Dried shrimp and grated coconut dry roasted and made into coarse powder .The sweetness of shrimp and the nutty flavor of coconut just go well together if that is not enough tamarind and chili takes it to the next level.
When fresh catch from the sea cannot be enjoyed people in Kerala turn to the dried fish especially dried shrimp.Usually tiny shrimp is used for making this chemmeen chammanthi podi is used.Do I need to say how well it goes with Kerala matta rice.Yet another treasure hostelites bring and savor till they get back home and have fresh home cooked meal...
Well, when u are away from home and want to make some chammanthi podi out of home sickness then what do u do??hmm.. unlike the do it all Indian mixie I tell u! I hate it when blenders say we do not powder anything! so that's when the coffee grinder comes into picture and saves the day!!
I like the chammanthi podi to be slightly coarse with surprise bits of shrimp .To me it gives a rustic feel rather than looking like machine made superfine talcum powder .I am sure u would nod ur head 🙂
One visit to the bigger Asian store is a remedy to reduce the above said home sickness 🙂 Look in the Philippines section or Mexican section for the dried shrimp.
If u will notice the shrimp used here is slightly different from the paper thin ,almost transparent shrimp we get in Kerala .This one is slightly fatter ,shelled and cleaned.
Add some salt to speed up the dry roast process if u are using this kind of shrimp.Note that this one does not turn brown and transparent but becomes really crisp when dry roasted.
The quality and taste of this chutney powder depends on how well it is dry roasted ,needless to say not a speck of burn.
- U could play around with the recipe by using small onions,pepper corns,garlic, asafoetida and saute along with coconut above all increase or decrease heat .i make it only with the ingredients given in my recipe because that's the way it is made in my house.And I love it.
- The shelf life of the podi depends on how well u roast the ingredients.
- Generally dried shrimp comes with head tail and legs so if u have issues with using it as it is then clean as soon as u open the pack.If it is really tiny we do not remove anything from shrimp.
- To clean just pinch and pull out the head of dried shrimp and pinch again on legs and pull out.It is fairly easy to clean dried shrimp,yes it is sometimes time consuming though ;).
- Dried shrimp's smell attracts ants so keep it airtight 😉