Red Chilli Coconut Chutney is a delicious and easy-to-make South Indian style chutney that tastes delicious with dosa and idli. It comes together in just 15 minutes using simple ingredients (vegan).
About This Recipe
Coconut Chutney is one of the most popular South Indian condiments and no idli dosa meal is complete without a side of it.
This spicy red chilli coconut chutney is a delicious variation of the classic white coconut chutney. The dry red chillies give a lovely smoky flavor to this red coconut chutney apart from the heat.
This bright and vibrant red coconut chutney recipe comes together in under 15 minutes and uses basic pantry ingredients. It is vegan and can be easily made gluten-free.
This coconut chutney is different from the Maharashtrian dry coconut garlic chutney which is served along with vada pav. I have a lovely recipe to make vada pav chutney, do check it out too.
Serve it with any South Indian breakfast dishes like dosa, idli, uttapam, etc.
You will get all the ingredients to make this red chutney in any Indian grocery store.
Fresh Coconut – This chutney is ideally made using fresh coconut but you can also use desiccated coconut or unsweetened coconut flakes. You can use dry coconut in place of fresh coconut but the taste will be different.
To save time, buy already grated fresh coconut from the freezer section of an Indian grocery store.
Dried Red Chilies – Try to use Kashmiri dried red chilies or Bedgi Chilies as they give a lovely red vibrant color to the chutney without making it too spicy. If you like your chutney spicy, go for spicy chilies like Guntur chili.
Roasted Chana – Add in some roasted chana (Bengal gram, bhuna chana), as it adds a great texture to the chutney and also prevents it from getting watery.
Tamarind Paste – This adds that much-needed tanginess to the chutney.
Others – Other than the above-mentioned ingredients, you will also need garlic, fresh ginger, asafoetida (hing), salt, and Kashmiri red chilli powder.
For The Tempering
Tempering (Tadka) is optional but it gives a lovely flavor to the chutney and is highly recommended. You will need mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida (hing), curry leaves, and dry red chilies.
You can also add some white urad dal and chana dal to the tempering for a nice crunch in this chutney.
How To Make Red Coconut Chutney
Start by preparing the coconut. Discard the outer cover and take out the flesh of the coconut. Grate it using the large hole of a box grater or scrape it using a coconut scraper. You can also chop it into small pieces instead of grating.
Check out this detailed post on how to prepare coconut.
Tip – To save time, buy frozen grated coconut from the freezer section of an Indian grocery store.
Remove the stalks of the dry red chilies. Break them into small pieces if your blender is not too strong. Remove the seeds of the chilies if you like the chutney to be even milder.
Chop or grate the ginger and peel the garlic cloves.
Gather the remaining ingredients.
Make The Chutney
Add 1 cup (tightly packed) of grated or chopped coconut, 2 tablespoon roasted Bengal gram (bhuna chana), ½ teaspoon grated ginger, 3-4 cloves of garlic, 6-8 Kashmiri dry red chilies (discard the stalks), ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing), ½ teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoon tamarind paste, and 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder to the jar of a high-speed blender.
Add approx ½ cup of water and blend to make a smooth chutney. You can add more water if required.
Scrape the sides of the blender a few times while blending.
Check for salt and add more if required and blend again.
Note – The color and spiciness of the chutney will depend on the quality of the dry red chilies used. Use best quality organic chilies for the best result.
Transfer the chutney to the serving bowl.
Temper The Chutney (Tadka)
For the tempering, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. You can also use ghee, sesame oil, or coconut oil for the tempering.
Once the oil is hot, add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds and ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
Add ¼ teaspoon asafetida, 10-12 curry leaves, and 2-3 dry red chillies and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds. Stir gently while frying.
Pour the tempering over the chutney. Mix well and serve.
Tip – Save some tempering for garnishing.
Each South Indian state has a slight variation in which they make this chutney. It is also made differently in different homes. I am listing a few variations that you can try too.
To make Kerala Style red chili coconut chutney, use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil.
To make this chutney in Mangalore style, add a teaspoon of jaggery while grinding the chutney.
Some people also add shallots (pearl onions) in their chutney. Just fry the shallot in some oil until lightly browned. Then blend them along with other ingredients.
Make this chutney with tomatoes. Saute chopped tomatoes in little oil for 4-5 minutes. Add them with the remaining ingredients and make a chutney.
Red Coconut Chutney tastes best at room temperature.
This lip-smacking accompaniment is great to serve with South Indian dishes like idli, dosa, paniyaram, medu vada, bonda, rava dosa, or uttapam.
This chutney will last for about 2 to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Make sure to use a fresh and dry spoon every time you take out chutney from the container.
If it has thickened after refrigerating, add some water to it and mix well.
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Red Chilli Coconut Chutney Recipe
For The Chutney
- 1 cup grated fresh coconut (tightly packed)
- 2 tablespoons roasted Bengal gram (bhuna chana)
- ½ teaspoon grated ginger
- 3-4 whole garlic cloves (peeled)
- 6-8 whole Kashmiri dry red chilies (stalks removed, remove seeds for a milder chutney)
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- ½ cup water (for grinding)
For The Tempering (Tadka)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (you can also use ghee, sesame seeds or coconut oil)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing)
- 10-12 whole curry leaves
- 2-3 whole dry red chilies
Make Red Coconut Chutney
- Add coconut, roasted Bengal gram, ginger, garlic, Kashmiri dry red chilies, asafetida, salt, tamarind paste, and Kashmiri red chili powder to the jar of a high-speed blender.
- Add approx ½ cup of water and blend to make a smooth chutney. You can add more water if required. Scrape the sides of the blender a few times while blending.
- Check for salt and add more if required. Blend again.
- Transfer the chutney to the serving bowl.
Temper Red Coconut Chutney (Tadka)
- Heat vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. You can also use ghee, sesame oil, or coconut oil for the tempering.
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
- Add asafetida, curry leaves, and dry red chilies and let them crackle for 3-4 seconds. Stir gently while frying.
- Pour the tempering over the chutney. Mix well and serve at room temperature or chilled.
- Tip – Save some tempering for garnishing.