Once upon a time, I could not think of life without chammanthi podi/Roasted spice coconut powder. Amma used to make it in bulk, so that her dear daughter can eat with rice, dosa, idly or anything. When I left India for the first time, amma give me two packets, and told me one is Idly Milagai Podi /Spiced chili powder and other chammanthi podi, add Idly Milagai Podi to any vegetables you cook and Sautee with little oil. It will become a curry. Trust me I was doing that for long time. In beginning, I won’t cook that much so whatever I cook will be an easy one with few minutes in the kitchen.
Nowadays I make Idly Milagai Podi more often, chammanthi podi very rarely. My hubby is not a big fan of this dish, I love it. I don’t need any curry to have a bowl of rice, this is enough. Yesterday on our regular grocery shopping I bought one coconut. It was fresh and suddenly I started thinking about mom, and decided to make chammanthi podi, Amma used to make chammanthi podi using 4-5 coconuts, she did all jobs associated with it, starting from breaking the coconut to grating, frying and grinding them. With my naughty little one, it was a difficult task to grate even a single coconut, she will put her fingers in the bowl, and she wants everything.
Chammanthi podi is one of traditional accompaniments of Kerala cuisine. As usual every mom has their own recipes, and basically it consists of coconut, pepper corns, red chilies, coriander seeds, urad dal, tamarind and salt. Some time it may also contain ginger and shallots. As I have no shallots in hand, I added only ginger. However, I don’t have the recipe of chammanthi podi which amma used to make, hence I used Mrs. K.M. Mathew’s recipe which I got from an old issue of Vanitha (Malayalam magazine). I tweaked a little bit, the amount of coriander seeds and added 1 teaspoon of chana dal to it. It tasted really great, if you love coconut, you will like this dish too. Here goes the recipe.
What you need
Grated coconut : 1 cup
Red chilies :4 no (adjust according your spice level)
Coriander seeds: 1 teaspoon
Black pepper corns: 1/8 teaspoon
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Asafetida : ¼ teaspoon( a small piece )
Split black gram without skin: 2 tablespoon
Chana dal: 1 tablespoon
Ginger: 1 teaspoon
Tamarind: Ping pong ball( About1/2 tablespoon)
Salt: 1 teaspoon (to taste)
How I made
Heat a skillet and add urad dal and fry for 1 minute or until they become golden brown color. Set aside. Next fry channa dal, pepper corns, coriander seeds, Red chilies and asafetodia one by one until the raw smell goes and channa dal become golden brown color, pepper corns become plums up and starts crackling, red chilies get slight dark color in the skin and asafetodia become brittle. It will take about 6 minutes.
Next fry the coconut and curry leaves until they become golden brown color, mine got little more browned . It took about about 8-10 minutes in medium flame. Set aside.
Once everything get cooled enough to touch or for about 20 minutes, grind them with ginger, tamarind, shallots (if using) and salt. Let it cool in tray. Adjust the salt, tamarind, and chilies if needed. After cooling for an hour or two store the chammanthi podi in an airtight container. Shelf life will be good if stored in refrigerator.
Preparation time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Serving: 5 serving
Will you make it again: Yes I will
I am sending this chammanthi podi to