January 3, 2008

Chuttaracha Chammanthi - Authentic Kerala Roasted Chillies & Coconut Chutney

Chuttaracha Chammanthi, also known as Chutta Mulaku Chammanthi literally means roasted (chutta) chillies (mulaku) chutney (chammanthi). It is an authentic kerala accompaniment to kanji (rice gruel) and is mostly seen as the common man's food. I especially love the flavour the roasted chillies give the chutney. And what's more, its oil free!

Kerala-Style Chammathi Recipe

Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Dried red chillies - 4
Shallots - 4
Garlic - 2 cloves (optional)
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Tamarind - half a lemon size
Salt - to taste

How to Make Chuttaracha Chammanthi

1. Heat a non-stick pan and roast the red chillies dry (without oil) till it reaches the stage just before burning.

2. Add the coconut, chopped shallots, garlic and coriander powder and roast for another 2 mins. The coconut will start getting brittle. At this stage, remove from fire.

3. Grind this mixture in very little water with salt and tamarind.


You can also roast the coconut pieces on an open flame with tongs for a more authentic burnt coconut flavour and smell in the chutney. Traditionally this is done on coal fire that's used for cooking but our gas flame would work as a good substitute. The coconut pieces should become charred and practically burnt in some areas for the flavour to come through fully. The best chuttaracha chammanthi is made my this family friend of ours whose mom loves it. I have never been able to replicate that taste and flavour in my chutney, ever.

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