White Chutney/Thengaai Chutney
Coconut chutney, also called white chutney is a very simple everyday side dish in South India. It goes well with most of our South Indian breakfast recipes like idli, dosa, pongal, upma, paniaram and lot more. It is the most preferred chutney in our house.
Fresh coconut gives the best chutney, though it can be made with refrigerated or frozen coconuts too. I normally buy whole coconuts, break them and store them with the shell in the refrigerator. When I need coconut I slice them up, remove the brown skin, cut into smaller pieces and use. But if you have grated coconuts ready, then this chutney can be made in a jiffy.
For this chutney it is necessary for the coconut to have that mild sweetness. If your coconuts are salty and not sweet, add a pinch of sugar while grinding.
When using coconuts stored in the refrigerator, use medium hot water to grind. Only then you can get the right texture. For me, roasted channa dal/Pottukadalai is a must for making this chutney. Though very little is added it greatly adds to the flavour. You can get this at all supermarkets around the globe, dealing with Indian products. But you can omit it, if you cannot access it.
The consistency of the chutney is also a matter of personal preference. We normally look for the yogurt consistency, though you can make it runny or thick. Replacing the green chillies with the red ones will give you red colored coconut chutney.
As variation I also add 2-3 pearl onions or 2 small cloves of garlic to the basic chutney. It gives a totally different flavour. The roasted channa dal can also be replaced with roasted peanuts.
This chutney stays good only for a few hours. So if you are planning to prepare it for kids’ lunch box, add a pinch of tamarind. This will prevent it from getting spoilt and will not show up in the taste of the chutney.
Left over chutneys can be stored in the refrigerator for two days. Allow it to come to room temperature before using. Though the taste remains the same, the consistency and texture does change a bit. So it is best consumed immediately.
You may be wondering, so much story for a simple recipe? 😀 …Ok!! over to the recipe…
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 1/2" piece ginger
- 1 tbsp roasted channa dal/pottukadalai
- 2 green chillies
- salt to taste
- water as needed for grinding
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- a pinch mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp split urad dal
- few curry leaves
- Take all the ingredients in a mixer jar and blend adding water as is necessary.
- Transfer to a container. Take oil in a pan and add the tempering items one by one. Add the curry leaves after switching off the stove.
- Pour the tempering over the chutney, mix, check for salt and serve with idli, dosa or any South Indian breakfast recipes.
- Tempering gives the chutney a very good tempting flavour. But you can have it without tempering also.
- More chillies can be added for a spicy chutney.
- I did not have curry leaves, and so did not add them.
- If the chutney becomes too spicy, add a bit of coconut oil to mellow down the heat.
- If you happen to buy whole coconuts, do not waste the coconut water, which is very tasty and nutritious.