Idli and dosa cannot be imagined without coconut chutney. It is such an essential accompaniment to both idli and dosa. Coconut is easily available in coastal Karnataka as many homes have this tree in their yard, so is the case with my parents’ home.
Traditionally coconut is cut open in half and grated by hand using a grating tool which is still how my Amma makes it.
When I came to the US it was hard to find fresh coconut and even if you did it was a major task to cut it open without proper tools. Initially I used dessicated coconut or dry coconut to make chutney with disappointing results. After a while when I was browsing the frozen section of the grocery market happened to find frozen coconut. I tried making chutney out of it getting my Amma’s recipe but the outcome was not satisfactory, but better than dry coconut. Long story short, coconut needs to be thawed well and then ground in a blender for about 3-4 minutes to get the right consistency.
The coconut chutney I make now is exactly like my Amma makes. You can’t tell that it is made from frozen coconut and tastes like fresh coconut.
Let’s get started with making coconut chutney.
- 1 cup coconut, frozen or fresh
- 2 tbsp dalia or roasted split gram
- 6-8 sprigs cilantro, roughly chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 green chilies
- ⅛ tsp asafetida powder
- ½ tsp tamarind
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ cup of water
- To temper:
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 2 dried red chilies, broken into halves
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp oil
If using frozen coconut thaw it. Take a pan and on medium heat add coconut, and cilantro and warm for 30-40 seconds.
Cool coconut and cilantro. Blend all the ingredients except for tempering ingredients into a fine paste using water.
Place the chutney in a bowl. Heat oil in a pan add the tempering ingredients, when the mustard crackles add to chutney. Serve with Idli or dosa.
The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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