Varutha Thenga | Roasted Coconut for Curries

Roasted coconut with spices that can be made and stored for preparing curries…




For every Malabar curry, a paste of roasted coconut is a must, especially during Ramadan. Whether it is for chicken or even potatoes, it has to be there. The pathiri tastes amazing with any varutharacha curry. “Varuth” means roasted, and “aracha” means ground. The coconut along with some basic ingredients that are the backbone to Malabar cooking gets roasted on a hot pan on low flame till you get a mind blowing aroma all across your kitchen. I simply can’t describe how it feels. The only problem is that if you go ahead to enjoy it too much, you may end up burning your coconut. 😉 So, it is a task for the light handed people, my friend! Roast it with lot of love, allow it cool completey and keep it in your fridge, so that on those rainy days, when you crave for some varutharacha curry, you have the base of it readily available! What more, you can make it in bulk and store it, since it is dried by the time it gets roasted completely and chances of it getting spoiled are very slim.


I already have a few on the blog which are made this way…

With chicken

With potatoes

With meat of choice

And finally with fish.

Even though all the above recipes have detailed instructions including the varutharacha process, if you have this in your pantry, you can skip this step and go on with the rest. All you need to do is to take sufficient amount and grind till smooth, and then finish off in the curry. The spices may be a little variant, but it doesn’t make too much difference to the end result. Off to this recipe…




Varutha Thenga | Roasted Coconut for Curries

Course Accompaniments
Cuisine Malabar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Author Rafeeda AR


  • 2 coconuts grated
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 10-15 shallots peeled and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic pods
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4-6 dry red chillies
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds


  • Heat oil in large saucepan. Comine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well and add into the saucepan.
  • Start cooking on low flame, stirring frequently to ensure even cooking and browing of the coconut.
  • Keep stirring till the whole mixture turns golden brown, take care not to burn.
  • Switch off, transfer to a dry flat plate and allow it to cool completely.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge. Use as needed.


For curries, use as per recipe. If it calls for 1/2 cup of coconut, you can directly use 1/4 of the mixture. Grind the mixture with water till smooth and use in curry. 


Meanwhile, I will be giving the blog a little break for around two weeks, except for one scheduled post in between. I am going home for my TMJ treatment tomorrow, InShaAllah, and since this is second phase, the doctor said it is likely to take time and hence I may have to stay a little longer. The girls’ scheduled school opening is not very helping either. I was planning to go next week, thinking it would be like the usual couple of days, but it is not looking that way this time. I am hoping that it gets sorted out soon and I don’t get held up for too long, though I know by heart my girls are going to have a rocking time being pampered and given into by HD. Hehe… See you all once back, InShaAllah… 🙂


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