Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Vegan

Coconut Chammanthi – An Accompaniment for Kanji

Congee/Kanji is comfort dinner for most Keralites. Watery kanji served along with proteins in the form of legumes or beans is well suited for the hot and sweaty tropical climate. Like how butter is a must with bread, chammanthi is a must with kanji (rice gruel).
Chammanthis are similar to chutneys but thicker and mostly used with kanji or alongside
steamed rice. Here is an easy to make flavorful chammanthi that can be used with rice or
kanji.

Ingredients:
Coconut – 1 cup tightly packed
Garlic – 2 cloves
Shallots – 3-4
Dry red chilies – 2
Green chilies – 2
Tamarind – 1/2 lime size
Ginger – a small piece (1/2 inch)
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water – 1-2 tbsp
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Grinding Time: 5 mins
Makes: 1-1/2 cups

Method:
Grate the coconut. Peel the garlic and shallot.
Pass a skewer through the chilies, garlic, and shallots and roast them directly on fire.
Do not char them. Just a little bit of burning is good enough.
Grind all the ingredients together in a mixer using small amounts of water. Ensure that
the consistency is tight and not watery.
Serve along with rice gruel or steamed rice.

Notes: You can grind the ingredients raw and make a chutney, but the smoky flavor when you roast the chilies, shallots, and garlic on fire lends the chutney a really unique flavor making it an interesting accompaniment with the bland kanji.
You may avoid garlic if you wish to.

Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Vegan

Kerala Style Jaathikka Chammanthi/Raw Nutmeg Chutney

Chammanthi (not to be confused with the types of usual chutneys served with dosa and idli) is a Kerala-style thick chutney that makes a good accompaniment with rice or with kanji (rice gruel). Unlike dosa chutneys that are smooth and liquidy, chammanthis are coarsely ground. Nutmeg – a spice with a pleasant aroma and a wonderful flavor – is used in this chammanthi and makes it a subtle flavored chutney with a wonderful aroma and a light tangy tone. Here are some other chammanthi varieties that I have posted earlier – Roasted coconut chammanthi and chammanthi podi.

 

Ingredients:
Matured but raw Jaathikka/Nutmeg – 1
Grated coconut – 1-1/2 cups tightly pressed
Raw green chilies – 2 – 3 (adjust to taste)
Shallots/pearl onion – 1 (optional)
Salt to taste

Preparation Time: 12 mins
Cooking Time: NA
Makes 2-1/2 cups

Method:
Wash and peel the outer skin of the nutmeg. Cut into two pieces and remove the seed which would be encased in a mace-like structure. Cut the nutmeg into smaller chunky pieces.
Use a mixer or a stone grinder to grind along all the ingredients together to make a coarse paste. Serve with rice.

Notes:

  1. You may avoid shallot and just use nutmeg, coconut, and green chilies.
  2. You could use bird’s eye chili (Kanthari variety of chili) and it would enhance the flavor of the chammanthi.
  3. You may add a small piece of ginger or garlic. I prefer the dominant raw nutmeg taste and hence do not prefer adding these.
Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Side Dishes, Vegan

Kerala Style Roasted Coconut Chammanthi/Chutney

Roasted Coconut Chutney Ingredients

A chammanthi/chutney (not to be confused with chutneys served with dosa) that can add punch to the most mundane item like a rice gruel (kanji) meal. Mouth-watering, lip-smacking, flavorful, tangy; all these adjectives cannot do justice to this chutney. Make this once, and you will be addicted forever. Traditionally this chutney is made by roasting whole coconut and dry red chilies over burning charcoal. I can only imagine how exotic and flavorful this version must be!

Ingredients:
Grated Coconut – 1/2 of a medium sized coconut
Dry Red Chilies – 4
Tamarind – 1/2 lime size
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Pearl Onion/Shallot – 2
Garlic pod – 2
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

Roasted coconut and dry red chilliesMethod:
Heat an iron pan and dry roast the grated coconut and red chilies in medium heat. Turn off when the coconut turns to golden color. Transfer to a plate and let the coconut and chilies cool down a bit. Peel shallots and garlic. Clean the tamarind by removing seeds and stringy membranes, if any. Grind all the ingredients in a mixer. I used a traditional stone grinder (ammikallu). Use very little water while grinding to make a coarse chutney.

Roasted Coconut Chutney

Serve with warm rice or rice gruel. This chutney can be used even for dosa or idly. I made a version without garlic and onion, and that too tasted extremely good.