South Indian Coconut Chutney

Indian coconut chutney

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  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Coconut is a popular ingredient in South Indian cooking, and South Indian coconut chutney makes the most of it. This mild chutney is not just the perfect companion for idlis (South Indian steamed rice cakes), dosas (South Indian rice and lentil pancakes), and uttapams (south Indian rice pancakes), it is the perfect accompaniment or side dish to lots of other foods. It also makes a terrific sandwich spread! 


  • 1/2 fresh coconut, grated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable/canola/ sunflower cooking oil or ghee (or a mixture of the two)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon urad daal (yellow lentil)
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves
  • Salt to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grind the grated coconut into a fine paste in the food processor. Keep aside for later use.

  3. To temper the chutney, in a small pan, heat the vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil/ ghee (or a mixture of both), and when hot add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, dry red chilies, and urad daal/roasted chickpeas. Sauté, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until all the ingredients are slightly darker and aromatic.​

  4. Remove from the heat and add to the previously made coconut paste. Add salt to taste and serve.

  5. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • Substitute roasted chickpeas (skins removed) for the urad daal (yellow lentil).
  • Tomatoes are a great addition to this chutney and give it a slightly tangy taste. To add tomato, grind 1 large tomato into a fine paste with the coconut.
  • Ginger adds a lovely flavor too. Just like the tomato, if adding ginger, grind it to a fine paste with the coconut.
  • Increase or decrease the chilies you add according to taste for a hotter or milder chutney. For a hot chutney, add fresh, green chilies according to taste, when grinding the coconut up.
  • For a green version of this chutney, add a handful of coriander and mint leaves to the coconut while grinding it.


  • Many Indian groceries sell an ingredient called 'chutney chana' which is basically roasted chickpeas.