Growing up in Chennai, South India, I ate idli-sambar-chutney almost every other morning. It was the easiest breakfast for my mom to make on busy school mornings, but secretly I think coconut chutney was her absolute favourite. She could eat it by the bowl full! But somehow my brothers and I did not like it at all...not one bit. We used to choke down on our idlis before we rushed off to board the school bus.
I vowed never to eat idli-sambar-chutney once I moved out of my parents house. However, having lived outside Chennai for over 10 years now, I started craving the very same dish that I vowed never to eat. Not being a huge fan of the coconut chutney I wanted to improvise it. The recipe had to be quick and easy, yet had to have flavour.
I found what I was looking for in coconut peanut chutney!
For all my health conscious friends, it is gluten free! I have made this chutney many times now and each time it has turned out slightly different, as I love to experiment. But it has always been a tasty "different."
The thing about Indian cooking is that, there are no hard and fast rules about measurements. It is all "andaaz" (eyeballing it). It is always a pinch of this, a sprinkle of that, a handful of this, and hey presto you have an appetising meal. Also chutneys are actually super easy to make (no wonder we had it for breakfast every morning), as technically you just throw in a bunch of ingredients into a food processor/mixie, grind it for a few minutes and your chutney is ready.
I hope you enjoy this chutney. You can serve it along with idli or dosa and if you want to try something different you can even use it as a dip for chips or nachos.
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut (or dry powdered coconut)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/2 green chilli
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon jeera
1 tablespoon tamarind juice
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
Few curry leaves
1 dry red chilli
2 or 3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
In a mixie or food processor, grind the coconut, peanuts, green chilli, grated ginger, jeera tamarind juice and water. Add salt. Set aside in a serving bowl. Dilute with more water if needed.
In a frying pan, heat a little oil and splutter some mustard seeds, dry red chilli and curry leaves. Turn it off in 30 seconds or 1 minute.
Mix it in the serving bowl which has the chutney .
Serve it with idli or dosa.
Note: For all my non-Indian friends who want to try this - if you prefer it less spicy, then you can cut out the green chilli while grinding the chutney. Also do not substitute coconut with the sweetened coconut flakes that you get at the store. All the ingredients mentioned can be found at your nearest Indian store.
Photo Credit: Arpith Vedhanayagam