Coconut Chutney For Idli/Dosai

Srilatha Breakfast, Chutneys Leave a Comment

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Coconut Chutney For Idli/Dosai
An easy chutney, that is the most basic and go to recipe for a side dish for idli, dosai, vadai, bonda, etc. Takes about 15 minutes from start to finish!
Course Chutneys
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Passive Time 30 mins, if using frozen coconut
Servings
cups
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen coconut
  • 1/2 cup chana dhal/bengal gram can use daalia/roasted gram; chana dhal adds more body
  • 10-12 small Green chilies reduce/add for less or more heat; my chutneys tend to be on the fiery side
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger optional, but adds a wonderful flavor
  • 1 small piece of tamarind optional; increases shelf life
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp oil to roast the chana dhal
Seasoning
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad dhal
  • 1/2 tsp Hing/asafoetida
  • 5-6 Curry leaves optional
Course Chutneys
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Passive Time 30 mins, if using frozen coconut
Servings
cups
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups fresh or frozen coconut
  • 1/2 cup chana dhal/bengal gram can use daalia/roasted gram; chana dhal adds more body
  • 10-12 small Green chilies reduce/add for less or more heat; my chutneys tend to be on the fiery side
  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger optional, but adds a wonderful flavor
  • 1 small piece of tamarind optional; increases shelf life
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp oil to roast the chana dhal
Seasoning
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad dhal
  • 1/2 tsp Hing/asafoetida
  • 5-6 Curry leaves optional
Instructions
  1. If using frozen coconut, set it out to thaw for about 30 minutes; never defrost coconut in the microwave or it'll go bad and develop a stale odor. Always thaw naturally at room temperature.
  2. Gather the seasoning and other ingredients
  3. Heat a tsp of oil in a small pan. When hot, fry the chana dhal until golden brown, remove from heat, and let cool completely
  4. When cool, blend the coconut, chilies, ginger, tamarind, chana dhal with a little bit of water added as needed. Try to make the chutney thick, and it can be diluted afterwards to desired consistency
  5. Add the salt, and transfer to a glass/stainless steel bowl
  6. In the same pan, heat the other tsp of oil
  7. When hot, add the mustard seeds; when they start to pop, reduce the heat, add the urad dal and hing, and fry till the dal is golden brown
  8. Turn the heat off, add the curry leaves and pour over the chutney
  9. Chutney is ready to serve!
Recipe Notes

Chana dal vs dalia/pottu kadalai:

My mom always uses chana dal/bengal gram. Many of my friends use pottukadalai/daalia/fried gram. While using pottukadalai has the convenience of being ready to use (don't have to fry like chana dal), I personally prefer toasting the chana dal in a tsp (or even less) of oil - I feel it adds more body to the chutney, and the protein may be higher. Feel free to use whatever works for you.

Ginger and Tamarind:

Using ginger, a very small piece, adds an amazing taste/flavor to the chutney. Try it, and your guests will ask you for the secret ingredient that makes your chutney so special!

Tamarind is typically not used by Tamil people in this chutney. I learned to use it from my Telugu friends, and love the sourness, not to mention it improves the shelf life. That said, the bible of tambrahm cooks, "Samaithu Par" (Cook And See) by Meenakshi ammal, recommends using a dash of lemon juice which I assume is for the same purpose. Either way, the chutney will taste better and last longer.

Coconut:

I've been called a chutney snob, and as such, I cannot emphasize enough the use of fresh or frozen coconut. Desiccated coconut simply does not cut it. When using frozen, make sure to set it out about 30 minutes or so to thaw at room temperature. Defrosting in a microwave will make it go bad quickly, because it's basically cooking it and coconut does not tolerate heat.

These are tips I have incorporated over 25+ years of eating and making chutney, and have gotten many compliments on my coconut chutney, whether fresh or frozen coconut.

Other optional ingredients:

Add a small quantity of fresh cilantro or mint, for a pop of color, and flavor! I always do, if I have these on hand.

 

 

 

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