This easy coconut chutney is often eaten as an accompaniment to idli or dosa in Tamil Nadu.






Skill level

Average: 2.9 (4 votes)


  • 120 g (1 cup) freshly grated coconut
  • 100 g (½ cup) chana dhal (split chickpeas) (see Note) or unsalted raw peanuts
  • 2 long green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 3 cm-piece ginger, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds (see Note)
  • 1 tsp urad dhal (see Note)
  • 1 dried long red chilli, broken in half
  • 15 fresh curry leaves (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Serves 6 as part of a shared meal

Place coconut, chana dhal, green chillies, ginger, coriander, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of water in a mortar and pestle or small spice grinder and grind to a coarse paste. Set aside.

Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add mustard seeds and cook for 30 seconds or until oil begins to spit. Add urad dhal and dried chilli, and cook for 2 minutes or until dhal is light golden. Add curry leaves and cook for a few seconds or until fragrant, then pour mixture over paste. Stir to combine and serve.


• Chana dhal, available from Indian food shops, are large split chickpeas.
• Black mustard seeds and curry leaves are available from select greengrocers, delis and Indian food shops.
• Urad dhal, available from Indian food shops, are small split black beans; when split they are white in colour.



Photography Chris Chen. Food preparation Leanne Kitchen. Styling Berni Smithies.


As seen in Feast magazine, April 2014, Issue 30.