Coconut Chutney with Butter Fried Curry Leaves and Chilies

Kobbari Pacchandi

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Chutneys are sauces and relishes whose name stems from “catni,” which means “sauce.” They can be fruity sweet-tart mixtures, spicy herbal purees, or, as in this recipe, delicate balances of fresh nuts and spices. For simplicity, buy frozen grated coconut in Asian food stores (comes in plastic pouches); use less water. This chutney pairs beautifully with Split Pea Fritters or paratha, but people also love it with grilled meats and curries.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (about ½ coconut) Fresh Coconut Meat
  • ¼ cup Roughly chopped, long green chilies or other hot green chili
  • 1 cup (237 ml.) Water (divided use)
  • 1 tsp. finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 pinch Asafoetida (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds, preferably brown
  • 2 Dried red chilies, cut into ½-inch (1.3 cm.) pieces
  • 8 Curry leaves (optional)

Method

  1. Make the coconut base: In a food processor, grind coconut, green chilies, and ½ cup of water until very fine (about 2 to 3 minutes). Season with ginger, salt and asafoetida. Spread this coconut mixture into a shallow serving dish, about 6 inches (15 cm.) wide.
  2. Cook and add the spices: Heat ghee in a small pan; add mustard seeds, chilies and curry leaves. Fry until mustard seeds begin to pop. Carefully drizzle hot mixture over surface of coconut mixture. Do not mix in the oil. It is served this way, with the spiced oil floating attractively on top.

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