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ellu chutney sesame chutney on a plate

Ellu Chutney, Sesame Coconut Chutney

  • Author: nags
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Category: Chutney
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: South Indian
  • Diet: Low Fat


Ellu chutney or sesame chutney is a delicious and healthy chutney recipe using black sesame seeds and coconut. Goes perfectly with rice


  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds (black ellu)
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut, thawed if frozen
  • 23 flakes of garlic, crushed
  • 24 dry red chillies, adjust to taste
  • A marble-sized ball of tamarind
  • Salt to taste


  • In a dry pan without oil, roast the sesame seeds on medium flame
  • The goal here is to get all the moisture out of the seeds first and roast it to a golden colour inside. This is tough to see since the seeds are very dark coloured so I have a tip below to check that
  • Keep stirring the seeds as they roast and adjust the heat to make sure they don’t burn
  • After about 3-4 minutes, add the red chillies and continue roasting on low-medium flame
  • The seeds may pop and scatter a bit similar to mustard seeds. This doesn’t mean they are done. Keep stirring and roasting
  • After about 5-6 minutes, take 2-3 sesame between your fingers and gently rub them open. The white parts inside should be a light golden brown. This means they are done. If it still looks white, continue roasting for another few minutes
  • When the sesame seeds are nicely roasted, turn off the heat and add the crushed garlic, coconut, salt, and tamarind to the same pan and give everything a good mix
  • Cool completely and grind to a coarse chutney with minimal water. Ellu chutney is meant to be thick so be cautious not to add more water than is needed. It’s also important not to grind the chutney very smooth. Ellu chutney should be a bit coarse in texture
  • All done! Enjoy with some rice and ghee or any flavoured rice like lemon rice


Why is my ellu chutney bitter?

If you burn the sesame seeds while roasting, it can turn bitter. Keep a close eye on the heat used as you roast them and take my timings above as just a guideline. Stoves and pans and definition of low heat will differ from kitchen to kitchen. Adding some more coconut can salvage a bitter ellu chutney somewhat

Can I make ellu chutney without coconut?

Yes you can! Omit coconut in this recipe and halve all other ingredients. Taste as you go when grinding. However, I must say that this chutney tastes bet with some coconut so consider adding at least one tablespoon if you can

What can I do if my chutney becomes too spicy?

I have given a range of 2-4 chillies in the ingredients list. My mother adds 6 because our food back home is usually more spicy than how I cook in my kitchen. Start with 2 chillies, it’s much better to have chutney that’s less spicy than it be too spicy to eat! Adding more coconut can help salvage a chutney that is too spicy

Can I make ellu chutney with white ellu or white sesame seeds?

Technically you can but the flavour just won’t be the same. It’s the bran on the black sesame seeds that gives this chutney it’s unique nutty flavour and texture. Definitely worth getting the right type of sesame seeds to make this!

Keywords: ellu chutney, sesame chutney