Idlis are our hot favourite breakfast staple. The journey of these healthy steamed delicacies from South India has been incredible. After moving to Visakhapatnam, in Andhra Pradesh, I was amazed to know different variants of idlis. Equally impressive is their style of serving. While the ghee idli (laden with pure cow ghee) became my go-to breakfast option, I couldn't resist falling in love with the mind-boggling spread of chutneys. It won't be an exaggeration if one says that there is a chutney for every emotion and mood. For wintery or rainy mornings, allam paachadi fits the bill; for your cravings for something tangy, tomato chutney satiates the palates. And if the evergreen coconut or peanut ones are for the days, you wish to pamper your tummy with a creamy treat. 

Preparing at least two-to-three varieties of chutneys is almost a mandate in every south Indian household. A few can have a smooth, coarse, rich, or runny consistency. While some are throughly cooked, certain types are prepared by pounding or grounding raw vegetables and fresh herbs. If you wish to get an enhanced taste, try to paste it using the traditional mortar and pestle method. 

Thengai chutney

The base is with grated coconut. It is a typical chutney preferred for its flavour and rich texture. By using a few ingredients such as grated coconut, green chillies, coriander leaves, salt to taste and little water, one can churn this chutney in no time. 

Moringa chutney

To pump up your breakfast plate with energy, don't look beyond moringa chutney. It is hard to find this variant at commercial food outlets. You need to sauté the fresh moringa or drumstick leaves with green chillies. Then once it cools down, transfer them into a blender, add tiny chunks of fresh coconut, an inch of ginger, a small ball of tamarind, and salt to taste, and blend into a smooth paste by adding the required water (it shouldn't be runny). Now you can temper it with your favourite spices. 

An assortment of chutneys, Image Credits: madaboutkitchen

Groundnut chutney 

Groundnut or peanut chutney is a staple that requires a few basic ingredients like roasted groundnuts, onion, garlic, and red or green chillies. The South Indian spices arsenal can't be imagined without groundnuts. It is that saviour ingredient which can substitute any fancy chutney.

Tomato onion chutney

It's a favourite of many and one of the tastiest varieties. To prepare it, fry the dry red chillies, two teaspoons of urad dal, chopped onions and tomatoes, garlic cloves, and curry leaves until the tomatoes turn mushy. Add a bit of jaggery and tamarind, and switch off the flame. Once it cools down, churn it into a smooth paste and add salt to taste. For tempering, use black mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp urad dal and curry leaves. 

Menthe chutney

One of the unique yet healthiest is this Karnataka style Menthe or fenugreek seeds chutney. It is prepared with dry roasted methi or fenugreek seeds, grated coconut, curry leaves, garlic cloves, jaggery, red chilli powder, tamarind, cumin seeds and salt to taste. All the ingredients are pounded to a soft paste by adding a little water to smooth the consistency. When made in the correct procedure, it can be stored for a week. 

Let us know which one did you try!