Friday, April 28, 2006
'Chutta Mulaku Chammanthi'
Hot steaming 'kanji'(plain rice gruel with salt) and Chammanthi...is for many a Malayali the best dish of the world!...and that too if it is 'chutta mulaku chammanthi' ground on a traditional 'ammikkallu'(grinding stone)....Wah! la jawab!The combination can be made richer with an addition of some ghee to u'r 'kanji'and adding one more side dish, malayali's favourite 'kappa'(tapioca).Perhaps it was the most accessible dish for a poor malayali who lives in the middle of paddy fields,tapioca gardens and coconut groves. It was a way of life for them.....Though cultural invasions/influences(tis the way u take it!) have opened up Malayali's breakfast table to a toast and sandwich, 'Kanji and chammanthi' still brings twinkle in the eyes of many...'Chammanthi' has umpteen permutations, with the addition or deletion of an ingredient...Chutta Mulaku Chammanthi is perhaps a very primordial recipe!
All that you need for the chammanthi(Some call it Sammanthi too!!)is Kerala's signature ingredient- some grated coconut,(say 100g),Dry red chillies(2 or 3),a little tamarind(less than lemon size),salt, 1 small Onion(For tastier chammanthi use baby shallots-kunjulli)& salt.
Now roast the Chillies on a flame till it is charred(slightly blackens or it starts giving that strong aroma that u almost start coughing).Grind it with very less water(1/2tbsp) along with all the other ingredients to a very very coarse paste.Roll it into a ball... and now have it with steaming Kanji.Well, here I should mention that grinding it in an electronic grinder is definitely a compromise on its true taste....But I think 'Ammi kallu' has become inaccessible to most of us...so we are left with no choice...You can have it as a side dish with rice as well.
Instead of red chillies you may add green chillies and make yet another chammanthi. Add jeera and pepper you get another combination...list is endless...(Sorry... my snaps are not truly indicative of its original colour...Some glare has made it look a little bit pale...tis supposed to be more reddish)
Posted by indianadoc at 1:27 AM