Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi Podi/ Dry Prawns Chutney Powder
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. Dried 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 dried prawns. Back home we used to make theeyal, chammanthi podi, konjum manga (dried prawns and mango curry) and chammanthi with dried 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 dried prawns if you are a vegetarian. Here goes the recipe..
- Grated coconut – 1.5 cup
- Dried prawns – 3/4 cup
- Shallots – 5 – 6, sliced
- Ginger – 2 tsp, sliced
- Curry leaves – 2 – 3 sprigs (You can add as much as you want since it enhances the taste of this chutney powder)
- Dry red chilies – 6 – 8 (You can add more if you want it very spicy)
- Black pepper corns – 3/4 tsp
- Whole pepper corns – 10 – 15
- Tamarind – Small goose berry sized
- Salt – To taste
1. Dry roast dried red chilies until brown and crisp. Remove to a bowl.
2. Dry roast the dried prawns for a few minutes and remove to a bowl.
2. In the same pan, add grated coconut, shallots, ginger, black pepper corns, little salt and curry leaves stirring frequently. Take care not to burn it.
3. When the coconut turns brown add the tamarind. Stir-fry for a few minutes. Add dried prawns, dried red chilies, salt and switch off.
3. When it cools down, grind in the large jar of a blender till you get a coarse powder.