Coconut chutney or nariyal chutney is a wonderful side dish to accompany many types of vegetarian dishes. It is especially amazing with idli or dosa. Using freshly grated brown coconut in this recipe is the most ideal way to get a flavourful chutney but you can also use frozen grated coconut if you have trouble accessing the fresh stuff.
A relative of mine from Tavua in Fiji once served up a whole plate of amazing idli and a side of coconut chutney. It was the most delicious coconut chutney I had ever eaten. Her secret was a handful of roasted peanuts. I knew I had to try it out and made a small batch with a tablespoon of roasted peanuts and it was so good! Using farm fresh peanuts like the ones pictured below (harvested the same day from my father-in-law’s farm in Fiji) adds an extra earthly flavour. A note on these fresh peanuts: eat them freshly boiled in ample amounts of salt or dry roast them in sand (mind blowing). I had these fresh and could not stop eating them.
More on the chutney, I used fresh chillies and mint from my backyard garden and there is nothing like the taste of fresh ingredients in a chutney as it is eaten raw. The image below is a snapshot of what my husband added to his coconut chutney before grinding it to a smooth paste like consistency. In olden times, we used a natural rock to grind chutneys but nowadays we use blenders. Not all blenders are made the same, a wet mill blender or grinder will work best or you can use some good old human muscles and grind it down using a mortar and pestle. It will take a while with the manual method though. Be sure to add more water if the mix is not grinding but add it in small amounts so you do not make a watery chutney. The consistency must remain pasty to maintain its texture and flavour.
¾ Cup Grated Brown Coconut
1 Tbsp Roasted Peanuts
Fresh Chillies to taste
1 Small Fresh Garlic
1 cm piece of Tamarind (Optional)
2 Tbsp Water
10 Fresh Mint Leaves
Salt to taste
- Add all ingredients into a wet blender and grind till a smooth consistency is achieved
- Add more water if the ingredients are not breaking down or blending efficiently
- Once blended, taste and balance salt to your liking
- Serve at room temperature or cold, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.