Friday, April 28, 2006

'Chutta Mulaku Chammanthi'


Hot steaming 'kanji'(plain rice gruel with salt) and 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 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)


ganty said...

u had me salivating at the pictures
wish i was at home....thnks for visiting my blog
i guess i shud ask my fiance to visit this place

archana said...

Just hopped in to say Hi, i am from Kerala, and needless to say love chmmanthies of all kinds. Thank you gor blogging about it.

BT said...

I feel like Tom of Tom n Jerry..Tom is led to the fish by its aroma wafting down the hall..ur site has led me by the pictures and ur wonderful comments..chammanthi..reminds me of home..i meant to just look around..but cant resist commenting..chammanthi made in the blender just doesnt taste like whats made at home, ammi kallu.
Am a malayalee settling down in the US.

indianadoc said...

>Thanx ganty for having dropped in...
>thand Archana...same pinch...i too love chammanthis a lot...I miss my mom's chammanthis...
>Well said BT,chammanthi done in the grinding stone is definitely superlative to chammanthi in the modern mixer.What I at times do is pound everything well in a small mortar tht I have with the pestle...but at times we do not have so much of compromise is the only way!!