Kerala Chutney

This is basic recipe for a Kerala-style coconut and tomato chutney that goes well with idli or dosa with sambar. It’s not especially hot but has a good flavor profile because it’s textured. It’s my current favorite for these foods.

The recipe is two parts, the chutney the tempered spice mix you add to the chutney after it’s mixed.



1/2 C shredded coconut (can use desiccated if that’s all you can get, but frozen is better)

1 – 2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 red chilis, fresh or dried

1 T roasted chana dal

1 small tomato, skinned, seeded, and chopped

1/4 t salt

2 T water

Tempered Spices

1/2 t mustard seed

1/2 t urad dal

1 branch curry leaf

2 T sesame (gingelly) oil


Toast the chana dal in a skillet for a minute of two until it turns golden brown. Add chutney ingredients to blender and grind until well mixed and dal is blended well. Remove to serving dish.

Temper the spices using the usual method: heat the oil, pop the mustard seed, lightly brown the urad, and add the curry leaf for a few seconds. Pour the temper onto the chutney and serve.

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