Sunday, October 26, 2008

Unakka (Onakka) Chemmeen Chammanthi – A condiment with dried prawns…..

A steaming plate of fluffy rice with a drizzle of golden ghee ........the whiff of divinity sure enough to tickle anyone's that add a pinch of Unakka (Onakka) Chemmeen Chammanthi and then it is ready to delight your palate……


..... a hot bowl of thick and creamy plump rice soup, Kanji flavored with a dash of salt and a sprinkling of Unakka (Onakka) Chemmeen Chammanthi….scoop some with a plavila, jackfruit leaf………… get a whiff of that earthy smell of the fresh plavila, jackfruit leaf when it holds that hot rice soup coupled with the delightful taste of Unakka (Onakka) Chemmeen Chammanthi……hmm…..that sure can make me salivate!!!

Pungent dried prawns ground with freshly grated coconut, spiced up with dry red chillies and black peppercorns and fresh herbs like ginger, shallots and curry leaves and spruced up with a touch of is a mouthwatering condiment that has reigned my palate right from my childhood days. One of those dishes that is sure to transport you back home for few minutes………………either you love it or simply ignore it !

  • 1 cup fried dried prawns/Unakka Chemmeen
  • ½ cup fresh grated coconut
  • 8 dry red chillies ( depends on how hot you want)
  • 1 small red pearl onion/shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • A very small piece of ginger
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • A small drop of tamarind paste or a very small piece
  • Salt to taste
  • In a shallow pan, warm up the fried dried prawns along with dry red chillies and thinly sliced onions without burning any of the ingredients, for 1-2 minutes, or until the fried dried prawns starts to shine and release its oil. Transfer this to the smallest jar of a mixer and add rest of the ingredients and swirl for 1-2 minutes until everything is ground coarsely and holds together.
  • Pour everything to a small serving bowl….or with your palms, shape the ground mixture into one big ball or as shape them into small individual balls as my grandma used to serve.
  • Serve with Kanji or Kutharai Choru


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