Coconut Chutney (தேங்காய் பொறி கடலை சட்னி) is the most common side dish for Dosa or Idly. Most Tamilian homes make this many times a week.
1/2 coconut – cut the coconut flesh into pieces or shred it.
1/2 cup Daliya split / Pori kadalai (tamil)
Small piece ginger
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
I or 2 green Chili(es)
I shred coconuts during weekends and store them in air tight bags in freezer or the chiller compartment in the refrigerator. You may use store bought frozen shredded coconuts too. Try to avoid dessicated coconut or coconut powder as the taste can never come close.
Allow the coconut to thaw at room temperature while you get the other ingredients ready.
Ginger and Garlic is not always added to this chutney. But I add them because they are super foods and coconut and daliya split will mask some of their spicy taste if not all of it. I grab every chance to eat these super foods raw. Some people’s body may find coconut difficult to digest.
Ginger and garlic will aid in digesting coconut. Get a protein boost early in the morning with Daliya split (பொறி கடலை) and there is no need to make a separate protein shake today.
Coconut has received a bad reputation recently. I believe most of it is due to the rich and powerful cooking oil companies. Now people have started to avoid coconut completely and then we wonder why we are not having thick lustrous hair as we once used to have. I believe plants and trees that naturally grow in a geographical location are meant to help the local people cope with the climactic conditions of the locals. My grandma swears that coconut cools the eyes. She seems to have a thing for cool eyes :mrgreen: . Raw coconut is better than cooked coconut and this chutney is a wonderful idea to include raw coconut in our menu.
Thinly shredded shallots (optional)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black gram seeds
2 dry red chillies
Few curry leaves and coriander leaves (cilantro)
Oil for seasoning
Salt for taste.
Grind Coconut, daliya split, green chillies, ginger, garlic in a blender with a little amount of water.
Grind till you reach this consistency. It should not be too coarse but at the same time, it should not be ground into a fine paste. The chutney tastes better if it has some texture to it.
This ground paste without any seasoning is called thogayal or thuvaiyal in Tamil. This can be consumed as such and is common on days when we are running late and there is no time to season.
Add salt if necessary.
Gingelly oil / Sesame oil adds taste to not only dosa but also chutney. So I generally season with sesame oil. It fumes a bit more than cooking oil so adjust the temperature accordingly.
After all mustard seeds have finished spluttering, add dry chillies and when they have changed color slightly, add cumin seeds.
Then add black gram dal and curry leaves. When the curry leaves are fried add onions and stir fry for a minute. Black gram dal should be golden brown or it will be uncooked and feel soggy in the mouth. When fried properly, it will give a nice crunchy and tasty texture to the chutney.
Switch off the stove and leave it to cool. This step is very important. The seasoning should be warm not hot because we don’t want it to cook the coconut.
Another tip is to pour the seasoning into the vessel with the chutney and not pour the ground paste into the hot vessel that was used for seasoning or else the coconut will get cooked and taste bad.
So it is a better idea to season first and while it is getting cooled, you can grind the coconut and make the dosas. Proper sequencing and multitasking is very important when your kid has to leave home at 6:15 am. (I cannot believe that I am waking up at 5 am nowadays. I have never woken up so early even for exams haha!)
Pour the seasoning into the chutney / thogayal. Mix well and garnish with cilantro / coriander leaves and enjoy.
This coconut chutney has to be refrigerated as coconut has a very short shelf life but it will keep well in the fridge up to 3 days if you make sure you always use clean dry spoon to scoop it out.
Dosa getting ready side by side. What you see below is the thick and soft variety of dosa called Kal dosa. This will not be crispy and crunchy like dosa roast or paper dosa. This is soft and easier to chew and swallow in the morning rush hour unlike crispy dosa that can poke the throat if swallowed in a hurry. :mrgreen: