Channa dal-Coconut chutney.

Hello everyone ! I am back after a short break.


In this post I would like to write a little about the place we live. We live in a small town called Barrow in Alaska, which is north of Arctic circle. This is the northmost town in America. The town is very small with population of about 5-6 thousand people. During summer there will be 24hrs sunlight for about 4 months. Summer is almost over here and we already had a few snow showers. During winter there will be complete darkness(no sunrise) for about 2 months, which is the hardest time for me.

We are the only Indian family here (myself, my husband and our 17 months daughter). We have just one general grocery store. Being vegetarians, we mostly depend on fresh produce. The availability and selection of fresh produce is very limited. Most of our Indian grocery we order through Internet and shipping costs are usually more than the grocery itself. We stock up about 6 months supply. Shall write more about the place later in some post……

So few days back when I saw fresh coconut at the store, I couldn’t wait to get home and make coconut chutney. So I made Idly and coconut chutney over the weekend. It felt like some celebration using fresh coconut after so long.

I am very excited to post this recipe of channa dal and coconut chutney. Yesterday I made Red rice flour rotti to go with channa dal and coconut chutney.

So here is the recipe


Channa dal  – 4 tsp

Coconut fresh – 1/2 cup

Cilantro –   few strands

Fresh Ginger – About 1 inch

Green chillies – 2

Tamarind paste – 1/4 tsp

Salt as per taste.

Dry roast channa dal until it turns golden brown. When its cooled add all the above ingredints along with channa dal add enough water to make smooth paste. Now its ready to be served.


We had it with Red rice flour rotti. For rice flour rotti click here.


29 Responses to “Channa dal-Coconut chutney.”

  1. Priya Balabhaskaran Says:

    Madhu… just read your write up– For a long time I din’t know in Alaska you cannot see sun during the winter…. after seeing the movie “Insomnia” mostly taken at Alaska I came to know about the weather conditions…. hats off to you Madhu– you guys are managing out there well….. Being at California I don’t miss India and still I keep complaining sometimes— reading your post– I think I should keep my mouth shut:)
    Your chana dal recipe is new for me– will try soon:)

    Hi Priya,

     Alaska is very big state No sunrise and sunset  happens only in northmost region of Alaska. Oh In summer we get confused there will be a bright sunshine in our living room at middle of the night. First year i was so happy to see that now I am over it.I have never been to california, but planing on one. I really don’t know how I am managing…..most of the time its gets me…We as much as possible and winter is the time for me to visite India. Will write more interesting stuff in later post. Thanks for stoping by.

  2. Vrundha Says:

    Hi Madhu,
    I am also from Mysore. Usually I used to browse the food blog and never left a comment till now. But after reading about the weather conditions that u stay in, I should say… Kudos to you. Inspite of being in a place where I get most of the indian stuff, I keep cribbing sometime. So from today…no more complaining. I usually prepare this channa dal chutney – but slight variation – I add urad dal and asafoetida

       Nice to meet a fellow Mysorean. Thank you for stoping by Vrundha. Winter is the hardest sometimes temperature goes – 60 or so. I visit India during winter.

         Next time i’ll addd urad dal & hing, I have never tried using that.

  3. Raji Says:


    I browse through your blog regularly and find the recipes really good. This post was also interesting. As the previous commentors said even though I get all Indian things where I live I sometimes complain. Its truly amazing that you guys are living in such a place. Would like to know more regarding the life in such a place.What is it like to have full day sunshine in summer & darkness in winter, socializing in such a small town, other activities etc. What field do you guys work in?

    It will be helpful if you can post your views as we are also considering moving to a small town in midwest. Just wanted to see how life will be in such a place


    Hi Raji,

     Thank you for stoping by. Life is totally different for us here. Hardest part for us is social life since there are no Indians. During summer you don’t feeling sleeping….with the bright sunshine at middle of the night. Winter when its dark its the opposite don’t feel like waking up and do some work. Like from mid november to end of January there will be complete darkness. During that time I really really miss the sun. Will write more later….

      If you are considering to moving to a small town……if you work there won’t be such a problem i guess most of your time is spend there. We are try to take one day at a time. Now I have a 17 month old daugher time is flying for us. Some days are hard and some days are not…..well it happens for everyone…….anywhere.  

  4. Priya Says:

    WOW Madhu, surviving through Winter shud be a great effort. I live in Cincinnati, where it snows a few times in the winter and the temperatures go upto -10 to -15 deg C at the max, and I complain about that to all my friends in the South. Now I better stop cribbing ..! hehee….
    And the fresh coconut in the picture caught my eye first ….I’ve tasted fresh coconut in thr teo yrs I’ve been here….I can totally relate to your excitement 🙂

    Thank you for stoping by Priya. Its the same here winter is the hardest for me. I have been here when temperature is -70 degs.

    Since I brought the coconut, at my house its coconut chutney 3 times a week. 🙂

  5. shilpa Says:

    Oh my god..I never knew there is sunlight from 24 hours in summer and no sunlight in winter. How do you stay there? it must be very difficult.
    I love snow, so after reading one of your previous posts, I had requested my hubby to shift to Alaska :). Now I don’t think I will ever ask him that again. For 6 months after coming here, we were not having access to Indian store since we were not having car. So I was feeling so isolated. Also I had lot of complaints about the winter(though I love to see snow, I cannot handle much cold..hahaha), so will stop all my cribbing hereafter.
    The chutney looks great.I will try it soon

    Shilpa for the first 2 years I was very excited to see the sunlight and no sunlight.  It really doesn’t snow much here. Like 1-2 foot is the max. But It will be windy most of the time and snow will be blowing. If you are considering to moving to Alaska, southern part is very scenic and  very beautiful. You will love it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  6. prema Says:

    Hi Madhu,
    No sunlight for 2 months is really terrible. With no indian family nearby and no good grocery shop U must be having a hard time. Its really great of u to manage there ..
    channa dal recipe is new to me and thanks for the recipe.

    Yes Prema, as any one can guess life is hard  without a same group of community. Now with my 17 mon old daughter and after starting this blog, I am quite busy. And its nice meeting new people through this blogs. Thanks.

  7. krithika Says:

    I always wanted to ask you since I have seen hits to my blog from Barrow, Alaska. So glad to see a post on it. Very interesting … hats off to you for managing so well. Looking at your pictures and recipes one cannot tell where you live . The picture quality might be different during winters 🙂 Great recipe.

    From now on you can tell its ‘me’, when you see that hits from Barrow. You are absolutely right, during winter  the pictures will be dull. Will post some pics in later posts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Krithika.

  8. Asha Says:

    From Mysore to Alaska? Good luck and welcome back!! We were in Minneapolis during 1995 blizzard, below 30F, so I have some knowledge of cold but darkness..NO!!!!

    Thanks for the recipe, Madhu!! 😀

    Yes, cold and dark, Its like dark night never ends for 2 months. So many tourist come and visit this place. If you are Interested Plese do come. You’ll get to experience the dark as well . 🙂

  9. Revathi Says:

    What are you doing there !! Do u really like it in Alaska.. If not please come over here to Calif.. the weather is more bearable… U must really be having a tough time being the only indian family in that place 😦

     You made me laugh Revathi, thank you so much for the invite.  I really don’t like it here. Being the only Indian family here is very hard. Taking one day at a time……I really wish if it was that easy to pack and go somewhere….

  10. Pavani Says:

    Hi Madhu,
    Sunlight for 24hrs and no light at all sounds almost unimaginable. It must be tough for you guys to find vegetarian stuff around there. But you still manage to whip up wonderful dishes. I am regular visitor to your blog and love your dishes. Good luck with the impending winter.

    Thanks for stoping by Pavani, Somethime when we feel like eating outside or home cooked Indian food by others. It gets me I feel like going to India in next filght……..

    You can take a trip and see for yourself how it feels up here. We had so many Indian visitiors. They are very surprised to see us here.

  11. MenuToday Says:

    Hi Madhu,
    In Such a place ,How do you keep yourself busy and interesting.???
    Your chutney looks delicious. Thanks for sharing .

    After starting this blog I make friends everyday and my daughter keeps me busy……. before that it was very hard. Let me know if you give it a try…..

  12. MenuToday Says:

    Hi Madhu,
    I have tagged your for meme.

    Thank you MT for tagging, I like playing meme.

  13. Sury Says:


    Visiting you for the first time. Lovely blog. I’ve added you to our links; hope to see you drop by.

    Hats off to you for keeping the Indian tradition alive under such trying conditions!

    The chutney looks delish. I had a question–do you need to soak or boil the chana dal?

    Welcome to my Blog Sury, I surely will drop by your blog. Oh thank.. being in such a place, made me realise what I miss the most. Can’t live without spices and rice.

    About  Channa dal, no need to soak or boil, just dryroast or can add little oil while roasting. Let me know when you try it.

  14. Revathi Says:

    Hi Madhu
    I have tagged ur for a me meme. Check out my blog. Would like u to play it 🙂

    Thank you Revathi for tagging me, I like playing meme.

  15. Anupama Says:

    Hi madhu,
    Your recipe is very good. That is one of my favourite chutneys as well. But what intrigued me tremendously is what you have written about Alaska. Do write more about that place. You are the first person I know now who lives in Alaska.

    Thanks Anupama…Will surely write more about this place.  Anchorage is the big city here in Alaska.There are so many Indian family in South Alaska (Anchorage).

  16. Swapna Says:

    Hi Madhu,

    It was nice getting to know the place u live in, wow Alaska!!! Must be beautiful in summer, i was just recently complaining that i want to move out of CALIFORNIA, at times u miss home so much. Now after reading your story i shud not be saying that.

    Its like mini India out here. Countless Indian grocery stores and restaurants (ofcourse doesnt taste like in India) and temples etc etc….

    I wud love to know more about the palce u live in, culture etc…How do u spend time there? I hope u have quite a few activities to keep u busy other than ur little daughter.

    I like your food blog a lot, will be trying out some of the recipes soon. I do love cooking and trying out new stuff. Keep posting!!!

    Thank you for stopping by Swapna, Where ever we are we always compare it to our home back in India…

    Really there is not much activites we can do here…..Just the house hold chores and kid ofcourse keeps me busy……. Let me know if you get to try any of the recipies…

  17. Ashwini Says:

    Hi Madhu,
    I m ashwini from bangalore living in california….
    i saw the place u live in google maps…i was amazed….i cud make out in the map itself that its a small place…n i guess there a lagoon close by to ur place…
    do u work? do u folks have plans of living there for few more yrs??

    Hello Ashwini nice to meet a fellow Bangalorean……..You really did….. its indeed very small town, and bout the lagoon its a man made kind off…….not too big….

    I am a stay at home mom, We are taking one year at a time…..Probably one more year……I guess.:) ou If you are interested seeing different places…..Please do come visit…..

  18. Nandita Says:

    Hey Madhu,
    I was in your hometown a few weeks ago, attending my cousin’s wedding. I loved the ragi mudde i had for breakfast in coorg and am happy that i can make it at home from your recipe.

    I was quite shocked to read about zero sunlight in winter-i lived for a year in Upstate NY, where it would darken at around 4 in winters, and temp. going down to -20C, and i would crib endlessly, I also crib at the merciless sun in Bombay. But I’ll think of your tolerance before i get into one of my cribby moods. Besides, you are doing such a great job keeping your family close to Indian culture by feeding them wonderful home cooked food.

    I really appreciate you for that! Many hugs-nandita

    Thats nice  Nanditha, What did you see in Mysore ? Coorg is very beautiful place. I bet you loved it there.

    Yes I miss sun very much during those days…….Have to have Indian food…….I really can’t live without it. I am trying my best  here Nanditha…..Thanks for the hugs.

    Will be checking your blog to see what adventures you did in mysore…

  19. Ekta Says:

    I absolutely loved this chutney!!! I was very happy to see that you specified measurements for each ingredient. most people say “use a little tamarind”, never specifying how little is little!!!!! Will stick to your recipe from now on. Thanks a ton!

    Thanks Ekta, appreciate your comment. You can do this compeletely with channa dal and no coconut too. Try it.

  20. catscan Says:

    hey there, I have to ask, what the heck led you to Alaska? Most intriguing, and I thought Minnesota had a challenging climate…I am new to Indian cuisine and have a question about “roasted”channa dahl do you mean you roast the bean before its been soaked and/or cooked? This is probably a lame question but this inquiring mind has got to know because this is the second recipe that I’ve come across that calls for “roasted” channa dahl. In other recipe the roasted dahl is grounded into a powder. In your recipe the dahl is left whole, if not cooked wouldn’t it be hard?

    Thanks for shedding some light

    About the bean for this recipe,just roast with little oil and grind with other ingredints for chutney. No need to be soaked,and it won’t become hard after grinding. Hope I cleared your question.
    About staying in Alaska, I just came here for 2 years but still staying here.

  21. Sandeep Says:

    Thank you for the recipe. Tumba cheenagi ittu.

  22. satya krishnan Says:

    hi madhu,
    came across your blog when i was researching recipes for my restaurant in aberdeen. goodness girl! you really are living in a different planet..alaska!!!! what in the world are you doing there by the way? listen, i am in the process of starting up a community newspaper here in aberdeen and i think your story needs a little more exposure and i will definitely love to contact you again if that is ok? please mail me back and let me know. hugs to your little one. i have 2 tiny ones as well and winters in aberdeen are so severe (ok!ok! not as bad as alaska!) and dark and gloomy and cold and wet…i hate them so my heart truly goes out to you.
    much love

  23. Pooja Says:

    I read such a blog for the first time got to know about alaska from you thanks I never knew such things happenes that night goes on for two months continuously….And only sunlight for so many months….

  24. Valliappan Says:

    OMG….. first time i am hearing such thing like complete darkness for months..hmm.. Being in Bay area (California) its like backhome only..we get everything…
    My first time looking on the internet for some recipe as my wife is in India and my relatives are visiting me. Looked for a simple item to make….thanks for the recipe.

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