Red Coconut Chutney

Red Coconut Chutney – A perfect pair with Neer Dosa

Red coconut chutney is a coconut-based chutney with onion and red chillies. It is a brilliant accompaniment to Dosas, Idlis and Utappams but specifically goes well with Neer dosa.

Red Coconut Chutney

Red Coconut chutney is a chutney prepared with grated coconut, red chillies and onions. This chutney makes a fantastic pairing with any dosas, but I make this specifically when it’s Neer Dosa for breakfast.

I make this red chutney quite often, as the ingredients are always available in my fridge and pantry. Grab the coconut from the fridge, an onion and red chillies from the pantry, grind and that’s it.

Red Coconut Chutney

Red coconut chutney is a frequent dish made in my kitchen as it involves very few ingredients to

Ingredients for Red Coconut Chutney

Grated Coconut – I prefer to use grated coconut since it takes less time to make it. You can also use diced coconut but be sure to pulse grind the pieces of coconut and make them look like grated coconut before adding the onions and red chillies. For this recipe, I have used 1 cup (or 1/2 coconut when split equally) for my family of 3.

Onion – In India we only get only 2 varieties of onions – the purple one and the white one. So most dishes which call for onions refer to the purple variety. Since we do not want an overwhelming onion taste, half a medium-sized onion or 1 small onion should be sufficient.

Red Chillies – Depending on the levels of spice that your family can handle, you can add as many. I do not add more than 2 red chillies since the kiddo can’t handle any more spice than that. I usually use the byadagi chilli variety as it renders a lovely red colour. They also have less heat as compared to the guntur variety.

For the tempering

Coconut oil is the best for any tadkas that involve coconut based chutney.

Wash the curry leaves and keep aside.

How to make Red Coconut chutney

The process of making red coconut chutney is fairly straightforward. Add one cup of grated coconut, 2-3 red chillies, the diced onions into the mixer jar and grind until you get a smooth paste.

You can now pour the chutney out to a bowl and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Mix well and adjust salt levels.

Place the tadka pan on to a medium-low flame. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and allow it to sputter.

You may follow it up with a teaspoon of urad dal split and allow it to slightly brown. Turn off the flame and add 2 sprigs of curry leaves.

Add half a teaspoon of asafoetida and mix the tadka well.

Pour the tadka over the chutney and mix well. Your red coconut chutney is ready.

Variations to making red coconut chutney

Mangalore Style

Start by roasting the red chillies until they are crisp. Add the onions to the same pan along with the red chillies and roast for a minute or so. Turn off the flame and roast the coconut in the residual heat. Add asafoetida to this and allow the ingredients to cool down before grinding it to a chutney. Follow this up with a tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.

The roasting process will reduce the pungency of the onions and make it easier to grind the red chillies. This recipe will be close to the Mangalore style red coconut chutney.

Kerala Style

The only difference in Kerala style of red coconut chutney is the use of Sambar Onions / Pearl Onions / Indian Shallots instead of normal purple onions.

Other Variations

The other ingredients that you can add into this chutney are ginger, tamarind and fried Bengal gram. Adding these ingredients will give you different flavours. The ginger will add more heat, the tamarind will give you a sour taste and the fried Bengal gram will yield a thicker chutney.

Shelf Life

Any coconut based chutneys are for immediate consumption, else they tend to go bad in about a couple of hours when kept outside even in cooler temperature cities like Bangalore.

You can refrigerate the chutney up to a day. You may take it out and allow it to come to room temperature or add a little warm water and consume immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Red chutney goes very well with Dosas, Idlis, Uttapams and even hot rice with ghee. This Red coconut chutney is especially prepared and served along with Neer Dosas in a lot of Mangalore homes.

Notes to make Red Coconut chutney

  • Sambar Onions or pearl onions are a great alternative to normal onions in the recipe. This will transform the taste of the chutney. Pearl onions render a sweet taste as against the pungent taste of normal onions.
  • This recipe calls for 2 red chillies – You can adjust the red chillies according to the spice level consumption in your household. In households that have a lot of adults, up to 10 red chillies are used.
  • Always use fresh coconut and not desiccated coconut or dry coconut (cobri/copra) as the chutney will get very oily. You can use the frozen variety of fresh coconut. If using frozen coconut, take the needed quantity into a cup and add a little warm water to bring it to room temperature.

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Red Coconut Chutney

Red Coconut Chutney

Red coconut chutney is a coconut based chutney with onion and red chillies. It is a brilliant accompaniment with dosas but specifically with neer dosa.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South Indian
Servings 3 people


  • 1 cup Fresh Coconut grated
  • 2 Red Chillies
  • 1/2 Onion medium sized
  • Salt to taste

For the tempering

  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Split Urad Dal
  • 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida powder


  • Dice a medium sized onion into half and add on half of the onion to a mixer jar.
  • Add one cup grated coconut to the mixer jar. Follow it up by adding 2-3 red chillies.
  • Grind the chutney until it is a smooth paste. Remove the chutney from the jar into a bowl.
    Add salt and adjust according to your taste.
  • Place a tadka pan on low-medium flame. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Once the oil is warm, add the mustard seeds and allow it to sputter.
  • Next, add the split urad dal and mix until slightly brown.
    Turn off the flame and add the curry leaves and asafoetida.
  • Mix the tadka well and pour it over the chutney.
    Mix the chutney well and your Red Coconut chutney is ready to be served.
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