Heat a saucepan or kadai and heat 1 tsp of oil. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and urad dal and roast it over medium heat.
When urad dal changes color, add the whole pepper and dried red chilies.
Roast until the urad dal turns deep/reddish golden brown. (In Tamil, we say sivaka varukanum) Note: Set aside a tsp of urad dal mixture(Just urad dal and mustard seeds) from this for adding it later. Instead of doing the tempering separately, we set aside some roasted mustard seeds and urad dal. You can prepare the tempering separately and add it later too. Tempering is optional for this recipe.
Set aside this dal mixture and now in the same kadai, add the remaining oil and sauté the chopped ginger and curry leaves for 3 to 4 minutes till the ginger becomes tender.
Let the urad dal mixture and ginger cool. Now transfer the dal mixture to a mixer jar and grind it first. Then add the sauteed ginger, coconut and curry leaves, tamarind paste, and salt.
Grind into a slightly coarse chutney by adding ¼ to ⅓ cup of water.
Finally, add the reserved urad dal and mustard seeds and serve it with rice. Store this in an air-tight container. It stays good for up to 10 days. Make sure to use a clean spoon.
I used Kashmiri red chili variety for this chutney. But you can use any variety. The color of the chutney might differ. Also, adjust the number of red chilies according to the variety and as per taste. This chutney is a spicer one as we are including ginger, whole pepper, and dried chilies. So adjust accordingly.
I highly recommend tender ginger for this chutney. Fibrous ones will be more coarse, and they won't blend well.
Be cautious while roasting the urad dal. We need to roast till it turns deep golden brown, but don't let it turn dark brown/black. It alters the taste. If you are using a cast-iron pan, the residual heat might affect, so transfer the lentils to a plate after roasting them.
As I used tamarind paste, I directly added it while grinding. You can use a small marble-sized tamarind pulp and saute it along with ginger, so it softens a bit.
Tempering is entirely optional for this ginger chutney. But I usually set aside some urad dal and mustard seeds from the roasted mix.
You can reduce the amount of coconut if you prefer. Coconut helps to balance the spiciness, so adjust the other ingredients accordingly.