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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Garlic Coconut Chutney

This is a chutney that is an absolute must with Batata Vada or Vada Pav to get the authentic taste of the dish.  It is a perfect side to any Indian meal and has a slight pungent taste from the garlic. This is made mainly with two ingredients, viz. garlic and coconut but with a couple of added spices, this packs a ton of flavor.

Whenever I eat batata vada with this chutney, it takes me to childhood memories. We used to take trips during summer vacations, and many of those used to be between Pune and Mumbai. We used to take the train and the highlight of the train journey for me was the delicacies we would be able to eat on the way. My parents did not encourage eating street food and used to prefer home made food. Since, this was  one of the rare times we got to eat these foods, I used to look forward to it eagerly. The train used to stop at Karjat station for just a few minutes. This was famous for the batata vadas that one could buy at the station and the taste was just amazing. During that brief halt, my dad used to get off the train and buy vada pav, which used to be served with a generous amount of this chutney mixed with bits of the fried vada batter. These few moments filled with excitement and thrill as the train stop was literally just a few minutes and many a times it used to start moving without my dad in sight. Every time my heart would be pounding with worry that he had been left behind. And I still remember the sense of relief when I used to see him walking with the packed of the vadas in his hand. At that age, I didn't like the vada pav combination and used to enjoy the vadas with this chutney.

It has been decades since I made that journey, but that taste lingers on and whenever I make batata vadas, whether there is pav or not, this chutney always accompanies it, helping me rejoice in my nostalgia.

1/4 cup garlic cloves
3/4-1 cup dessicated coconut, shredded/grated
salt to taste
red chilli powder to taste, I added 1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp sugar

Cut the garlic cloves into smaller pieces for ease of grinding. Then put all the ingredients in the blender and using the pulse function, grind this to make a finer consistency. Do not add water and do not make a paste. Open the mixer every few pulses and scrape it down and mix up the chutney. The coconut threads should still show a little and the garlic gets a pasty texture. You can over blend in the mixer, but it will still taste great.

The best texture or consistency is obtained by mixing it using a mortar and pestle, which is how I made it this time. I make it both ways depending on how much time I have.

Store this in an airtight container, in the fridge and it will last you over a month.

The garlic has a pungent smell, so be careful of how much chilli powder you add. You can always add more and mix it into the chutney after it has been ground. The scraping and mixing of the chutney while in the mixer, will prevent the coconut from getting pasty and releasing oil.


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