I belong to the Southern part of India and we make a lot of traditional dips otherwise popularly known as “Chutneys”
in the Indian food culture. One can play with this idea and make so many variations of chutneys once you have a basic understanding of making a chutney.
I have picked 3 of my best Chutneys for you—-
1) Coconut Chutney
Toast 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen but thawed coconut in a pan under medium flame with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil with chopped green chili, 2 teaspoon of roasted Bengal gram lentils and salt to taste. Blend in a food processor or blender to turn into a semi smooth paste.
Garnish with Cilantro, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
2) Tomato Chutney
Take a pan under medium flame and add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil, 1 cup of chopped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds,
1 teaspoon of red cayenne/ chili powder, 1/2 inch of grated fresh ginger or paste, 3 garlic cloves finely chopped and sauté with 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder and salt to taste and blend to a fine paste. Garnish with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
3) TRADITIONAL “THOGAYAL” OR LENTIL CHUTNEY WITH COCONUT
For this chutney, you need 2 teaspoons of Black gram lentils or Black Lentils – although its called black gram these lentils are white on the outside with black seed inside -its called ” Urad dal” in the Indian food culture. You also need 1 teaspoon of Split chickpeas which is yellow in color. Toast both these in a pan under low flame with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Add 1/2 cup of coconut- fresh or frozen grated thawed- and toast with salt and 2/3 fresh red chilis. If you don’t have fresh red chili substitute using cayenne powder. Throw all of this in a blender and grind with as little water as possible. I also add a small piece of fresh tamarind. If not available you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice for acidity. In my household growing up this was one chutney that was never garnished and was gobbled up before it got to the table:)