coconut chutney

This simple coconut chutney, or getti chutni, is a common South Indian chutney. This recipe comes from Hyderabad.

It is always made fresh and accompanies idli, dosa or vada. Which, given how often these are eaten in India, makes this accompaniment one of the most popular chutneys in India. It is as ubiquitous as green chutney.

It has a wonderful coconut flavour, with just enough bite from the chilli. The tempered oil gives a wonderful aroma.

Because it is a fresh chutney it does not keep. It will last up to a week if stored in an airtight jar and refrigerated. After a few days it will lose flavour.

The word chutney is derived from the Hindi chatni which means crushed. Chutney ingredients were usually crushed to a coarse texture using a stone mortar and a hand pestle. Food processors now make this easier. In particular this recipe becomes so simple to prepare.

If there was a recipe to encourage use of fresh coconut, then this is it. The only unusual ingredient is the roasted dal, but this is readily available from Indian grocers. Vegans should ensure the dal has not been roasted in ghee.

Something similar to this chutney is used to coat fish in Parsi cooking – see our recipe for fish steamed with coconut and coriander.

the recipe

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for the coconut

  • 1 cup coconut - grated
  • 2 tbsp roasted channa dal - (bhuna channa)
  • 1 green chilli
  • 20 g ginger
  • ½ tsp salt

to temper


for the coconut

  • Place the coconut, roasted channa dal, green chilli, ginger and salt with 150ml of water in a food processor and process to a smooth, thick consistency. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

to temper

  • Heat gingelly oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the cumin seeds and urad dal. Fry until the urad dal till it becomes brown.
  • Add the curry leaves, red chilli and the asafoetida.
  • Fry for a minute or until tempered oil becomes aromatic.
  • Pour the tempered oil onto the coconut chutney. Mix gently and serve.


  • Fresh coconut will taste much better than desiccated coconut. If you only have desiccated coconut, increase the water to 250ml and use hot water.
  • Roasted channa dal is available from good Indian grocers. Buy as small a packet as you can.
  • Gingelly oil is Indian sesame oil. It is very different to the Asian sesame oil, being much less intense in flavour. Substitute with vegetable oil if unobtainable.
  • This is a fresh chutney and will only last for two days kept in a refrigerator.

private notes

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Serving: 100 g | Calories: 147 kcal | Carbohydrates: 11 g | Protein: 3 g | Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Cholesterol: 0 mg | Sodium: 341 mg | Potassium: 137 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 2 g | Vitamin A: 125 IU | Vitamin C: 28.5 mg | Calcium: 12 mg | Iron: 1.3 mg

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