Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chammanthi Podi - Roasted Coconut n Spice powder

Chammanthi podi, a fine medley of roasted coconut and spices, is a common preserve in Keralite homes. Each home has its own variations.
The “Spice powder” goes well with steamed rice, dosas and idlies. I love this as an accompaniment for plain, cold curd rice; an excellent comfort meal by itself...
You Need:
Grated coconut- 1 ½ cups
Coriander seeds-2 tbsps
Black pepper corns- 1/2 tsp
Red chillies- 7-8 nos(or according to your spice level- Use 5 chillies if you like it medium spicy or less than 5 if you like it milder)
Tamarind-a fat one inch piece; pinched to smalled bits.
Salt-to taste
Curry leaves-4-5 sprigs

Heat a broad and wide iron wok.Do NOT use even A DROP of OIL.
Dry fry, coconut until the moisture in it evaporates and turns the colour into mild brown. Cool and pulse twice for not more than 2 secs . We do this, for even frying later, as this brings the powder to even particles. Freshly grated coconut, while getting fried doesn't brown equally. Hence this step.
Tranfer all the ingredients with pulsed coconut, to the wok stirring all the time in slow-medium flame,evently. Fry until the coconut gets a deep brown hue and the roasted coconut-spice aroma spreads around.This will take around 25 minutes.
Cool and powder.Add tamarind and check salt.Pulse/grind again.See to it, you don’t throw in the tamarind piece before you powder the mix in the first stage.Let the Chammanthipodi be a little coarse, coz that’s the way it has to be ;).Store in airtight-glass bottles.The powder has a high shelf life and stays well for a month in room temperature and stays better in fridge/freezer compartments.

The Authentic Chammanthi Podi calls for a tsp of finely minced ginger, a few cumin seeds and a tbsp of minced shallots in addition to the above mentioned ingredients.I generally avoid these 3, as I personally feel they would bring down the fine roasted "coconut-spice-curry leaf" flavour.
Go ahead if you prefer the, 'gingery,' cuminy’, 'shallotty' touch... :)
You can skip the pulsing part in the first step, if you use dessicated or store bought coconut or if the particles are even sized.

In olden days, Chammanthi podi was ‘hand powdered’ in Ural and Ulakka, the traditional stone mortar and its wooden pestle.The sorted out roasted chillies from the fried mix and rock salt goes in the Ural, first.After they are ‘beaten’, IN goes the roasted coconut and spices. The oil which oozes out at this stage , from the roasted coconut, is absorbed by the ginger, shallots and the tamarind, added next ; the heavenly spice-blend imparting the much authentic taste to the Thenga Varuthidicha Nadan Chammanthi Podi.”


  1. You always take gorgeous looking pictures Bharathy!! We too make thengai podi,but this one is very different,sounds so flavorful and spicy!

  2. This with some hot rice and a dollop of ghee is foodie heaven. My version too has no cumin, onion or ginger....I thought that's the real version.....atleast that's the way it's always been made in my home.

  3. Even if you know many podis you will still find new ones. This is a new combination. Description and pics sound yummy!

  4. pics look great... the podi looks nice and spice

  5. Hi there,
    (been your subscriber for a long time)
    Thank U sooooo much for posting this recipe. I am so longing for it here, so far away from home :(

  6. my fsv podi.. looks soo gr8... lovely presentation.. :)

  7. looks yum. my friend is from kerala and she is the one who introduced this podi to me. i love this and nice to have the recipe. never occured me to ask her :-) easy access, u see :-)

  8. sis, oru doubt. can i use some oil in the wok before frying? *innocent look*

    hehehe :D

  9. Chammanthi podi is an eternal favorite..We have various recipes for similar kind of podis featuring garlic,curry leaves etc.But this simple roasted coconut with minimal ingredients takes the prime place.I already see myself making it..soon;)

  10. Hi,
    This powder is very tempting to read and I am sure will be very tasty too. Since I am a lover of podis and love to eat podi sadam as often as I can, I am going to try out this podi without fail.If u r interested u can visit my blog and pass ur comments which I sure would like to hear.

  11. Hi,
    Thanks for visiting my blog. I shall keep visiting urs for updates looking forward to them.

  12. coconut and spices..ah i love this podi!!!!

  13. Congrats! I am nominating you for the Kreativ Blogger Award, Please do visit my blog.

  14. பாரதி,

    உங்களுக்கு கிடைத்திருக்கும் கிரியேடிவ் ப்ளாக் அவார்ட் க்கு என்னுடைய்ய மனமார்ந்த்த வாழ்த்துக்கள்

    அம்மு ..

  15. Hi Bharathy, I have bookmarked this, and I am going to make it this weekend - can you tell me if i need to powder the tamarind? If I don't, won't it be lumpy?

  16. Thank you, Lush.. :)..I dint notice abt adding the "Pulsing part" after the addition of tamarind..If you add the same in the beginning the stickiness would interfere in the powdering of main add later..

    Hope you're clear..Good luck.. :)

    (...and if you prefer to make in smaller quantities, you may not need to fry the whole thing more than 30-40 minutes..but you should fry them continuosly):)...
    Get back to me once you are thru..its easy to make..worth trying too..:)

  17. Tempting to eat bharathy

  18. Bharathy, I so happy that I found this recipe. I have been looking for this exact recipe and couldn't find it since I did not know the name "chammanthi". We make something called podi-potta kari with potatoes, brinjal and raw banana which uses a powder of spices and dals. But I remember eating this powder with curd rice at a friend's house and thinking that it will go really well for the podi-potta kari, esp., with the shallots and ginger. Initially, I was disappointed to see that the ingredients list and, not finding the shallots and ginger, I was about to pass it by. But then your pics looked so lovely that I read on and a good thing too! Thanks for the recipe. Will try it for my podi-potta kari and let you know!

  19. Bharathy, as promised, I tried this out this week with Indian (small) brinjal to make podi-potta kari. Turned out fantastic. I did add some channa and urad dal to the "kari podi" and stored the chammanthi podi for later use with rice and yoghurt. Yum...thanks for the recipe again :)

    1. It was a super hit again with friends today for lunch. Here is the recipe for chammanthi podi potta kari I have made again with brinjal. Thanks again for the chammanthi recipe. It tastes exactly like what I remember from when I was young :)


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