Kerala Coconut Chutney

This popular South Indian condiment is made with grated coconut, onions, and chilies.

Coconut chutney is one of my favorite Kerala condiments. It’s savory yet slightly sweet, and spicy depending on how many chili peppers you add.

However, I’ve always been intimidated to make it because I remember my mom spending quite a bit of time grinding the coconut by hand.

Fortunately, Indian grocery stores now sell fresh or frozen grated coconut, so this chutney can be made in less than 20 minutes!

How to Make Coconut Chutney

Kerala-style chutneys are usually made from a paste of ground onions, ginger, chili peppers, and in this case coconut.

In order to grind it properly, it is best to use a mini blender or one meant for chutney.

My dad likes to add cashews to his, so I did as well. He also sometimes uses mint and garlic, but I decided to stick with a more traditional version this time.

As for spiciness, feel free to use as much (or as little) chili peppers you like.

Grinding

Either use a special grinder meant for chutneys or use a small blender cup attachment. This may come with your blender or bought separately.

Grind together some grated coconut, whole cashews, chopped ginger, a few small green chilies, and diced onion until they become a coarse paste.

Add a few tablespoons of water if needed. Set this mixture aside.

Tempering

Next comes tempering. Place a small skillet on the stove at medium low heat. To it, add some coconut oil. Fry a small amount of minced onions, mustard seeds, a few dry chili peppers, a pinch of urad dal, and fresh curry leaves.

Fry these ingredients for 1-3 minutes until the onions become golden.

Finally, add the ground coconut mixture to the skillet and stir until is warmed through. Take off heat.

Enjoy chutney at room temperature or cold. It will last in the fridge for several days or in the freezer for a few months.

Kerala coconut chutney is often served with dosa, idli, rice, or vada. Along with sambar, a savory vegetable and lentil stew, it makes the perfect vegetarian meal or snack!

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Small bowl south Indian coconut chutney with red chilis and curry leaves.

Kerala Coconut Chutney

Joby’s Test Kitchen
A sweet and savory chutney made with coconut, chilies, onion, and ginger–the perfect accompaniment to dosa, idli, or rice!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 Cups

Equipment

  • Blender or Grinder

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  • ¼ cup cashews, optional
  • 5-7 small green chili peppers, stems removed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • water
  • salt to taste

For Tempering:

  • 2-4 tsp coconut oil
  • 1-2 tbsps minced onion
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1-3 dry red chili peppers, broken
  • ½ tsp urad dal, optional
  • handful fresh curry leaves

Instructions
 

  • In a small grinder or blender, grind together the coconut, cashews, green chilies, onion, and ginger to form a coarse paste. Add a few tablespoons of water to get the right consistency. Set aside.
  • Next comes tempering. Add some coconut oil to a small skillet. Fry the minced onion, mustard seeds, red chili peppers, dal, and curry leaves. Cook 1-3 minutes until onions become golden.
  • Finally, add the ground coconut mixture to the skillet and stir until it is warmed through. Take off heat and season with salt. Enjoy at room temp or cold. Will last in fridge for several days or in freezer for a few months.
Keyword chilies, coconut, Kerala, onions

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