Chutney is an integral part of Indian cuisine just like salsa is, in Mexican cuisine. It is considered as a side or an accompaniment to a main dish. Coconut Tomato Chutney is made with fresh coconut meat, tomato, green chili peppers, cilantro and some seasoning. It is deliciously tangy and spicy, with a hint of sweetness. It goes well with most breakfast and snack dishes. It can also be part of a main meal that includes rice, dal, vegetable etc.
We had two coconut trees back home in India and always had an excess supply of fresh coconut (of course every little corner store also had a supply of fresh coconut). My mom was always looking for new coconut recipes. One of my favorites was Coconut Laddu, a sweet dish made from coconut and jaggery (you can check out this recipe at http://sailajasrecipes.blogspot.com/2008/06/kobbari-undalu-coconut-jaggery-laddu.html). My mom would also add fresh coconut to a number of vegetable dishes (made from cabbage, carrots, green beans etc), giving them a delicious, sweet flavor. In fact a number of South Indian vegetarian recipes have fresh coconut in them.
One challenge in the US is to get a fresh coconut from the store- unfortunately most grocery stores do not have a stock of fresh coconut because there’s not much demand. There’s a better chance of getting fresh coconut at an Indian grocery store. You may just want to buy a pack of frozen coconut instead but I’m not satisfied with the quality of the current brands. It takes some effort to break the coconut, pull out the meat, peel the hard brown skin off, cut it to small pieces and freeze it, but it is well worth the trouble. It takes about an hour to do this and you’re assured of its freshness. Depending on how much you use it, it can last you almost a couple of months.