Unlike North Indian chutneys, which are fruit- or tomato-based, South Indian chutneys usually contain coconut. The sweet fresh taste of a chutney like this one is a pleasant contrast to the spiciness of the rest of the meal.
1 1⁄3 cups of grated fresh coconut or dry shredded coconut (unsweetened)
2 green chilies
1 medium carrot, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1⁄4 cups of water
1 teaspoon cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon curry leaves
1 teaspoon oil
1 red chili
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon asafoetida
Grind the coconut, chilies, carrots, salt, lemon juice, and water in a food processor until it has the consistency of oatmeal. Finely chop the coriander and curry leaves and add them to the mixture.
Fry the chili, mustard seed, and asafoetida in the oil, add to the chutney while hot, and stir. Serve as a cooling accompaniment to the meal.
Colleen Taylor Sen is a freelance writer specializing in food and travel with a focus on India. Her articles have appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The Christian Science Monitor, and Travel and Leisure. She is a student at the Sivananda Yoga Center.