Coconut Chutney & Low(er) Fat Corn Chowder

A fairly basic meal of millet, braised greens and potato curry becomes luxurious with freshly made "green" coconut chutney.

Cafe Drake HRV has struggled over the years searching for the perfect balance of flavors and texture when creating classic South Indian coconut chutney. Finally, we got it right. And we're sharing the prize recipe now. Not difficult to make but as it takes a few minutes, best to make a large batch, hence the following measurements. The chutney will keep at least three days in the fridge and freezes like a dream. To begin you'll need 1 1/2 cups grated or flaked unsweetened coconut. Fresh is best but tiresome without specific kitchen tools, so try to use frozen (unsweetened). Another option is to use dried, unsweetened coconut - 1 1/4 cups (pour about 3-4 T. boiling water over dried coconut and leave to soak for 30 minutes before proceeding with recipe). Now, place your coconut in a blender or processor along with: 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 10-12 small hot green chilies, 1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro leaves and stems and roughly 1/4 cup of water. Blend until smooth (or as smooth as you can get). Place into a large bowl and set aside while you heat 2 T. vegetable oil in a small skillet. When the oil is hot add in 3/4 t. black mustard seeds. Keep a lid handy as they will pop! Once mustard seeds are popping add to the skillet 1 T. sesame seeds and 1/4 - 1/2 t. ground asafetida (available at all Indian markets). Remove from heat and pour the skillet contents over the coconut puree. Stir and serve cool or at room temperature.


Quickly become a kitchen standard at Cafe Drake HRV, this corn soup/chowder is of course best made with fresh, local corn but frozen kernels are very acceptable. Start with 6 cups of corn kernels, freshly scraped from the cobs (you'll need 6-8 total) or frozen. Melt 2 T. butter in a saucepan and when just foaming add in 4 chopped scallions, both green and white parts. Season with about 1/2 t. salt and black pepper. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes and then pour in 1 1/2 cups each of water and whole milk. Add more salt - an additional teaspoon or more to taste - and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes. The corn should be tender but not falling apart. Remove from heat, add 1-2 canned chipotle peppers (along with a bit of the accompanying sauce) and puree in a blender until smooth. Now, you're going to have to strain the soup with a fine mesh strainer. Pour through strainer in several batches, pushing down with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Return the strained puree to the pot and reheat gently until hot. Serve warm, garnished with sliced scallions or minced cilantro or parsley.

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『 And we all now know "Low(er) Fat" doesn't mean Low(er) Taste. Right? 』

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