Coconut chutney powder/thenga chammanthi podi is an all-time favourite with Keralites. I used to carry this chutney powder and pickles almost every week to my hostel since it was difficult for me to survive with hostel food alone. Dry prawns are now available in any super markets in Kerala. My mother-in-law had brought a few packets of dry prawns with her when she came to visit us, so nowadays I am trying different recipes with dry prawns. Back home we used to make theeyal, chammanthi podi, konjum manga (dry prawns and mango curry) and chammanthi with dry prawns. My hubby loves this chutney powder so once in a while I make this. You can use dry coconut powder instead of fresh grated coconut for making this chutney powder since it browns easily but the taste wont be as good. Although its very time-consuming, if you make it in large quantities, it is definitely worth the effort and will keep for 1-2 months. It goes well along with rice and dosa/idli. I love to have it with rice, pappad and yoghurt. This chutney powder has many regional variations. Some people also add asafoetida, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal etc but we usually make it this way. You can avoid using dry prawns if you are a vegetarian. Here goes the recipe..
- Dry coconut powder or fresh grated coconut – 1.5 cup
- Dry prawns – 1/2 cup
- Pearl onion – 8 chopped
- Ginger – 3 inch piece chopped or grated
- Curry leaves – 2 – 3 sprigs (You can add as much as you want since it enhances the taste of this chutney powder)
- Dry red chillies – 5-6 (You can add more if you want it very spicy)
- Whole pepper corns – 15 – 20
- Tamarind – Large goose berry sized
- Salt – To taste
1. Dry roast the dry prawns and keep aside.
2. Roast the grated coconut, pearl onions, ginger and curry leaves stirring frequently. Take care not to burn it. When it turns light brown, add the dry red chillies.
3. When the coconut turns brown add the tamarind, salt and roasted dry prawns. Stir-fry for a few more minutes and switch off.
3. When it cools down, grind in a mixer till you get a coarse powder.