chamandi podi – Dry prawns chutney

This delicious dry chutney was prepared for us by cousin Magdeline from beautiful Kerala so we could have a taste of Kerala back in Mumbai. Many thanks Magdeline for all that love, the chutney and for sharing this recipe…  

Ingredients for Chamandi podi :

1 fresh Coconut or 250 gms dry coconut flakes (fresh coconut recommended)
1 inch piece of ginger
5 big dry red chillies
1 tsp red chilli powder (add more if you like it spicier)
2 tsp thick tamarind paste/extract
A handful of dry prawns 
A pinch of fenugreek seed powder
About 15 curry leaves
Coarse sea-salt to taste

Grate coconut and ginger
Dry roast the grated coconut, curry leaves and ginger and dry red chilies on a slow flame. As it  turns dry-ish but not yet brown, add the dry prawns and a pinch of fenugreek powder and roast until coconut turns brownish and a lovely aroma hits your nostrils
Turn off the flame, add chilli powder, sea-salt and tamarind extract, mix it around and leave it to cool. Now here’s the tricky part: At this point Magdeline would transfer it all into a traditional stone pounder and pound it all together to produce the tastiest chamandi I ever tasted! 

But since we don’t have those pounders now, use a blender to blend it all together – running it for a few seconds at a time to ensure the chutney stays dry. 

Note: It may take a few trials before you arrive at the right balance to suit your taste, so keep experimenting with the sourness, spice, salt etc… it’s should be worth the effort when you get it right!

This dry chutney goes great mixed up with plain rice or could be used to flavour and spice up just about anything you fancy. You could convert it to a wet chutney by adding some edible coconut oil. Enjoy!

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