Telugu people are famous for their breakfast chutneys. A lovely accompaniment to various breakfast recipes such as Idlis, Dosas, Upmas and even Puris (which is Hyderabadi style), these chutneys form an essential part of the morning ritual for a lot of people. I personally prefer eating places which offer a wide variety of chutneys with breakfast (with a heavy price tag ofcourse). The chutney range includes white chutney (groundnut/coconut/roasted bengal gram dal in various proportions), red chutney (ginger) and green chuntey(mint). The authentic, though, is the white chutney. This is very versatile to make,where you simply use different ingredients in various permutations and combinations to get a different taste everytime.
Here is a simple recipe of the quintessential Idli chutney recipe:
Roasted peanuts : 1 cup
Fresh coconut : 1 cup
Red chillies : adjust according to taste
Green chillies: according to taste
Tamarind : small lemon size
Garlic pods : 4 – 5 or adjust according to taste
Coriander leaves: small bunch
Salt : to taste
For the tempering:
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera: 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida/hing/inguva: a pinch
Dry red chillies: 1 or 2 optional
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Curry leaves: a few
OIl: to saute the ingredients
Warm oil in a pan or a skillet. Add the green chillies and garlic pods and allow them to fry. They need to blister. Take care not to burn them. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
Add some more oil to the pan. Add the dry red chillies and allow to saute for a minute. Just before turning off the pan, add the coriander leaves and tamarind. Stir. Turn off the stove. Alternatively, you can soak the tamarind, extract the pulp and add it directly to the blender.
Blend together the roasted groundnuts and coconut along with all the sautéed ingredients along with some salt.
Prepare the tempering by adding all the ingredients in the given order to warm oil. When the tempering is aromatic and ready, just add it to the blended chutney and mix well.
The chuntey can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for a couple of days if you are in India and for upto a week if you are in the US