Chutney is one of the most irresistible and exquisite dishes from the entire panoply of Indian cuisine. There are so many recipes for chutney made of different ingredients that we as Indians are sure to have lost count. Moreover, there are multiple renditions of the same chutney recipe, driven by the fundamental cooking and diet preferences and differences across the length and breadth of the country. And of course, chutneys can be both vegetarian and non-vegetarian, in case you did not know.One of the oldest and most appetizing chutney recipes is the coconut-based one that has won over generations after generations, and continues to remain a hot favourite across the country and beyond its borders. If you have not had it yet, you should know that you are most certainly missing out on something. It is not just tasty but also very healthy. Let us take a look at the reasons illustrating its ageless popularity. Health Benefits of Coconut ChutneyCoconut chutney is not only tasty and easy to make, but it is also very healthy. The cholesterol and fat in coconut are good for the human body. Moderate consumption of coconut chutney is unerringly healthy for everybody. We can list off 10 health benefits of coconut chutney. Following are some of the health benefits of Indias famous nariyal chutney. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also an antioxidant that keeps free radicals at bay. It helps avoid inflammation and related pain. It promotes digestion and metabolism. It can reduce blood pressure in people who have high blood pressure. It helps regulate LDL and HDL cholesterol. The fibres in coconut chutney help avoid constipation. The cooling and antibacterial effect also help avoid stomach upset. The antioxidants and vitamins help boost immunity. It boosts metabolism and gives you energy.The high amount of minerals and vitamins also help keep your skin clear if consumed in moderation daily. Common Ingredients for Coconut ChutneyYou will find many variations of coconut chutney recipes here. To make it easy for you to understand the fundamentals of the recipes, find mentioned below the common list of ingredients that you would ideally need to use - Freshly grated coconut Green chillies Dried red chillies Ginger Garlic Salt Sesame oil, coconut oil, or olive oil Mustard seeds Fresh curry leaves Cumin seeds Asafoetida (Hing) Roasted urad dal or chana dal The specific recipes will add the primary novel ingredient. But these are the ingredients you need for basic coconut chutney. You will be using most of these ingredients in all the variations of a good nariyal chutney recipe. Original Coconut ChutneyThis is the plain nariyal chutney you will be offered with most South Indian dishes at a restaurant. Its neutral taste makes it go well with anything. It is so refreshing that you can have it without anything else to soak in its cooling effect. Let us take a look at how to make it at home: Grind two green chillies (avoid this step if you want a cool taste), a sliver of ginger or garlic or both, two tablespoons of roasted chana dal, and half a cup of freshly grated coconut. Add salt to taste and water according to the consistency you want. Grind it again. Tempering: Heat a pan and add half a tablespoon of sesame oil on low heat. You can also use olive oil or coconut oil. Add half a teaspoon of mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds start crackling, add half a teaspoon of urad dal. You can skip this step if you are not a fan of mustard or the effect the dish will have on account of this mustard-adding process. Add half a teaspoon of cumin seeds. Keep on a low flame and let the urad dal start turning brown and the cumin seeds crackle thereby enhancing the overall aroma. Add one seedless dry red chilli, a few curry leaves, and a pinch of hing and mix till the curry leaves get crispy. This is how the tempering of the spices will be achieved. Add the contents of the grinder into the pan and mix well. Add some water if it is too thick. Your original coconut chutney is ready. If you have made more than what you need then separate the additional portion before serving and refrigerate it. This way you can store and keep it from going off and also if you like it cool, you can have it straight out of the refrigerator. You can skip the urad dal and cumin seeds if you are not a fan of either. Coriander Coconut Chutney Coriander lovers can do more than sprinkle coriander leaves on regular coconut chutney. You can make coriander coconut chutney. Here is how: Rinse and chop the coriander leaves Freshly grated coconuts Add a more or less 1:1 ratio of coriander paste and grated coconut in a blender Add a sliver of ginger, garlic, and chopped seedless green chilli (this time it is recommended to not skip the chilli) Add half a teaspoon of roasted chana dal (still optional) Add half a teaspoonful of lemon juice Add sugar and salt to taste. The sugar is however an optional ingredient Blend it all with the help of water. Add water as per the desired consistency Carry out the tempering process as mentioned in the regular coconut chutney recipe Pour the ingredients of the grinder into the tempering and mix to attain a good consistencyIf you make it thick you can use this chutney in sandwiches tooMint Coconut Chutney If you are one of those people who love pudina in everything, you will be glad to try this easy recipe. Refer to the steps articulated below to comprehend everything that you need to do: Blend freshly ground coconut as mentioned in the first recipe. Heat a pan. Add a tablespoon of oil of your choosing. Add mustard seeds. When the seeds are crackling, add two green chillies and saut for about a minute. Add the mint leaves and cook just as long as they start to wilt. Dont add too many mints leaves no matter how big a fan you are of them. Remember, about a good lot of 10 leaves will be enough for four servings. Add this temper to the grinder and blend again. Alternatively, you can add the ingredients of the blender to the pan and stir for a few seconds before turning off the flame.Your cool mint coconut chutney is ready. Raw Mango Coconut ChutneyRaw mango chutney is not only tasty but also very healthy. Try this out during spring and the beginning of summer: Blend pieces of raw mango, and green chillies along with a handful of freshly ground coconut. The coconut and mango should be in a 3:1 ratio. Now add salt to it as per your discretion. Prepare the tempering as per the instructions in the original nariyal chutney recipe mentioned above. Empty the contents of the blender into a bowl and pour the tempering on top.Your raw mango infused coconut chutney is ready. You may serve the same with anything that could use some desi seasonal condiments. Capsicum Coconut Chutney Capsicum sounds like an odd choice for chutney but when used in the right amount, it does wonder. Here is how you can make capsicum coconut chutney: Heat a pan and dry roast some urad dal. When the dal turns red, add red chillies and cumin. When it is kind of crispy, take it off the heat. Let it cool and grind it up in a blender. Heat some oil in a pan. Saut some onions, capsicum, and garlic in the hot pan. You can also add a small tomato as an optional ingredient. Let it cool once after the onions and garlic are golden brown and the smell of the capsicum is gone. Put this in the blender that has the powdered dal, chillies, and cumin combination. Once again, heat a little bit of oil in a pan. Toss the ground coconut until light brown. Put it in a bowl. Heat oil in the pan again. Add a hint of mustard seeds, some curry leaves, and one dried red chilli and mix until the curry leaves are done. Empty the ingredients of the blender into the bowl with the coconut grounds. Pour the contents of the pan on top of the blended ingredients.The procedure seems lengthy because of the number of times you blend and heat the ingredients in the pan. But it is easy and quick. Do try out this one to experience and enjoy a different kind of coconut chutney. Kopra Dried Coconut ChutneyYou do not have to wait for homemade coconut chutney if you cant find a fresh coconut. You can make coconut chutney from dried coconut as well and store it for weeks to enjoy it through the subsequent weeks. The procedure to make it is slightly different though.Here is how you do it - Roast grated coconut on low heat until it starts turning brown. Add a pinch of salt, red chilli powder, and asafoetida (hing) in a blender along with a few cloves of garlic and a dash of tamarind. Add a small block of jaggery to balance the sourness of the tamarind and the hotness of the chillies. Add the roasted coconut grounds and blend. Store in an airtight glass jar and enjoy for up to a month. It can last longer in a cooler climate. If you are making just enough chutney for a week you dont even need to roast the grated coconut. You can use this chutney to cook vegetables as well.Red Coconut Chutney (Kerala Style)Those who prefer everything a little spicier to the tongue, are more likely to prefer the red coconut chutney recipe to the basic white one. It is simple to make. Here is how you do it Add half a cup of grated coconut, half an onion, two dried red chillies, one small cube of ginger, and a couple of garlic cloves in a blender. Add salt to taste and blend it with just enough water for the desired consistency. Add coconut oil to a pan and temper as mentioned in the original chutney recipe but with some onion shallots. Mix the blended ingredients into the tempered ingredients. The roasted onion shallots used twice along with the red chillies will impart the red colour and spicy taste to the otherwise basic version of the coconut chutney. Tips for Preparation and StorageSince you now know about different ways to make the chutney, you must be desirous of knowing ways to converse this labour of love, right? Find below some easy ways in which you can store and keep them fresh to relish them in near future.1. Use fresh coconut and grate or shave it with a coconut grater right before you need it. Prepare other ingredients before and keep this for last. The fresher the coconut is, the more flavourful the chutney will be.2. Make sure the pan is dry when dry roasting is required. 3. Preheat the pan before adding the oil but not so much that smoke starts coming off.4. If you are making variations of coconut chutney back-to-back, wash the pan, ladles, and blender thoroughly between each recipe so that the different flavours do not get mixed up.5. Roast the coconut dry at first if you want it to last longer.6. It is best to serve coconut chutney cool, so refrigerate it for about 10 minutes before serving. 7. Refrigerate in an airtight container to maintain consistency and freshness. Or at least put a lid on the bowl. Enjoy this simple chutney that goes with just about anything. Dont be afraid to experiment with bread or even rice. You may use it in sandwiches or as a condiment with rice. You can also have it just like that, but not too much. Coconut chutney is tasty and healthy. Despite this, one needs to remember that no matter how good a certain food is, moderation is invariably the key. But of course, the chutney is so easy to make that you might have made a huge bowl expecting it to last for five days, but you do wound up finishing it off in just two days. Do not succumb to gluttony because it can get your tummy upset. And if this does happen, dont blame it on the ingredients, for too much of anything is bad.