Monday, April 20, 2015

Cilantro-Coconut Chutney/Dip; Meatless Monday

For time immemorial, Cilantro is the most commonly  used herb in India. It is used in chutneys, dips, sauces, and for garnishing. It gives the dish a nice flavor.I often make cilantro-coconut chutney to go with my dosas and idlis. It is healthy, delicious and super-easy to make. You can also make cilantro chutney without using coconut.

The recipe for that is slightly different as it is usually made by grinding cilantro using lemon juice so as to increase it's shelf life. With coconut, the chutney has a very short shelf life as the coconut goes rancid pretty easily. Unless it is for chaat, I like the coconut-cilantro chutney more as it has a very hearty deliciousness. Here is the recipe for the cilantro-coconut chutney made in my home.

Servings: Makes around 2 cups


Cilantro: 1 bunch, leaves separated from the stems; stems discarded.
Freshly grated coconut: 1 cup
Green chillies: 2 small
Fresh ginger: 1 inch, peeled.
Garlic: 2 small cloves
Tamarind: if dry marble sized. If using the pulp, 1/4 tsp.
Salt: as per taste
Water: 1/2 cup

Tempering: ( optional)
Coconut oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 sprig


In a blender, add all the above ingredients except cilantro and grind them.When coconut is almost ground to a fine paste, add the cilantro and blend it to a fine paste. You could add a little more water while grinding as needed as per your desired consistency of the chutney.

Tempering ( optional):
Heat coconut oil in a small frying pan. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves and turn off the flame.
Add this tempering to the chutney.

This chutney could be served with samosas,rotis, fritters, rotisserie chicken, kebabs etc. It could also be used in sandwiches.


Cooking made easy:

For chutneys, it is best to pluck the cilantro leaves from the stem and use it. The use of the stem part in the chutney can make the chutney taste bitter.  Reserve the stems and use it in dishes like tomato saaru, dal and sambar. When added in this manner, the stems add flavor and aroma to the dish.

Tip for healthy living:

Making chutneys and dip using different vegetables and herbs is a great way to include soluble and insoluble fiber in our daily diet. Fiber helps prevent bowel irregularities and is essential for good gastrointestinal health and function. Dietary fiber also may help with feeling full and satiated and therefore eating smaller meals which in turn helps with weight control.

Food for thought:

The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of one's self to others. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin