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

Vengaya Chutney (Ulli Vathakki Chammanthi)

A fiery tangy chutney ideal accompaniment for dosa and idli.


Shallots – 10-12
Garlic (optional) – 1 clove
Dry red chilies – 5
Cooking oil – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp
Tamarind – a small marble size
Salt as needed
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Water – 2-3 tbsp

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes – 1 cup

Peel shallots and keep aside. If the shallots are bigger in size, cut them into smaller pieces.
In a deep pan, add a teaspoon of oil and saute the shallots along with garlic and dry red chilies. Saute in medium heat for 2-3 mins. When shallots turn translucent, add tamarind and salt. Switch off the flame.
Let this cool and then grind into a smooth paste in the mixer along with 2-3 tbsp of water.
Transfer to a serving bowl.
Heat half a tsp of oil. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves, switch off the flame and add this tempering to the chutney.

1. You can skip tamarind if you do not like tangy taste.
2. You can use red onions to make this chutney but the taste will not be the same. Onions are sweeter and shallots are spicy.

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

Shallot Chutney (Ulli Sammanthi)

Ulli sammanthi aka pearl onion chutney is a family favorite, especially my brother’s. This fiery chutney has character. In Kerala, this chutney is a famous combo with boiled tapioca (kappa puzhungiyathu). But many Kerala homes make it as a dosa accompaniment also. Our family’s favorite combination is this chutney along with uthappam. On a day that this chutney is made, I lose count of the number of uthappams/dosas I gobble up.

My mother grinds this chutney in ammikkallu (a stone grinder with a flat stone surface and a pestle that is rolled on this surface). This chutney tastes best when ground using stone. The mixer grinder tends to mildly heat up the ingredients due to the high speed. Grinding using stone retains all the natural flavors of this minimalistic chutney. My mother would be in tears by the time she is done with the grinding because of the shallots. Also your hands can be get heated up because of the chilies. You can use a mixer also to make this chutney. You could use red chilly powder but the chutney tastes best when you use whole dry red chilies. When grinding this chutney in a mixer, soak the dry red chilies in water for an hour. If you are in a hurry, pour hot water in the chilies and keep aside for 5 mins before you start grinding. Adding coconut oil to this chutney is key as it adds a wonderful flavor and helps you tolerate the fiery chutney.

Shallots/pearl onion/cheriya ulli – 8-10
Whole red chilies – 7-8
Water – 1 tbsp
Salt as needed
Coconut oil – 1 tsp

Soak the red chilies in a little bit of water for 1-2 hours. Peel the shallots. If you are using the stone grinder, first crush the red chilies and grind them a little bit. Add the shallots. Add salt. Do not add any water while grinding in a stone grinder. Keep grinding. Be prepared to shed plenty of tears while grinding. Grind until you get a smooth paste. Gather into a bowl.

Add coconut oil. Mix well and use.

Whether you use a mixer or a stone grinder, ensure that

If using mixer, add the red chilies to the jar and give it a few turns to crush it well. Add shallots, and salt and grind until you get a smooth paste. You do not need to add water. Remove into a bowl. Add coconut oil. Mix well and serve.

Don’t forget to brush your teeth after you are done eating!

If you do not like the taste of raw shallots (which is highly unlikely), you can also improvise this by sauteing the shallots and red chilies in a little bit of oil before making the chutney.

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Breakfast, Dosas, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Uthappam, The South Indian Rice Pizza

Uthappam, for most people, is thick dosa made from dosa/idli batter. But at home uthappam is made from special uthappam batter and is eaten with fiery shallot and red chilly chutney. Fenugreek seeds up the health quotient of uthappam.
Restaurant uthappams are topped with chopped onions, green chilies, tomatoes, curry leaves, and coriander leaves but plain uthappams are very tasty too. I prefer plain uthappams because I relish the flavor of fenugreek. Uthappams are an any-time-of-the-day meal and make a complete meal in itself when served with sambar.

For grinding:ingredients
Parboiled rice (ukhda chawal/puzhukkal ari) – 3 cups
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds/uluva) – 1/3 cup (6 tsps)
Raw rice – 2 tablespoons
Black gram dehusked (Urad dal/uzhunnu parippu) – 2 tablespoons
Salt – as needed

For cooking:
Oil – 1 tbsp per uthappam

Wash all the ingredients together in water and soak for about 8 hours/overnight. Grind to make a coarse paste. Uthappam batter should not be finely ground. Allow the batter to ferment (by keeping in a warm place) for about 10-12 hours. Uthappam batter does not “rise” like the dosa/idli batter because it contains very little lentil.

pour the batterHeat a griddle. Pour half a tablespoon of oil. Pour a ladleful of uthappam batter on to this oil. Spread lightly to make a thick small round. Sprinkle half tablespoon oil on the spread batter.
If you prefer to add a topping to your uthappam, you can do that at this stage. Toppings can be finely chopped onions, tomatoes, curry leaves, and coriander leaves.

flip overAllow to cook in medium heat for a minute. When the sides turn golden brown and crisp, flip it over.Let it cook for a minute. Remove the uthappam from the griddle and serve with sambar, chutney, or milaga podi (dry chutney powder).

Ideal combination for uthappam is the fiery shallot chutney. Soak 4-5 dry red chilies in water for half an hour and grind these along with 10-12 peeled shallots. Add salt and a teaspoon of coconut oil. This chutney should ideally be ground using a stone grinder to get the authentic taste. The combination of the fenugreek-flavor-dominant uthappam and the fiery shallot chutney is irresistible! Guaranteed that you will not stop short of gobbling up at least 5 of these!