Thursday, 10 January 2013

Coconut Chutney - Indian and Sri Lankan Style!

"Pehla nasha, pehla khumaar,
Naya pyaar hai, naya intezaar.
Karloon mein kya apna haal,
Aye dile bekaraar,
Mere dile bekaraar, tu hi bataa...."

I could listen to this song everyday! What a composition! I dedicate this song to one of my special loves - coconut. :P Bet you didn't expect that! 

If you love this song, then you'll love this piano rendition. This guy has got to be one of the best I've heard on Youtube - Pehla Nasha by Pianowork.

So from my last post, it's pretty easy to gather that I'm obsessed with coconuts. When I go to India, I have naariyal paani/elaneer with the malai/coconut pieces at least twice a day, and if I don't, the day is not complete! It's one of the many things I love about India - the amazing coconut juice and pieces you get fresh every day on any given street. It won't be long till I buy myself an aruva kathi (the large curved knife they use to cut the coconuts) and start chopping like a ninja!

One of my very closest and dearest friends, Suge, is Sri Lankan. And through my acquaintance with her, I've been introduced to the finest homemade Sri Lankan food, and I've fallen in love. One particular dish that I could eat almost everyday and never get bored, is a simple chutney called Sambol (aka Pol Sambol). It takes 5 minutes to make, is GENIUS, and will drive you absolutely coconuts! When I tasted it for the first time, it very much resembled the Indian coconut chutney that is often served with Idli and Dosa. So, here are both recipes...

I'm in love with the Sri Lankan style chutney, and my husband can't do without the Indian style one, so we decided to have both! They're both very easy to prepare so it was ready in no time :)

Total time required: 5 minutes
Serves: 4 people

1 cup dessicated coconut (or shredded fresh)
1 onion finely chopped into tiny pieces
1 teaspoon chilli powder or chilli flakes (add more if you like it spicy)
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons of water
Salt to taste
Mix all the ingredients together except for the lime juice and water. Add the lime juice and mix well. Add the water little by little. Let it absorb it well. Don't make it watery.

Serve with dosa, appam, idiappam, curd rice or idli. Goes awesome with just anything!!!!!!

Total time required: 15 minutes
Serves: 4 people

Ingredients to grind

1 cup dessicated/freshly grated coconut
1 small bunch of fresh coriander with stem removed
2 green chillies
1 teaspoon of ginger
1 cup of Pottu kadalai (Split Bengal gram/ split roasted gram / roasted channa / split roasted Chickpeas)
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida (perungaayam)
Salt to taste
For tempering
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon urad daal (ultham paruppu)

Take all the ingredients to grind in a mixie/blender and add a little bit of water to start with. When starting to grind, it may struggle a bit, so you can add a bit more water. You essentially want to end up with a thick liquid consistency; it should not be runny. Once you've done this, transfer it to a serving bowl, add the asafoetida and salt, mix very well and keep aside.

In a small pan, add the oil and allow to heat. Then add the mustard seeds and daal and close the pan to prevent it from spluttering outside the pan. Allow it cook for about half a minute till the daal goes brown. Turn off the heat and pour this into the chutney bowl. 

Mix well. Serve with hot dosa, idli, appam or pongal.