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Curry leaves chutney (Karbeva chutney)

This chutney is known as “kushil narla chutney” (kushile-spoiled, narlu-coconut). Yes, it is basically made of a bit smelly coconuts, not the completely rotten ones though. Sometimes when the coconut is kept as it is for many days, they get a bit of smell (you can smell it, but cannot see the change in color). Instead of wasting such coconuts, they are paired with curry leaves so that the smell can be overcome by a strong smell of leaves. This was how this chutney originated. May be because people were very poor in those days and they just could not afford wasting a coconut. I remember my Aayi telling me that her grand mother used to go in search of a bit smelly coconuts to make this chutney :D.

That was in olden days. But these days we make this chutney with normal coconuts. Once you taste this chutney, I bet you will never ever forget the taste. I am a huge fan of this from my childhood. Few people eat the raw chutney and few people fry it to preserve it for many days. My dad would like the raw chutney and I liked the fried chutney, so we always had two batches of chutneys at home. Once when I was a kid, my Aayi fried it well till some of it turned almost black. So I renamed it as “kushil narla lashil chutney” (lashil meaning burnt) :D.

Unlike any other chutneys which are served with either dosa or idlis or vadas, this is served as a side dish with rice. Never tried it with idli/dosas.

Grated coconut(fresh or frozen) 1 cup
Curry leaves 2 big strands (approximately 20 leaves)
Asafoetida a pinch
Red chilies 5-6
Tamarind extract 1/4 tea spn
Oil 1/2 tea spn

I use tamarind extract in all cooking. If normal tamarind is used, adjust to suit the taste.

Heat oil and fry red chilies. Take them out and fry curry leaves till they become crispy(do not add extra oil). Take out and roast the coconut till it turns slightly brownish.
Grind all the ingredients together to a coarse paste. Do not add too much water. Serve it as a side dish with rice.
If you need to preserve this for few days, take the chutney in a pan and heat it. Keep mixing it occasionally.

Fry till the moisture goes off and chutney becomes completely dry(I forgot to take the picture at this stage. Will post some other time). Remains good for at least a week.

Serves : 4-5
Preparation time : 20mins

PS: I used the chilies which didn’t have color. Use Byadagi/Kashmiri chilies for a good red color to this chutney.

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{ 17 comments… add one }

  • usha October 27, 2006, 11:20 am

    Hi Shilpa,
    Chutney looking great.We even use to do this.Its goes well with Idly,dosai…..

    Great job…

  • Monisha October 27, 2006, 1:31 pm

    What a creative way of using coconuts that are past their prime, love the color!

  • Aruna October 27, 2006, 5:17 pm

    As you rightly said it is made out of kushile naralu. My mom used to make sanapolo or this chutney when the coconuts used to smell a bit (not spolied). I havent tried it so far. Thanks for the post and for reminding. I almost forgot abt this chutney. I have lots of grated coconut to try this on the coming weekend.

  • prema October 28, 2006, 2:20 am

    We make this using coriander leaves.. curry leaves ias also a good idea.. the chutney has a lovely colour shilpa.

  • shaheen October 28, 2006, 6:19 am

    I am always looking for new chutneys, but this pairing or curry leaves and hing is unusual. Thanks.

  • Ashwini October 28, 2006, 10:11 am

    Shilpa…I love this chutney. Its also an economical way to use slightly spoilt coconuts isnt it?

  • pelicano October 29, 2006, 9:32 pm

    as fortune had it, there was exactly 1 cup of slightly old coconut in my refrigerator…as well as just enough curry leaves. i did not have any fresh ripe chiles, but i did have several green ones….as i was enamoured with the colour of your photo, so, i made this using the green chiles…and also used lime juice instead of tamarind- to keep with the green theme. This is a SENSATIONAL recipe….i ate it with rice…then idlis…then dipped a gharyo into it too….i think i would like to bathe in it! :-)
    thanks for sharing such a splendid chutney!

  • pelicano October 30, 2006, 4:20 am

    p.s. your rhyme of “kushil” with “lashil” is funny:-) i’ll remember that…i ate some of this for 3 meals now…it’s almost gone! thanks again.

  • Pratibha November 29, 2006, 11:27 am

    We also do it. We call it Kasaru Kayi gojju (Kasaru- rancid (wellnot quite), Kayi-oconut, gojju- chutney). We used to grind it in the stone without adding water at all. Grinders can be used to grind the gojju without adding water. During mango seoson you can add grated raw mango to this chutney and roast it to extend the store life.

  • Sucheethra November 4, 2008, 8:13 am

    Looks very easy to be done….will surely try this one!

  • pat April 26, 2009, 10:34 am

    Hello. I am using my friends curry tree to make a curry paste. I am trying to copy The Karuveppilai Pickle made in Tamilnadu Seevaram. Your recipe seems to have basically the same ingredients so my question is how can I prepare a large quantity without worrying about spoilage. I don’t want to have to throw it away after a few months. Also, I believe that I will fry the leaves and this pickle calls for gingili oil and jeeragam. What are these and how can I find it easily or use a substitute? Thank you for your time.


    Shilpa: Sorry, I have no idea about the pickle.

  • nancy May 19, 2009, 7:59 pm

    It is very wonderful chutney.Now this is my favourti chutney. My all friends like this chctney so much .Really it is very tasty and my all time favourit .

    great job…..

  • nancy May 19, 2009, 8:03 pm

    It is really wonderfull

  • pragati verma May 19, 2009, 8:38 pm

    wonderfull, excillentand my all time favourit chutney and my all friends said to me THANKS FOR YOUR WONDER FULL CHUTNEY.

  • pragati verma May 19, 2009, 8:39 pm


  • yamini August 1, 2009, 10:51 am

    hi shilpa!

    M going to try dis for da first time.. m sure its gonna be good! it was fun reading ur recipe an very easy to follow!!

    thanks a lot!! wish u good luck!!!

  • Ramana June 23, 2010, 12:22 am

    During the monsoon we had to cut a large part of our curry leaf tree and pondered over what to do with so much… most of it we distributed in the neighborhood and rest we used to make this recipe….yummy!!!!

    Big thanks to you Shilpa. You have a new fan.

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