Coconut Chutney


Chutney or ‘chatni’ is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘for licking’ or savouring which is precisely its purpose at the dinner table together with the other dishes at a meal.

bar Coconut Chutney
This chutney is made with coconut, the basis for almost every recipe in coastal India. It can also be used as a sandwich spread. Skinned split black lentils are matt, small oval shaped lentils and are actually creamy white in colour.

Picture by Jason Lowe

Serves 4

1 tsp seedless tamarind pulp
100g coconut, grated or desiccated
½ tsp salt
2 green chillies
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
¼ tsp brown mustard seeds
2 medium dried red chillies
½ tsp skinned split black lentils or urad dal
8-10 curry leaves


Soak the tamarind in 1 tbsp warm water to extract the juice. Strain to remove the fibrous parts. Mix the juice with 1 tbsp cold water, the coconut, salt, green chillies, and cumin seeds. Blitz the mixture in a blender, or with a pestle and mortar, until it becomes a rough paste. Spoon into a bowl.

Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add the red chillies, followed by the black lentils, and curry leaves. Stir well for 30 seconds. Carefully place this seasoning on top of the coconut chutney. Store in an airtight, non-metallic container in the refrigerator for upto 3 days.


(c) 2012