A south Indian chutney made of radish mainly, that can be enjoyed as an accompaniment with rice, dosa, chapati, or akki/ ragi rotti.
It is a vegan recipe, very simple to make, and packed with flavors. It is definitely a dish that radish lovers would enjoy!
A few days back, when I was talking to my mom, she mentioned that she had made radish chutney that day. I heard about it for the first time then, I don’t remember eating it at all back home!
She told me a little story of how this dish was my grandfather’s favorite and something he thoroughly enjoyed with hot rice and ghee every time he came back home after his travel. It was apparently a go-to dish when the family wanted to eat something light and comforting especially after heavy festival meals.
Interestingly, this chutney is known as ‘Jajju moolangi chutney’. The Kannada word ‘Jajju’ is literally to smash and moolangi is the Kannada name for radish. So, this chutney was made in a traditional stone grinder (known as oralu kallu or rubbo kallu in Kannada), the bigger version of mortar and pestle. Since they used to smash the radish with the stone, this chutney is called Jajju moolangi chutney.
I can only imagine what a bliss it would be to eat this chutney made in a stone grinder.
What is Radish Chutney?
First of all, chutney is basically an Indian side dish, or rather a dip made from endless combinations of ingredients. It can be either savory/spicy or sweet like this Coriander Chutney and Sweet Tamarind Chutney respectively.
Radish chutney or moolangi chutney is made using white radish (daikon radish), coconut, roasted gram dal, tamarind, dry red chilies, and salt. Just a handful of ingredients!
All these ingredients are blended raw to a coarse paste and then sauteed in a simple tempering for the raw smell of the radish to reduce.
Sounds super simple, isn’t it? This chutney mixed with hot rice and ghee is absolutely heavenly.
You will need white (daikon) radish, first of all. I am sure it works just fine with the pink variety as well, you can use them if you do not find the white ones. Preferably use fresh and tender varieties as they are more flavorful. However, if you have leftover radish, it will also work fine.
You can either use fresh or frozen coconut- either grated or sliced. Of course, fresh grated gives the best taste, but frozen does the job too. I used frozen thin-sliced coconut by directly blending them with other ingredients. If it is frozen grated coconut, you will have to let it come to room temperature and then use it, otherwise, they will not blend well.
Roasted Chana Dal-
It is also known as chutney dal, gram dal, Daria, or roasted gram split. In Kannada, it is known as Hurigadale. These provide a good texture, taste, and of course, nutrition as well.
I used dried tamarind, soaked it in warm water for a few minutes, and then used it. Soaking in water softens the tamarind, thereby making it easier to blend. If you have tamarind pulp on hand, you can use it directly. You might need a tsp or two.
Dry red chilies-
I used the Kashmiri variety, which is very similar to the Byadagi red chilies. You can use a combination of Kashmiri/Byadagi and Guntur for both color and spice, respectively. But please keep in mind that the radish will also add its heat, that’s the reason I used only Kashmiri chilies for the bright red color.
Soak the chilies in hot water to help them soften.
Oil is needed for tempering. You can use any variety as per your preference. I would recommend sesame or peanut oil. You can use ghee instead of oil if you prefer.
Also for tempering. I prefer using the small ones.
Asafoetida or hing gives a wonderful flavor and is a must in our Indian cooking. If you can find pure asafoetida, go for it any day.
Preferably use fresh ones if you can find them. They add a wonderful flavor. If not, dried ones are also okay.
You can use rock salt or table salt.
How to make Radish Chutney: Step-by-Step with Pictures
Note: 1 cup = 250 ml
Wash, peel, and chop the radish into small pieces. I had a big radish on hand, so I used 1/2 of it. If you have the small ones, you can use two of those. You will need almost 2 cups of chopped radish.
Transfer the chopped radish into a mixer jar.
To the mixer jar, add in 1/2 cup grated or sliced coconut (you can add up to 3/4 cup if you like), 1 tbsp roasted chana dal, 1 small gooseberry-sized tamarind pre-soaked in water, and 4 to 6 dry red chilies also pre-soaked in hot water.
Add 1 tsp salt (or as per your taste), close the lid of the jar and blend them all into a slightly coarse mixture. Do not add water to blend, as the water in radish is sufficient.
Now for the tempering, heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee in a small pan. Once it is hot, add in 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add 1 sprig (about 8 to 10 numbers) of curry leaves, slightly torn. And then a pinch of asafoetida powder as well.
Transfer the ground chutney into the pan and saute until the raw smell of the radish reduces a bit and the chutney thickens. When the chutney does not fall off your spatula easily, you can take it off the heat. The chutney thickens on cooling.
Serve it with hot rice and ghee for the best taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the chutney stay good?
It stays good for a day without refrigeration. In a hot, humid climate, it is best to consume it within a few hours. Upon refrigeration, it stays good for up to 2 days.
Is this gluten-free?
If you use asafoetida that has flour/wheat starch in it, then it is not gluten-free. Use pure ones for a gluten-free version or just skip it.
Can I use green chilies instead of dry red chilies?
Yes, you can. You might need 2 to 3 depending on how spicy they are and also on your spice tolerance.
Can I use onion and garlic?
Yes, you can, if you like. Do not use them raw, fry the onion and garlic and then blend them with the other ingredients.
Can I use dry coconut (copra) instead of fresh?
Yes, you can. use the same measure of grated or sliced dry coconut.
Is the taste of radish prominent in this?
Yes, honestly, you can get the flavor of radish quite evidently. Not sure if it is fortunate or not! If you are a fan of radishes like I am, then you will love it.
If you aren’t, here is what you can do to alter the recipe slightly: reduce the quantity of radish to 1 cup, increase the quantity of coconut to 3/4 to 1 cup. You can add a little more roasted chana dal as well.
By now you must have learned that hot rice and ghee is the best choice to serve with this chutney.
Apart from rice, you can serve this with dosa, chapati, akki or ragi rotti and idli as well.
You can also spread it on chapati/roti, top it with veggies of choice, roll, and serve them.
In case it is leftover and you do not want to serve it as a side dish, mix it with wheat flour and make parathas. It would be more like a south Indian version of mooli paratha.
More Vegan Recipes
Note: 1 cup = 250 ml
- 2 cups chopped radish - from about 1/2 a big radish
- 1/2 cup coconut - grated or sliced
- 2 tbsp roasted chana dal
- a small gooseberry sized tamarind - or 1 to 2 tsp tamarind pulp
- 4 numbers dry red chilies - Kashmiri/Byadagi variety
- 1 tsp salt - or as per taste
- 1 tbsp oil - of your choice
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 10 numbers curry leaves
- a small pinch asafoetida (hing)
- Wash, peel, and chop the radish into small pieces. I had a big radish on hand, so I used 1/2 plus a little more of it. You will need 2 cups of chopped radish. So, use the required quantity of radish based on the size. Transfer the chopped radish into a mixer jar.
- To the mixer jar, add in 1/2 cup grated or sliced coconut, 1 tbsp roasted chana dal, 1small gooseberry-sized tamarind pre-soaked in water, and 4 to 6 dry red chilies also pre-soaked in hot water.
- Add 1 tsp salt (or as per your taste), close the lid of the jar and blend them all into a slightly coarse mixture. Do not add water to blend, as the water in radish is sufficient.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil or ghee in a small pan. Once it is hot, add in 1/2 tsp mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add 1 sprig (about 8 to 10 numbers) of curry leaves, slightly torn. And then a pinch of asafoetida powder as well.
- Transfer the ground chutney into the pan and saute until the raw smell of the radish reduces a bit and the chutney thickens. When the chutney does not fall off your spatula easily, you can take it off the heat. The chutney thickens on cooling.
- Serve it with hot rice and ghee for the best taste or with dosa, idli, chapati, rotti.
- Adjust the number of red chilies and quantity of salt as per your taste.
- You can increase the quantity of coconut to 3/4 cup. Can add up to 1 cup also. You might want to add an extra chilly if you like.
- Make sure to grind the chutney to a coarse texture.
- The nutrition values displayed are a rough estimate only. If you want to be sure, please use your trusted nutrition calculator.
I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy it as much as I enjoyed preparing it and writing it down for you all. 🙂
If you have any questions about the recipe, kindly post them below under comments.
I would love to see your recipe recreations. 🙂