Coconut Chutney is a lightly spiced, nutty dip served as a popular side dish with Indian food. Absolutely EASY to make, this widely-loved condiment is made by blending together tender grated coconut with green chilies, garlic cloves, and roasted gram lentils.
This perfectly spiced chutney has a flitting hint of sweetness and is served as an ideal accompaniment to Indian meals. What’s more, it can be easily adapted to many interesting flavors by changing just an ingredient or two, and each option is just as delicious!
How to make this simple but tasty chutney
This basic white coconut chutney eaten with Idli or Dosa needs just a handful of ingredients. Freshly grated coconut, roasted gram lentils or Dalia, cumin seeds, garlic, and fresh lemon juice are blended together with water to make a coarse paste. The ground chutney is then tempered with a tadka or seasoning, made by spluttering mustard seeds and curry leaves in hot oil.
My younger son is a true food aficionado! He is very particular about pairing the right sides with the right main dishes. He loves this classic white chutney especially when I cook South Indian dishes. I want to think it was my husband who got him hooked on that taste.
Growing up predominantly in a South Indian locality in Mumbai, my husband frequented quaint Udipi restaurants for weekend breakfasts with his school buddies. On our India travels, it is a ritual for him to take the boys to all the restaurants he frequented as a child. Our boys totally love those trips and are always looking forward to those binge outings.
This restaurant-style coconut chutney recipe is easy to tweak with different ingredients to make interesting variations:
- Use half and half of roasted gram lentils and peanuts for an extra creamy and nutty chutney
- If you have run out of roasted gram lentils, replace the entire quantity with roasted peanuts
- Use an inch of ginger in place of garlic for a different flavor
- Add urad daal (split black gram) in the tempering for a crunch
- Add a dried red chili to the tempering for smoky flavor and heat
- You can skip the tempering altogether and the chutney will still be as delicious
Ingredients for Coconut Chutney
All the ingredients needed for this recipe are easily available at local Indian grocery stores. This chutney tastes best with freshly grated coconut, but frozen grated coconut works just as fine. I use frozen grated coconut from either Deep, Daily Delight, or Anand brands. This recipe is so versatile, that you can even make the coconut chutney hotel-style using unsweetened desiccated coconut.
How to make Coconut Chutney
To make the chutney, add coconut, roasted gram lentils, garlic, chili, cumin seeds, sugar, lemon juice, and water to a blender and blend until you get a smooth chutney. Add more water if needed to get to the desired consistency. You will need more water if using desiccated coconut powder or coconut flakes.
Heat oil in a tadka pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Turn the heat off and then add asafetida/hing and curry leaves. Be careful as you add curry leaves as the oil may splatter. Pour the tadka over the chutney and stir in.
Serve it with South Indian breakfast dishes such as steaming hot idlis, dosa, uttapam, upma, etc., and give a gratifying start to your day. You can serve it with crudités for a tasty dip or spread it on your favorite sandwich for a spicy kick.
How to store
Easy to make, this vegan dip stays fresh in the refrigerator for up to four days and freezes well too. So go ahead and double up the recipe and freeze it in small portions. When you are ready to enjoy, simply allow the chutney to thaw overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature for half an hour.
Did you enjoy this chutney? You will love my homemade cilantro mint chutney that we love to smother on sandwiches and also use as a marinade.
Love South Indian food? Here are some recipes that are on repeat at my home:
- Quinoa Oats Dosa - Healthy, low carb, no ferment dosa
- Ven Pongal - A one-pot rice and lentil meal with earthy spices
- Curd Rice - A cooling rice dish with creamy yogurt
- Bisi Bele Bhath - Rice, lentils, and vegetables with aromatic spices
- Veg Kurma - Mixed vegetable curry with coconut
- Moringa Lentils - Creamy lentils cooked with moringa leaves
- Add coconut, roasted gram lentils, garlic, chili, cumin seeds, sugar, lemon juice and water to a blender and blend until you get smooth chutney. Add more water if needed to get to the desired consistency. Take out the chutney in a serving bowl.
- Heat oil in a tadka pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Turn the heat off and then add asafetida/hing and curry leaves. Be careful as you add curry leaves as the oil may splatter.
- Pour the tadka over the chutney and stir in.