There is no better accompaniment to your dosa or idly than a freshly stone ground coconut chutney. The crushing of the coconut, chillies, curry leaves and pottukadalai releases flavours that you simply do not get when blending things in a mixie/vitamiser. The texture is quite smooth and there is balance of aromas & flavours from nutty coconut, the heat from the green chillies and the freshness of the curry leaves is something else altogether!
It’s been a while since we’ve enjoyed stone ground chutney’s in The Tiffin Times household but today we happened to be discussing the merits and the how’s and why’s of owning an Ammikallu (அம்மிகல்லு – stone grinder) – which I think in India, particularly with my generation, is fast becoming a more common sight at wedding mandapams than in households.
The Ammikallu is basically a flat rectangular stone with a cylindrical stone pestle. The stones are used to grind spices back and forth until it is in powder form or a paste. Over time, with years of use the granite stones becomes smooth, rounded and seasoned!
This recipe had been sitting in my draft box for a while now and with all the talk about ammikallu’s I thought there was better time to post it than now.
Stone Ground Coconut Chutney
Pottukadalai (roasted Bengal gram) – 1/4 cup
Green chillies – 1-2 (or as per taste)
Fresh coconut grated – 1 cup
Fresh ginger – 1 inch
Garlic – 2 pods
Salt to taste
Curry leaves – 1 sprigs
Water (to sprinkle on chutney when being ground)
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Black mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dhal – 1 tsp
Dried red chillies – 2
Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
1. Grind (using the stone grinder of course 😉 until a smooth paste and set aside. The trick is to only use sprinkles of water and instead use the cream released from the coconut to keep it wet.
2. For tempering, in a small saucepan bring to heat the oil and add the ingredients listed for tempering one by one and allow to splutter.
3. Once the mustard seeds has popped, add this straightaway to the coconut chutney and mix well.
4. Server with dosa, idli, vada, poori etc.
Note: Step 1 can be completed using a blender instead.