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Cumin-Flavored Coconut Chutney

Posted Jul 08 2009 10:25am
For a while now grey clouds have flitted across our skies raising the hope of rains, but a month has gone by without the much sought-after downpour. Rains, this year too, have been rather elusive, reminiscent of last year. Changing weather patterns are becoming more and more a reality, it appears.

We had a ghostly feline visitor couple of mornings ago. When we opened the front door, she appeared at our doorstep, right out of nowhere. Completely white, with the lightest blue eyes I've ever seen, and heavily furred, the likes of which we don't usually see around here, in the tropical climate. She seemed lost and finally left, but not before I got a few snaps of her. A poor candidate for photography though; she simply couldn't stand in one place.

Anyway, back to the recipe. Coconut is considered a functional food. I do use coconut a few times a week in varying quantities. It's something my family and I have grown up on and I find it hard to subscribe to the ongoing disparaging information regarding the quality of its fat. It has been found to have a wide range of anti-infective properties, be it antibacterial, antiviral or antifungal. It is a rich source of fiber, which can be witnessed by the way gravies thicken when cooked with coconut flesh.

Coconut chutneys made of green chillies and coriander leaves are pretty common now, always served as a side to light fares such as dosas, idlis, vadas and other fried items.

I make this pretty often at home. However, a little recipe tweaking, I've found, can sometimes make a difference, spicing things up.

For this recipe, I grated about two-thirds of a cup of coconut flesh. I ground this with a bit of tamarind, one long green chilli, one teaspoon of cumin seeds (do not roast), and requisite salt. Some water may be added to fecilitate the grinding process. An inch of ginger may be added, if so desired.

I transfered this to a serving dish. For more zest, I added a teaspoon of finely chopped onions.

Seasoning is a must. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a small seasoning pan. When it is hot, add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds, allowing it to splutter. Then add half a teaspoon of urad dal, frying it to a golden brown. Then add a few curry leaves and dunk this in the chutney.

That little bit of jeera made a lot of difference to the taste. In addition, it is a great help to digestion.

This is my entry to the Let's Go Nuts! - Coconut event hosted by Padmajha of Seduce Your Tastebuds. Let's Go Nuts! is the brainchild of Aquadaze

This is also my entry to the RCI: Mangalore and Udupi cuisines Event hosted by Monsoon Spice. Regional Cuisines of India was started by Lakshmi at Veggie Cuisine.

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