January 27, 2011

Kerala Style Dried Shrimp Chutney — Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi

Life seems to get busier each day. It’s the weekend. Already. I hope you have great fun this weekend with lots of wonderful food and good company. On our end, we have plans to go wach the thrilling Asian Cup finals between Japan and Australia. Can't wait to see who wins. Any guess?!!

Chammanthi is a South Indian condiment. It is enjoyed with plain food to add a range of flavors. Made from a base of freshly grated coconut mixed with other ingredients like chili, tamarind and curry leaves, this South Indian staple is a snap to make and perfect served with dosas or rice. 

Dried, salted form of fish is an authentic ingredient in the Malabar cuisine. Preserved fish has a good shelf life and is convenient for cooking whenever fresh seafood is not available. This chutney made with dried shrimp makes a delicious condiment when served with a bowl of parboiled, steamed rice. The combined flavors of shrimp, coconut and tamarind works brilliantly and will sure transport your taste buds to the shores of God's Own Country. The recipe couldn’t be any easier and the result is deliciously complex, the only downside being the obnoxious odor of dried shrimp.

Dry Prawns Chutney — Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi


½ cup dried shrimp
1 cup freshly grated coconut
5 dry red chilies
3 small shallots
4 fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
salt, to taste
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Trim head and tail of shrimp, rinse well, and drain. Dry roast shrimps with shallot and red chili over medium-low heat for about 4-5 minutes or until crisp. Allow to cool.

Blitz the shrimp, chili, shallot, curry leaves and coconut in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Scrape into a bowl. Tip in tamarind paste and combine well using fingers. Season to taste. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat.

For sourness, you can substitute tamarind paste with green, unripe mango. Use half a small, peeled and pitted mango and process together with the other ingredients. 

Dried shrimp renders a delicious umami flavor to the chutney. Oh dear, it's hard to stop reaching out for another spoon of this sour and spicy deliciousness.

Hungry for more? Try out more chutney recipes.

Hope you are having a perfectly lovely day. See you soon .....x


  1. My mom used to make this very often, I can still remember the flavours in it. Rice with this chammanthi looks very yummy.

  2. Thanks! This is one of those dishes that's simple to pull together, but wonderfully satisfying. Even if served with only a bowl of rice, we clean our dishes to the last bite!


A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi