Peanuts or ground nuts as they are commonly known in India, are not a typical crop of my home state – Kerala. It is widely cultivated in other parts of south India, as an important part of the crop rotation cycle. Did you know that peanuts are not nuts at all. It is part of the legume family, just like beans and peas. I hadn’t really give it a thought until I found farmers selling freshly picked peanut bunches – yes they were attached to the roots of the plant.
Not surprisingly peanuts are found in many dishes in South India – including curries and chutneys. It is a good thickener, adding body and sweet nutty flavor to the dishes. It is also are an easy way to add copper, vitamins and protein to the diet. A good source of cost effective vegetarian/vegan protein !!
Sorry , I tend to ramble at times, but let me get back to the subject at hand – Coconut Chutney with Peanuts. As all coconut chutneys this too is best prepared with fresh coconut. Frozen coconut is ok too, but dried or desiccated coconut are not good for this type of chutney. If you only have dried coconut make the chutney powder like the flaxseed chutney powder.
So here is how you make it . Dry roast the peanuts. Peanuts have good amount of oils in them. There is no need to add any extra oil to the pan. Dry roast them over low to medium heat, stirring often to prevent the nuts from burning. Trust me, you can do a better job than I did in the picture. As the nuts get roasted, they turn light brown and start releasing oils. This is your cue to stop.
Cool the peanuts a bit while you are assembling the remaining ingredients. Grind the coconut, peanuts, salt and green chilies (if using) and ginger together in a blender bowl to a fairly smooth paste adding just a little water. A dash of heat from the chilies enhances the nutty taste. But the chutney tastes good even without the chilies, so I leave it up to you. In a small pan heat 1 tablespoon oil and fry the seasonings – mustard , urad dal , curry leaves and red chilies are the typical seasoning spices for this recipe , but at a minimum use mustard seeds.
If needed add more water to the chutney mix to obtain the desired consistency. Taste and adjust salt. Transfer the chutney to a serving bowl. Pour the seasoning oil along with spices on top . Serve immediately or chill for later.
- This chutney stays fresh for a couple of hours, but if you are panning to use later chill or freeze.
- Take out the refrigerated chutney 10 minutes before using to let it come back to room temperature and give a gentle stir before serving.
- If freezing store without the seasoning. Make the fresh seasoning each time or freeze the seasoning separately and thaw and add just before serving .
- The chutney can be frozen up to a month in advance.
- Divide into single use portions before freezing , and let it thaw in the fridge or under running water and use immediately.
Here is another coconut chutney recipe that you might like :