As great as our homemade masala dosas were, the chutneys that we made to go with them were instrumental in making the breakfast so brilliant.
Of course, pear chutney is not really traditional with dosa, but who cares? It’s delicious. I made it using some of all those pears I picked for “Not Far From the Tree”. The Bartlett pears from the first pear tree were all gone, but we had zillions of Bosc pears from another backyard about a 5 minute bike ride from us.
Coconut chutney IS traditional and we think it’s essential when eating masala dosa. Our coconut chutney is always a little different from the previous one. But that’s what makes things more fun.
Why did I insist on making pear chutney? I really wanted to use the pears for savoury things rather than sweet. Of course, I adore dessert-like objects but right now as fall is setting in, I find myself craving everything but dessert.
I looked through various books and the internet to see what others did when making pear chutney. The most interesting looking recipe by far was on the Food Network (Canada) from Roger Mooking’s “Everyday Exotic” show. Naturally, I made a few changes. I just couldn’t help myself.
It’s not that I don’t think Mooking’s chutney wouldn’t be perfectly delicious made to his specifications. It’s just that we didn’t happen to have all the ingredients he called for.
based on a Roger Mooking’s recipe for pear chutney
7 October 2011: eeeek!!! I forgot to say how much sugar!! (added now)
- butter and grapeseed oil
- 2 or 3 cinnamon pieces
- medium onion, sliced thinly
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 9 Bosc Pears, cored and diced
- edit: 4 Tbsp sugar
- 1½ inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
- 9 green chillies, cut into tiny coins
- 3 fresh red (small) chillies, cut into tiny coins
- 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- Heat a frying pan and add oil and butter. When the butter has melted, saute the onion and garlic with the ginger and spices.
- Add the diced pears and cook a little more.
- Add sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and all but 4 chilies (hold back two of each colour). Cook on medium low heat, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon until the liquid has evaporated.
- Add the rest of the chillies and a little salt.
Put into clean glass jar. Process it for 10 minutes if you are canning. Otherwise put in the fridge to keep for up to a week. (Good luck with that. It’s really good and it will probably be all gone within a day or two.)
based on a Indian Vegetarian Recipes’ coconut chutney (nariyal chutney)
- 4 Tbsp unsweetened dried coconut flakes
- pinch sugar
- 2 tsp chana dahl, roasted
- 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped finely
- 4 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 4 green chillies, chopped in small coins
- 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dahl (optional)
- 4 curry leaves (optional)
- 1 or 2 fresh dried red chillis, broken into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- fresh lemon juice, to taste
- salt, to taste
- Reconstitute the coconut with a little water and sugar. Set aside.
- Toast the chana dahl lightly in a hot dry cast iron frying pan.
- In a small food processor, blend the coconut, roasted chana dahl, green chillies, coriander leaves and ginger to a fine paste using a little water. Put the ground coconut mixture into a bowl and add more water until the chutney is the consistency you like.
- Add oil to the empty cast iron pan and bring to medium heat. Add the mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, add the red chillies, urad dahl and curry leaves (if using). Fry for a few moments and pour it on the coconut mixture.
- Stir in salt and lemon juice.
Put into clean glass jar. Put in the fridge to keep for up to a week. (Good luck with that. It’s really good and it too will probably be all gone within a day or two.)
If we can manage not to eat it all before Christmas, we think the pear chutney will be really good with tourtiere (Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian) In fact, we probably won’t bother getting any Major Grey Mango chutney.
“Not Far From the Tree” is a Toronto organization that includes a residential fruit-picking program to pick fruit (with permission, of course) that would otherwise go to waste. NFFtT have also been instrumental in planting Toronto’s first community orchard in a public park near Eglinton West subway station.
About Not Far From The Tree
We help fruit tree owners make use of the abundance of fruit that their trees offer by dispatching teams of volunteers to harvest it for them. One third goes to the fruit tree owners, another third goes to the volunteers for their labour, and the final third is distributed (by bicycle or cart) to community organizations in the neighbourhood who can make good use of the fresh fruit.
For more information on how you can donate your time and/or share your fruit, please go to
World Food Day is a yearly event put together by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to raise funds to feed the world’s chronically hungry.
[T]here have never been so many hungry people in the world.
Please read more about World Food Day: