Put the grated coconut, the garlic cloves, the chilies, the salt and the tamarind into a cast-iron wok or a non-stick pan and set on high heat. Stir frequently till the mixture heats up.
Now lower the heat to minimum and stir occasionally and patiently till the coconut turns a golden brown in color. Take care not to let the mixture burn at the base, for it will spoil the taste (see note 1).
Switch off the heat and let cool for a while. When cool, transfer to the dry grind jar of your food processor and grind to smooth powder. Your delicious roasted garlic chutney is ready to serve.
If you intend to store the chutney for a longer period, just tip it back into the pan and heat it up for a few minutes. When cool, transfer to a sun-dried airtight container. The chutney will keep fresh for 3 months provided only a clean, dry spoon is used to take out the chutney when needed.
Enjoy with porridge, gruel, cherupayar kanji, any rice dish, idlis, dosas, appos, uthappams, machkats and soyyea polos.
The secret of its marvelous taste is indeed the method of roasting it quite slowly. One cannot get this quality if it is roasted quickly on high heat.
The coconut I have used in this chutney is mountain grown with lesser oil content. While using mature coconuts grown in the coastal belt, you’ll find that delicious, spicy coconut oil will be found floating above the chutney on storing for a few days. It’s great to dip hot idlis in.