Friday, August 04, 2006

Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi&Curry


Lots of dried fish have been waiting in my pantry for a release for a long time...Not so much of a dry fish fan myself, except for a few of my mom's recipes,I have been postponing....I thought it was high time that I emptied at least some dried shrimps and what best to make than a 'Chemmeen chammanthi' which smells of Kerala Monsoon.During the monsoon when 'Kadalamma'(MotherSea) is in her worst moods,impatient,turbulent, her kids, the fisher folk bank upon the dry fish sale for their daily sustenance...Market floods with all sorts of dried fish varieties...Chemmeen Chammanthi and hot steaming rice is heaven for many fish loving keralites! Let me add here that this Chammanthi tastes 100 times better when done in the traditional style using grinding stone(Ammi kallu/Ara kallu)...Poor me! where do I go for a grinding stone in Shropshire!!...So Mixer 'sharanam'!!I dont think there is much secret in this recipe, most keralites make it the same way...but of course individual differences always remain...So here goes the recipe:


Dried shrimp-20g
Dry red chilli-4
Garlic-4-5 pods
Coconut-2 tbsp
Tamarind paste-1 tsp(if u r using tamarind,a small berry size)
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Oil-1 tbsp
Salt-as required
Water-as required


Wash the dry fish thoroughly.Squeeze out the water and roast it in oil along with coconut,shallots,garlic,and cumin seeds till coconut slightly turns colour and u get a fine aroma.Now cool it and grind all the ingredients together with tamarind and salt. adding water as little as possible.Do not grind too much, it should be coarsely ground.When it has nearly reached the required consistency add curry leaves and give a whisk or two.Serve it with hot steamed rice.We add some mill fresh coconut oil to the rice and mix the chammanthi...Ha! what a joy!

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Dry shrimp curry:
I had posted a
  • dry shrimp curry
  • long back. This is slightly a different version in curd base.


    Dry shrimp-25g
    Tomato-2 large(cut into pieces)
    Green chilli-4(slitted)
    Red chilli powder-1tsp
    Turmeric Powder-1 pinch
    Cumin seed-1/2tsp
    Baby shallots(cheriya ulli)-50g(cut into small pieces)
    Ginger-25 gr( cut into small pieces)
    Tamarind paste-1 tsp(Natco)
    Beaten curd-1 cup(not so sour)
    Mustard-1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves-1 sprig
    Dry red chillies-2-Broken
    Salt- as required
    Oil-as required


    Roast the cleaned dry shrimps in oil with a little chilli powder and turmeric powder and salt added.Now add chopped tomatoes,green chilli,ginger,half the cumin,remaining chilli powder and turmeric, and salt if reqd.Add water(1 cup).Close the lid and allow it to get cooked for nearly 8 minutes.Once it is cooked properly,remove from the stove and add beaten curd. Mix well. Now heat oil in a small wok.Add mustard,cumin seeds,dry red chilli,shallots and curry leaves.Saute it till all the seeds have spluttered and the onion tuns reddish brown giving out a fine aroma.Now add the seasoning to the curry and mix well.Serve it hot with steamed rice.


    RP said...

    I have something in my draft with unakka chemmeen too. :) Didn't get time to type the recipe yet. It's been a long time! I am eagerly waiting for your chammanthi recipe. I have a big stock of unakka chemmeen! :)

    Priya Bhaskaran said...

    Synee, I love chemmeen chammanthi....very yummy.My mom makes chemmeen podi...she dries chemmeen in the sun , later fries them with coconut, red chilis, garlic and tamrind and grind them. It is super delicious with rice. Just waiting for your version:)

    indianadoc said...

    Rp..u too!!Pl do post u'r version when it is ready...
    >Priya u have almost given the whole recipe...mine is only marginally different...yes it definitely goes well with rice.

    Sumitha said...

    I am also not very fond of dry fish but like you said,we can bank on them when we dont get fresh fish!
    Shynee I had this bottle of Eastern Prawns coconut chammanthi powder in the fridge from my husbands bachelor days and recently I made a shrimp curry using that as the base.Dont know whether I shall find time to post it soon though!

    indosungod said...

    Shynee I wish I were atleast your neighbor, you always cook up a storm, Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi&Curry - I just completely wet my keyboard.

    Priya Bhaskaran said...

    hey, anyone knows where can I get dried shrimp in the US????

    indianadoc said...

    >So Sumi u r definitely my category!! These are the 'golmaals' that I usually do in the kitchen...for my husband has accumulated so many pickles at home, that u wouldnt believe! I dont feel like throwing them off and so I mutate them!!
    >thanx indosun for the kind words....saddistic pleasure of food blogging!!;)
    >Sorry Priya...I'm in UK.I believe if it is available here it should definitely be available in US. Here I got it from a Kerala Superstore.

    Ameena said...

    You can get dried shrimp from Ranch market in US