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Coconut Chutney (Thénga Chutney)

Coconut chutney in southeastern India is as common as ketchup on fries in the United States.

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  • Prep Time 30 min
  • Total Time 30 min
  • Servings 24

1
medium coconut
3/4
cup water
1
tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1
teaspoon chopped dried tamarind pulp or 1/4 teaspoon tamarind concentrate paste
1/2
teaspoon salt
2
to 3 fresh Thai, serrano or cayenne chiles
1
tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2
teaspoon black or yellow mustard seed
1
tablespoon dried split and hulled black lentils (urad dal) or yellow split peas (chana dal), sorted

SAVE ON THIS RECIPE!

LOCATION

Directions

  • 1 To make shredded fresh coconut, rinse coconut thoroughly to remove any dust or dirt from shell; pat dry. Pierce eyes with ice pick or sturdy skewer. Drain liquid into container. (The liquid is delicious to drink and can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 24 hours.)
  • 2 Tap coconut firmly all over with hammer or heavy meat mallet. It usually splits open lengthwise. Work blade of blunt or round-ended knife between white meat and hard shell. Push knife into shell away from you and, with a twist of the wrist, the meat should pop out. Peel thin, dark brown skin from white coconut meat, using paring knife or vegetable peeler. Shred the coconut meat in a food processor or on large holes of four-sided grater. One medium coconut yields 2 to 3 cups shredded coconut; use 1 cup for this recipe.
  • 3 To make chutney, in blender, place 1 cup coconut, the water, cilantro, tamarind pulp, salt and chiles. Cover and blend on medium speed until smooth. Transfer to small bowl; set aside. (Chutney will thicken as it stands; if it becomes too thick, stir in additional water until it reaches desired consistency.)
  • 4 In 6-inch skillet, heat oil and mustard seed over medium-high heat. Once seed begins to pop, cover skillet and wait until popping stops. Add lentils; stir-fry about 30 seconds or until lentils are golden brown. Pour hot oil mixture over chutney; mix well. Cover tightly; store in refrigerator up to 1 week.

EXPERT TIPS

Expert Tips

Coconut Chutney is synonymous with the cuisine of southeastern India. Every restaurant that specializes in this region’s cuisine makes thénga chutney and often serves it with stuffed rice-lentil crepes and steamed dumplings.

Split and hulled black lentils, once open and the skin removed, aren’t black at all but are off-white. Southern Indians use this form of lentils exclusively not only for their crepes, pancakes and dumplings but also as an important ingredient in many of their spice blends.

Dried tamarind pulp comes in block form, and the tamarind concentrate paste is packaged in plastic jars. Both are available in Asian and Indian grocery stores.

If dried tamarind pulp or the concentrate paste is not available, the juice of 1 medium lime (2 tablespoons) can be used instead.

You can use 1/2 cup dried unsweetened shredded coconut in place of shredding the fresh coconut.

Pay extra attention when popping mustard seed in hot oil because its flavor will be determined by its doneness. When it is popped in hot oil, it turns nutty and sweet, a technique essential to cooking the South Indian way. If the seed continues to cook at high temperatures, it becomes bitter and pungent, a flavor highly prized in East Indian kitchens.

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View Full Nutrition Information

Nutrition Information

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
20
(
Calories from Fat
15),
% Daily Value
Total Fat
1 1/2g
1 1/2%
(Saturated Fat
1g,
1%
Trans Fat
0g
0%
),
Cholesterol
0mg
0%;
Sodium
50mg
50%;
Total Carbohydrate
0g
0%
(Dietary Fiber
0g
0%
  Sugars
0g
0%
),
Protein
0g
0%
;
% Daily Value*:
Vitamin A
0%;
Vitamin C
0%;
Calcium
0%;
Iron
0%;
Exchanges:
0 Starch; 0 Fruit; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Skim Milk; 0 Low-Fat Milk; 0 Milk; 0 Vegetable; 0 Very Lean Meat; 0 Lean Meat; 0 High-Fat Meat; 0 Fat;
Carbohydrate Choices:
0
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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Nutrition information is calculated at the time recipes are created. We do not include optional ingredients in our calculations.
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