This won’t keep like a regular chutney, so use it up. The easiest way to split a coconut is to double-bag it inside two carrier bags, twist them shut then, holding everything firmly, slam the package on to a hard surface such as the pavement. You can make this as coarse or as chunky as you like - just chop everything according to your taste. I’d pound about a third of the ingredients to something paste-like in a mortar first, then toss this through the rest - it’s a textural thing, and not essential. In India they’d use kakris, a skinless, seedless cucumber.
If using a fresh coconut, save some of its watery ‘milk’. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the chillies and spices and fry for 20-30 seconds or until they waft fragrant. Scrape the spice, seeds and oil from the pan over the grated coconut and mix with the remaining prepared ingredients. Add reserved coconut milk to moisten if you have some, then taste, adding more lemon or lime juice and salt if it needs it.
© 2004 Alastair Hendy. All rights reserved.