….all ur recipes are my favourite….learnt so much from you…thank you so much, great work!

  9. What a beautiful color. Thank you for the step by step photos – I would love to know more about this type of cooking and will be checking back often. 🙂 Thanks!

  10. dear dassana, can i make this (and other recipes which need fresh curry leaves) with dried leaves? unfortunately it’s not possible to buy here (the middle of europe). if yes, do i need the same amount?
    thanks, anna

    1. hi anna, yes you can add dried curry leaves. there was a time when i would also use dried curry leaves and i would at the same amount in the recipe.

      1. thanks!! you made me happy, i loved the kerala food – maybe it was what i have loved the best in my whole life – in the 2 short days i’ve spent in kochi, since that time i miss it. now i have to start to cook my own kerala food here ^_^ i was always worried about the curry leaves.

        1. welcome anna. kerala food is really good. i have been to kerala and loved the food there 🙂 its always better to do your own cooking 🙂