Coconut chutney is a great accompaniment to many Indian foods, including dosa, akki roti, upma, idli and so on. You can make white (plain) coconut chutney, green coconut chutney, red (tomato) coconut chutney… there are quite a few options. Here’s the basic recipe, and a few customizations follow. Adjust the spice level by changing the number of chillies.
1 cup coconut, grated
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp urad dhal
2 tbsp channa dhal
2 or 3 dried red chillies
Pinch of hing
Salt to taste
1. Put the coconut and salt in a glass blender jar.
2. Heat the oil in a small frying pan. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. When the mustard seeds start popping, add the urad dhal, channa dhal, red chillies and hing. When the dhals begin to brown, remove from heat and pour into the blender jar.
3. Grind all of the ingredients together, adding just enough water to help the grinding along.
4. Serve with the dish of your choice. Can be kept refrigerated for up to two days.
Green coconut chutney: Add 1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro to the blender jar before grinding.
Spicy green coconut chutney: Omit the red chillies. Add 3 to 6 green chillies, depending on how spicy you like your chutney, and 1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro to the blender jar before grinding.
Red coconut chutney: Add one cup of chopped plum tomatoes to the frying pan once the dhals are brown. Saute for about 10 minutes, until the tomatoes break down. Add to the blender jar before grinding.
Nutty coconut chutney: For some extra body with less coconut, substitute 1/2 a cup of walnuts or peanuts or cashews for half the coconut.
There are many variations. Just use your imagination!