If you know, you know! For a lot of South Indian dishes, chutney is make or break. To not have it present when you're eating dosas or idlis would be a big miss. I'm sharing one combination of chutney that's a staple in my home - a red chilli chutney. My mom subs green chilli and cilantro to make her famous green chutney, but the steps are similar to below. The star ingredient here is shredded coconut. And yes, South Indians love adding coconut to everything, but if you pay attention the use case is different in many of our dishes. Finally, the tempering of spices at the end is where all the magic of flavor happens to make your chutney next level bomb! Enjoy!
1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon diced ginger
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp tamarind (optional)
1/4 cup filtered water (can add more based on consistency)
For final tempering at end:
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 shallot finely diced
2 whole red chilli peppers (break it up)
1-2 sprigs curry leaves (break a few of them up to get flavor out)
Blend all of the main ingredients together in a food processor and make sure everything gets ground. Pour the coconut chutney base into a bowl.
Heat a smaller pan on the stovetop and had a 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil. When oil is heated, add the mustard seeds in (they will start to sputter). Once they do, add in the rest of the ingredients and close with the curry leaves. Do a quick stir or shake of the pan and that's it.
Pour the tempered spice mixture on top of the coconut chutney base. You can wait to stir it all when you're about to eat.
Blend your the coconut mixture with a bit of water:
Mixture will look like this:
This is how you temper the spices in a small pan:
Pour the tempered spice mixture into your ground coconut base: