Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jaathikka Chammanthi - The fruity cover of Nutmeg with grated coconut.

They may not have a velvety skin as those blushing apricots……..yet that mellowed shade of yellow makes them handsome right at the time they ripen and mature….

….and unlike apricots, they have a beautiful heart that’s laced with natural red designs woven by Mother Nature herself….

…….and put them in the company of feathery light freshly grated coconut, rosy pearl onions and slender green chillies with a generous sprinkling of salt…

…..and there we have this tongue tickler that wakes up your taste buds and leaves a tangy and mild acidic note at the back of your palate……

This is one of the tasty creations from my mother-in-law’s kitchen and the first time I had it, it had me swept away! I always make sure that I savor it atleast once every time we visit her. It is one of those jazz up items she makes at the last minute, to bring life to an otherwise ordinary meal or as a condiment for Kanji-Payar.

It is very easy to put together. Select tender/young ones with a green hue; you may start by splitting the whole nutmeg fruit into two, remove the kernels, peel off the skins and cut the flesh into small pieces. Grind the fruity pieces either in a wet grinder or on an Ammikkallu, an old fashioned flat grinding stone with an elongated rolling pin. Add freshly scraped coconut , red pearl onions, green chillies and sprinkle salt to taste and grind till you get a coarse paste. Last time when my MIL prepared this, she plucked 4 whole nutmeg fruits and made her maid grate about half of a cracked open coconut and added some green chillies to elevate the heat to suit our palates. As I took notes from her, she also mentioned that the peeled off skins can be pickled separately , for which one can use both raw as well as ripe skin of the nutmeg fruit. Though I have tasted spicy pickles made with nutmeg fruit, I have never had the opportunity to taste the one with peeled off skins. May be on our next vacation!

Updated on 17th Auh 2010: Thought of updating the post and title , to clarify certain doubts raised in the comment section. This comes under the category of 'sides & condiments' just like pickles or Manga Chammanthi, Chutta Pappada Chammanthi or Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi . And as I had written in one of my earlier posts, "This is not to be misinterpreted with the ever popular Chutney. For Keralites, both are two different things; Chammanthi is a dry coarse paste where as Chutney is a liquid-y dip/sauce". Sorry, I cannot think of an equivalent name in English.


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  1. totally a new recipe, sure must have been so aromatic

  2. Wow, chammanthi with jaathikka ? so refreshingly new for me.

  3. We had lots of jaathikka @ home.. But never made this chammanthi.. Sounds interesting tto..

  4. This is new for me.. less ingredients and easy to make also.. :D I am gonna try it next.


  5. When I first saw the title of this post it didn't strike that it can be made with fresh nutmegs. I can have this just for their aroma.

  6. Raw Jaathikka has amazing medicinal does miracles wen one hs an upset stomach or bitter taste in mouth due to fever...This chammanthi ws very common during my childhood wen we hd Jaathikka tree in our courtyard....

  7. Are you in India ? Loved those pics, not sure what exactly this is though

  8. I never heard or seen this before. sounds very delicious Shn.

    Can we use this coarse paste in curries or is it supposed to be eaten as a chutney?


  9. Niloufer, It's not as aromatic as its kernel, nutmeg.

    Pravs, that's exactly what I thought about first when I had it from her place:)

    Nitha, now u can give it a try...:) u made pickles with them?

    RoL, hope to read ur feedback soon :)

    Radhika, no, it's not that aromatic as u think..when ground with coconut, it's like regular chammanthi.

    Anon, so happy to see someone who is familiar with it...and i had no clue about that fever part...thanks a bunch for scribbling few lines here :)

    Bong Mom & Siri, I have updated the post....sorry I confused u guys....I couldnt think of an equivalent name in english this is not chutney as for us Keralites, chutney is a liquid-y sauce but this is like chutney minus the sauce or liquid...makes sense? or did i confuse u again? :D and Siri, it is not used as a paste in curries, it's eaten with rice or may be dosa, idli et al.....


  10. I have passed this on to T's mom, they have "Jathi" at T's place. Never thought about a chammanti with it before, i have tasted pickle and wine made from it. Thank you Mish, your blog is one of a kind.
    Archana from Spicyana
    Your blog is not letting me post a comment using my gmail account !

  11. Hello Shn, haven't been here for ages! Hope you've been doing good.

    Interesting recipe :-)

  12. Chammanthi with Jathika! defnitely something to tell my grandmom-in-kerala who i'm visting visiting today! I'm just so excited about my trip to Kerala, came to your blog to see some sadya pictures before the real one :) Happy Onam Mishmash! :) You must have a beautiful Onam sadya planned? We have many Jathika trees at our house in Kerala, when i was a kid someone once told me it was possible to make PETROL (or an equivalent, basically something tht could be used to drive vehicles with) using jathika. i still smile thinking of how i believed that! :) This is going to be my first Onam in Kerala and though i visit the place atleast once a year i am tryng hard to stop myself from jumping up and down thinking of celebrating Onam with my grandmom and lil cousins. ... and you are so right chammandi and chutney are so different inspite of being so similar, i think chammandi is best suited for rice. and i have a request this time, you know the chammandhi podi eaten with rice, not the idly one but the other dark brown one that is oh so totally yummy with rice, i think all readers here would love a mishmash version of that! My comment has gotten really long thanks to my excitement, wish you a Happy Onam again!

  13. Archana , sorry for the technical glitch..hope its just a one let me know if u face this issue again. and thanks a lot for the encouragement, coming from u, it means a lot:) and jahikka wine, that must be as good as the cashew apple one i guess...

    Sunita, yes, GREAT indeed :)

    Vidya, yes yes i see the excitement :) Lucky you! being at the ancestral mom with grandmom and cousins, oh that must be a memorable one for sure...i cant remember the last time i had such a gathering:( and that petrol part..hehe..who knows someone might come up with some novel idea, in which case all "jaathi" onwers will benefit :D chammanthi podi, hmm..will try to blog, gimme some time....and our onaasamsakal to you and ur family



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