Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nadan Chammanthi Podi and other ramblings

Dear Reader,

Do not worry.This is not another short story. It is not that sea of my stories has dried up but I am giving people a break. I am a very understanding person. I understand the concept of “Threshold Of Patience”. Now read on.


Some dishes are extra yummy when a particular person makes it. It could be that extra spice or the omitted spice or it could be the additional frying one need to do or the post-cooking garnishing that makes all the difference. In effect, everyone has a signature dish to his or her credit. Like Ammomma’s Sambhar with a hint of jaggery, Valliyamma’s Coffee, Amma’s kada-chakka thoran and the list goes on. Some dishes, ordinary by itself, transforms into culinary delights when they are made by certain people.

Yes, Nadan Chammanthi Podi. It’s a spicy mix made of predominantly coconut (yes, thank you, my malayali genes) and eaten with dosa, idli, rice etc. Considering my utmost infatuation with Chammanthi Podi, I can have it with anything. Once I had it with Maggi Noodles. (Maggi kind of spoilt the taste of my Chammanthi Podi) .

When I had to move to Australia, with a terrible heartache, I realized that none of these Podi’s are allowed in the baggage by the customs rules. After having lived on the grace of Amma’s sambhar and dosa podi for years (even in Singapore), this news was a shock.

Amma smirked. She was happy that her prodigal daughter was finally off her apron string albeit a little late. Undaunted I told her Eastern and Double Horse makes Sambhar and Dosa podi’s. Amma did not reply. She mentioned something about the Chammanthi Podi Valliyamma had made.
Oo La La. Nobody makes Chammanthi Podi in the market. That is how I asked Valliyamma about her recipe (The one she makes fits my palate). A sweet heart she is she wrote down the recipe for me.

Today, another jobless boring day dawned. I decided to try Valliyamma’s Recipe.

Nadan Chammanthi Podi

  1. Shredded Cocunut  - 2 cups
  2. Urad Dal            - 5 table spoons      
  3. Coriander Seeds     - 2 table spoons
  4. Dry Chilli               - 6-8 nos
  5. Tamarind                -Size of a lemon
  6. Jaggery              - 2-3 table spoons
  7. Curry Leaves         -a few sprigs
  8. Salt                    -to taste        
  9. Asafoetida            - 1/2 teaspoon

Cooking Procedure:
  1. Fry the all the ingredients in a thick bottomed vessel till it turns a dark brown
  2. Allow it to cool and powder it using a mixer
  3. Store in a dry container.
 Cheat Code:
It is not mandatory that you should use the quantities as given.Add more chilli if you want it spicy.A tad more tamarind for the tangy taste.A bit more jaggery for a sweet one if you have kids at home.

C'est simple, n'est-ce pas? And it turned out be yummy.


  1. You're so right about something being extra delicious when a certain person makes it- for me it's my amooma's elaiadas. :)
    The chamanthi podi does look yummm- I used to love eating it with rice and papadam. Aaaah, you've got me craving for some naadan food now. Sighh.

    1. I had it with rice,papadum and curd!;-) the wicked me...

  2. hey.. Maggi with Chammati podi is nice.. Nee ippozhum Veggie aano? if not try it with chemmeen chamanthi podi.. its even better :)

    1. Once a veggie always a veggie... :-D..May be maggi is nice to "chemmeen chamanthi podi"...

  3. Well done. Looking forward to more of the same. But how many more boring jobless days will dawn :).

  4. From Mahabharatha to a lovely chammanthi podi ,what a transition:).keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks chechi...I am into cooking these days..