An eternal favorite at home this simple chutney made of fresh or frozen grated coconut , roasted channa dal or dalia and flavored with fresh mint is a notch above the usual. The entire assembly is done in minutes literally and you will have one of the best tasting accompaniments ever for dosa or idlis.. Well aware of moderation being the key, this coconut chutney is perfect when you do not over indulge.
Fresh ingredients bring to the table the flavor that is best described lip smacking !
Grated coconut ground with fresh mint, chili and ginger and seasoned with crackled mustard seeds and split urad dal.. Now how can you resist it?
Fresh or frozen grated coconut : 1/3 cup
Roasted Channa dal or Dalia : 1/4 cup
Fresh green chilies – 4-5 ( please adjust according to spice level)
Ginger : skinned, 1 inch piece
Fresh mint leaves : 10-12
Salt : 1 tsp.+ adjusted to taste
1/2 – 3/4 cup of water
Oil : 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp.
Split white Urad Dal : /2 tsp.
Asafoetida : a generous pinch
Curry leaves : 4-6 , torn in halves ( I was out of these)
If using frozen coconut , do bring it to room temp before grinding. Alternatively nuke it in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds.
Initially coarse blends the ingredients listed under chutney without adding water. Then add the required amount of water to smoothen out the consistency and to bring it to required thickness.Smooth grinding is essential otherwise flavor is lost.
To season it, heat a tsp. of oil in a skillet or fry pan and add the mustard seeds and hing. The seeds will crackle and you can subsequently add the split urad dal and curry leaves. Allow the dal to brown a bit and scoop everything out and add to the chutney.
That’s it . Ready to serve with piping hot idlis or dosa.
I often get into one of those “ I so need to clean the pantry “ moods .. especially when I have something major lined up. In this case , it was prepping for the 30 day salad event and with 2 family birthday part events lined up, including one with a herd of teenage boys in the house (shudder ) running amok fueled high on pizza and cake. If you think that’s bad, you see I have another one lined up in 48 hrs – this time it’s a bunch of rising first graders ! Try pizza, cupcake and juice this time .. Plus we do have a family and friends grilling event lined up as well. I love my life .. if I don’t have enough madness thrown at me, I am capable of self- inflicting it! And old habits die hard. You see , I would be one of these maniacs who believed that chasing the dust bunnies and labeling the containers, yields to peace of mind. After all, I would be the one majorly cleaning up my room before an exam !
In any case, I am digressing . So on one of these infamous treasure hunts through the pantry, I discover a stack of cans –3 organic Kirkland tomato paste and 3 cans of Hunt’s diced tomatoes to be precise. I toyed with making homemade pasta sauce vs a nice tomato relish in the tradition Indian style. And guess which won???
Prep time : 10 min Cook time 30-40 min
Organic Tomato Paste : 3 cans
Diced tomato in juice : 3 cans ( blended )
Flavorless oil : 3 tsp
Mustard seeds : 2 tsp
Asafoetida : A generous pinch
Curry Leaves : 12 – optional. Washed and dried thoroughly
Tamarind paste : 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds or Methi seeds : 1 tsp
Red chilli powder or Parika powder : 1-2 tsp
In a nonstick pan, dry roast 1 tsp pf fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds till they sputter and you notice a faint red color on the former. Let this cool down and pulverize it to get a smooth dry powder and set it aside.
In a nonstick wok or big sauce pan , heat the flavor less oil and add in the Hing and 1 tsp of mustard seeds.
Once the mustard seeds sputter add in the blended ( run the diced tomatoes in their juices in a blender to smoothen it ) tomatoes and stir.
Cover partially and let the mixture reduce to half its volume. In effect you are trying to get rid of the water content through heat reduction.
Now add in the paste of the tomatoes from three cans and stir it well along with the added teaspoon of tamarind paste.
You will see the mixture thickening considerably.
Let it thicken some more and then add in the salt, and chilli powder and stir well.
In about 10-15 minutes, you will see the mixture thickened to a soft jelly consistency. Take care not to work this on very high heat.
Now add in the pulverized mixture of fenugreek and mustard seeds – 1 tsp. Stir well and turn off the flame .
Let this cool down completely before storing it in a dry mason jar.
Work the mixture on medium high heat. The idea is to get rid of the water content. Working on very high heart will risk the mixture getting burnt.
Add in the fenugreek mustard seeds at the penultimate stage. You really do not want to add it in early on. It might result in bitterness been imparted .
If you choose to add in the curry leaves, it needs to be added in the stage before you add in the blended tomatoes.
Check the spice and salt levels before you add in the dry powder mix.
This is a great side and accompaniment for Idli’s, Dosa’s, Bread and more.