Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What did the Coconut say to the straw?


Q: What is brown, hairy, and wears sunglasses?
A: A coconut on vacation
Q: Why did the coconut stop in the middle of the road?
A: Because he ran out of juice!

Q - What did the Hurricane say to the coconut tree?
A - Hold on to your nuts! This is no ordinary B*** J**!!

Now I know this is a highly inappropriate way of starting a blog post, especially one which is about my Mom’s trademark recipe…  but when it comes to coconuts, I cannot help it! They are the butt of so many jokes. A Mallu friend of mine was called Thenga (Coconut in Tamil) by my whole family for years; Coconut Oil and its diligent application by South-Indians another one of those things that lends itself to jokes galore; And what with it being a nut and a fruit, cracks abound!
But jokes or no jokes, coconut is an integral part of every South-Indian kitchen. Growing up, our Sunday meals were incomplete without my Mom’s special Kobarikaya Patchadi (Coconut Chutney). It is spicy with a hint of sweet and sour and is sure to tantalize your taste buds!


Fresh Coconut – Half
Tamarind – 1 small 1-inch ball or 1 tsp pulp
Green Chillies – 2 to 3
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
Sugar – ¼ tsp

For the tempering:
Oil – 1 tbsp
Urad Dal – 1 tsp
Channa Dal – 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing – 1 pinch

Soak the tamarind in 1/4th cup of water. Take half a fresh coconut and either scrape it with a coconut scraper or cut it into small pieces. I personally find pieces more convenient. There is less danger of turning the chutney into a mushy affair!

In your mixer jar, pulse the coconut pieces with the green chillies, tamarind, salt, sugar and turmeric powder. Do not blend too much. The coconut should now have a roughly grated consistency. Taste and check salt and spice. Add more green chillies if you like.

In a small tempering ladle, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and urad dal. Once it starts sputtering, add the channa dal and the hing. Remove when the pulses turn golden-brown. Pour this onto the coconut mixture in the mixer jar and pulse for just about 20 seconds. The tempering should still be coarse and should not disappear into the chutney. Now spoon out the chutney into a dish and its ready to serve!

The way I like it:
You can add a dried red chilli to the tempering for more spice. The best way to have this chutney is to mix it with some hot, steamed rice with a teaspoon of ghee or oil. It makes for some spicy, delicious coconut rice. You can also serve it with Dosas and Idlis, but nothing beats Kobarikaya Patchadi (Coconut Chutney) and rice!

This recipe is my entry to Priya’s  Big Chutney Chow Down. Do check it out for a treasure trove of dips, chutneys, relishes and the like.