This is a South Indian version of Coconut Chutney. It tastes like the one served at my favourite South Indian Restaurant. The ground roasted chickpeas/garbanzo beans gives it a rich mouthfeel and a very subtle ‘nutty’ taste.

I serve this chutney with my Vadai which is a gluten free Indian savoury snack that is quite addictive. Click on the link for my Vadai recipe. It is rather different from conventional recipes.  Traditionally, coconut chutneys are served with a range of Indian savoury food and snacks such as dosas (thosais), idlis, vadais, pakoras to name but a few. Look under my ‘Tips’ section to find out what these are.


My guests and I like this chutney so much that I have found unconventional ways to serve them. I serve them with almost all manner of vegetable chips and sticks. Curious? Look at the image below and refer to my ‘Tips’ section at the bottom of this post. 

Try making this Coconut Chutney. It is so versatile and different from the usual dips served up at parties.  Your family and friends would appreciate the change.

Coconut Chutney, Coconut Dip

Prep: 10 minutes 
Cook: 3 minutes
Inactive:
Level: Moderately easy
Serves: ~ 6 –  8 as a dip
Oven Temperature:
Can recipe be doubled? Yes
Make ahead? Up to 6 hours ahead refrigerated, it should be consumed within the day.

Ingredients

For the chutney
1/2 cup (2 oz) (60 g) roasted chickpeas/garbanzo beans/gram*
1 cup (3 and 1/2 oz) (100 g) fresh, chilled or frozen grated white coconut
1 teaspoon roughly diced ginger
1 Tablespoon roughly diced purple onion
1 green chilli seeds removed
1 and 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cup water
For tempering
To put it simply, in Indian cooking ‘tempering’ refers to heating up of spices in hot oil to draw out its flavours. That means tempering can be done in the initial stages of cooking a dish, after which other ingredients, for instance, onions and vegetables are added and cooking continues. Tempering is also done to finish off an otherwise cooked dish. Oil is heated, spices are thrown in often in separate succession, to maximise its potency. The flavoured oil and spices are strewn over the dish which can be a chutney as in my Coconut Chutney recipe or in other dishes such as lentils or beans. Tempering to complete a dish adds a lot more flavour to what could be a mediocre dish. Taste the Coconut Chutney before and after you add the tempered ingredients and you will understand what I mean.
1 Tablespoon neutral tasting oil like safflower, sunflower, rice bran and not olive oil
1/2 teaspoon urud dal also known as black gram/lentils**
1/4 teaspoon black mustards seeds***
a pinch of asafoetida*
1 whole dried red chilli
12 curry leaves
* Image below.
**  Sometimes labelled as ‘white gram/lentils’. These can be purchased from Indian grocers. The lentils you want to buy are actually off-white in colour. The black husks have been removed revealing the inner off white colour of the lentils. You will also find on the grocer’s shelves, black gram lentils with husks still attached so they are black in colour. Remember to buy the off-whites ones. I use urud dal to make my Vadai, Gluten Free Savoury Snack, image above.
*** You can buy this from Indian grocery stores.
* Refer to image below. Asafoetida is the resin derived from the herbaceous ferula family. You can buy this greyish brownish coloured powdered spice at your Indian grocer. I use this for its anti-flatulence properties. It is an ingredient used as far as I am aware, primarily in Indian cooking. Its use has not transcended borders as much as other spices associated with Indian cooking. Perhaps because it smells dangerously sulphuric. The smell might just shock you enough to send you reeling back a few steps. I keep the plastic container where it comes stored in when I buy it, in a plastic bag and then in a glass jar. That is how pungent it smells.Add too much of it in your food and it overwhelms the dish. I am very conservative with the amount I add. I cannot accurately tell you the flavour it imparts as it is a totally different spice. All I know is if I add it to my lentil/bean dishes, my tummy feels a whole lot better. If I really have to describe the taste it imparts, I would say it is a mix of onion, fennel and garlic. Omit if you cannot bring yourself to buy or use it. I do use it in my recipe for Vadai, Gluten Free Savoury Snack pictured above. 

Method

Blitz in a food processor
1. Blitz the roasted chickpea into a fine powder.
2. Next, place all the other ingredients for the chutney (not the ingredients for tempering) into the food processor. Blend until smooth.
3. You may add more water if you think it is too thick but I like mine the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Some like it the consistency of pouring cream. I like mine thicker as it makes it easier for me to catch as much chutney as I can onto my food and then into my mouth.

Tempering
1. Heat the oil in a little pot. I use my little milk pot as the small circumference and high sides protects me from the oil which has a tendency to splattering. Be prepared to work fast.
2. When oil is hot, add urud dal. Shake the pot to help colour the urud dal a light golden colour.  This happens in a matter of seconds. Watch and don’t burn it.
3. Add black mustard seeds and asafoetida. The mustard seeds will start popping in like 2 seconds. Watch it, mustard seeds burn easily.
4. Directly after adding mustard seeds, add the dried red chilli and curry leaves. Be careful, there will be splattering. I shake the pot instead of using a spatula to move the spices around as I do not want to get burnt. I let it splatter away for 5 seconds and remove from the burner. Continue to work fast as the spice has a tendency to burn.
5. Purely for aesthetic reasons, if I am serving this at a party, this is when I will swiftly spoon out about 1/2 Tablespoon of the tempering ingredients to top on the chutney before I serve it.
6. Otherwise, pour the chutney from the food processor into the pot and put it back on the burner on medium low heat.
7. Stir for 3 to 5 minutes to prevent sticking. You want the chutney to heat through and not totally boil. Doing this will extend the shelf life of the chutney a little. It should be consumed within the day. Coconut does not keep well. The chutney tends to thicken the longer you keep it because of the roasted chickpeas/garbanzo beans/gram in it. Just thin the chutney with water. You might need to add more salt too.

Tips

3 other ways to serve Coconut Chutney

(1) It is traditionally served with Indian food like vadais, pakoras, idlis, dosas(thosais), etcetera. 
I serve them with vadai and pakoras because I cannot make idlis (steamed rice cakes) and dosas (huge, thin, crispy eggless pancakes made from ground rice and urud dal/black gram). I have tried but have never succeeded in making those. It is not one of those foods I feel I must be able to make because I will never ever be able to make them better than my favourite Indian restaurant.  Better for me to pay to eat well made idlis and dosas. Making pakoras is easy enough. It a savoury snack made primarily from vegetables coated in a batter of chickpea flour and sometimes a little rice flour. I might post that recipe sometime in the future. Great pre-dinner party nibbles. Update: Click here for my recipe for Crispy Gluten, Dairy And Egg Free Corn Fritters.


(2) With vegetable sticks
I serve vegetable sticks alongside the vadais. They are actually very good with red and yellow capsicums, cucumber, and celery. Carrots are good too but they are a bit hard and the chutney likes to slide off the carrot sticks. I have found that it is better to serve them with red and yellow capsicum as if you cut them the way I do (refer to the photograph above), they act as natural spoons.

(3) Tortilla chips, beetroot chips, sweet potato chips, tapioca chips, parsnip chips
Finally, a bag of anyone of the mentioned chips will suffice if you do not want to make any vadais to go with the chutney. It is all easier than you think and they pair wonderfully with the coconut chutney.I do not like coconut chutney with potato chips. You go ahead if you like them.

WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?

Mint Chutney! Mint Chutneys are a nice contrast to savoury Coconut Chutneys as they are fresh tasting and a good alternative dip for vadais.

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