This is a simple but totally delicious Indian coconut chutney.
There are three varieties of Indian chutneys: fresh chutneys, cooked chutneys, and dry chutneys. Fresh South Indian chutneys are smooth purees made from uncooked ingredients, perhaps seasoned with a tadka of mustard seeds, dal, and curry leaves. They are best freshly made, but they stay good for a couple of days if refrigerated. Made from raw ingredients this type of chutney is unlike most other Indian dishes which have at least some degree of cooking.
Chutneys add zing to a meal and are an essential part of a South Indian meal. They can be prepared with a limitless variety of ingredients. This one is a variation on a Coconut-Coriander Chutney that we shared a while ago. In this one, tamarind is used as the souring agent and some fried gram is added for flavour and thickness. We haven’t added a tadka but you can if you prefer.
Coconut Chutney can be made without herb additions, or, like in this case, coriander can be added, or the same recipe used with mint leaves, garlic, tomatoes, onions, almonds, carrots, beetroot, green mangos, peanuts, capsicums, and greens. Tamarind is added in today’s recipe but it can be omitted or lime juice used.
Coriander Coconut Gram Chutney
0.75 cup coriander leaves and stems, packed reasonably tightly
0.75 cup coconut – I use frozen
3 green chillies, or to taste
2 cm piece ginger root, peeled
1 tspn tamarind extract
3 tspn fried gram (see note below the recipe)
salt to taste
water, coconut milk, yoghurt or milk to thin the chutney
squeeze of lemon or lime juice
Grind all the ingredients together and season to taste.
If you don’t have fried gram it can be omitted, or deep fry 2.5 tspn channa dal and add it to the other ingredients with pinch turmeric, small pinch chaat masala or black salt and pinch Indian chilli powder. Add just enough water, coconut milk or milk to allow it to grind to a thick but flowing consistency.
Add a tadka if you desire. Use black mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida.
If using yoghurt to thin the chutney, omit the tamarind.
Chutney is best consumed the day that it is made.
Enjoy! Love to you.