If that is not enough here is the true story behind the chutney powders gaining popularity. A treasure not much valued if you have easy access to chammanthi podi but there are few unlucky souls like me who devour it like there is no tomorrow.Share it only in limited quantities as if it costs millions...
Anyone who works away from home or goes home after a long gap knows how it is to face the one and only dreaded question ,"eppozha thirichu pokunathu ?(When are you going back?) A mindless question that automatically comes from the milk man to neighbors as if they are eager to send you off. Sometimes the tone itself is enough to annoy! I guess there is no one who would answer it happily, I mean does anyone ever think they are pampered too much at home that they want to leave on an earlier date. As the last day of vacation nears there is a bad feeling , a cramping in the heart ..ohh donoo what else..
As one walks into the kitchen with the heavy heart the bustling activity there kind of distracts the flow of thoughts. Many items in different stages of completion lay scattered on the counters.The rhythmic sounds of scrapping of the coconuts brings heaps of snow like mountains piled up on steel plates in minutes and the wok and ladle begin their part of roasting all the ingredients evenly.The smell of roasted coconuts and spices soon fills the air. A pair of hands constantly stirs it till the mixture turns into deeper shades of brown.Then pounded or powdered to perfection,not too fine and not too coarse to identify which spice bit it is.
Neatly packed loads of pickles,chammanthi podis ,unniappams etc begins go from kitchen to suitcases and some ready to burst faces holding back tears... everything still blatantly reminds you that you are leaving shortly making every minute seem horrendous.
This post is not for the hearts to ache more but to say you are not alone.There are some foods that speak a lot to us even when we don't want them to.. don't you feel so .Anyway...Nags from Edible garden's recipe for cooking together inspired me to bring my picture to plate.Though her recipe suggests to use small onion and ginger, it is never used in the usual packets I bring but I decided to give onions a try and it tasted very good I must say.
IngredientsGrated coconut- 2 cups (really dry coconut is used)
Whole red chilies- 10 -12 or as much as u want
Small onion/ cheriya ulli - 6-8(cut into small pieces)
Urad dal/Uzhunnu parippu- 2 tsp
Black pepper corns- 1 tsp
Asafoetida / Kaayam- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Tamarind - a small lime size
Salt to taste
Method1. In a wide heavy bottom pan dry roast the coconut ,chilies,small onion,curry leaves, urad dal,pepper corn till the coconut becomes deep brown stirring it constantly till it is done.
2.Add asafoetida ,salt and tamarind to the mixture and let it cool.
3.Coarsely powder it and store it in air tight container.
It can be used immediately along with bland curries such as paripu curry ,moru curr or curd rice etc...
Will stay good for a month in room temperature.If u are making large quantities then it can be refrigerated but once refrigerated bring only small amount to room temperature and use it fast.
- The mixture should be roasted without adding any oil .
- It should be stirred constantly to get an even coloring and not a speck should get burnt which will alter the taste.
- Play around with the dry spices you like ,instead of whole of whole chilies chili powder can be added but only towards the end ( just before switching off the flame ) .
- You could roast coconut to blackish brown color ,I dislike the taste of that so I stop roasting when it is deep brown.
- This is a super spicy powder so use only a tablespoon max..per serving.