Wednesday 16 May 2018

Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi Podi | Kerala Style Chemmeen Chammanthi Podi | Dry Shrimp Chutney powder

You know, I have been making this condiment on and off for the past 5 years.. On and off in the sense, whenever I get my hands on a pack of dried shrimps, I for sure make them ! I learnt to make them from a very dear blogger friend Meena's space 'Elephants and Coconut trees'. It was a saviour during our days at Norway. Deeps is a great fan of dried fish and getting them was close to impossible there. Once in a while we get the dried shrimps packet in the Asian stores. Whenever we spot one, we buy them and get it roasted and ground :D 

And the taste is so awesome that even after getting back to India and having pretty good access to fresh and dried fish, we still crave for this :D And this time when we went to Kerala, Deeps found this at our local super market and got 2 packets :) So I made this podi with one packet and some other dishes with the other one. Stay tuned to see what they are :) Meena keeps her podi pretty simple but I, when I made it the first time itself used all those extras that she mentioned in her notes.. So I have been making it like that ever since ! They are sooper easy to make. A little time consuming only to roast the ingredients and that is so important coz your shelf life depends on how well they are roasted and how moisture free they are.. And we like to pair it up with kanji (rice gruel) for our dinner. Little of this podi, choodu kanji, mutta scramble (egg scrambled) and achar (pickle) is all that we need to have a mind filling dinner :) So do try this out if you get your hands on one and let me know how you liked it :)

Recipe Source: Adapted from Here

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 45 minutes

Makes : 1.5cups

I Used:

Dried Shrimp - One 50 gm packet
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Shallots - 8 nos
Garlic - 5 pods
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Pepper - 1 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - ½ tsp
Tamarind - 1 tsp (tightly packed)
Salt - As Needed

The Way:

1. Rinse and wash the shrimp thoroughly 3-4 times to remove any dirt or dust particles in them. They tend to absorb water, so be quick to rinse and once done, drain them and take them in a plate and spread them out. Leave them for 30-60 minutes to dry

2. If you are hard pressed for time, do not bother to dry them. Take them in a kadai/pan and dry roast them in low flame. For a better and longer shelf time, there shouldn't be any moisture content in the powder we are going to make. Hence make sure you roast the shrimps in low flame till they are crisp and dry. Also make sure that you keep stirring occasionally so that they don't get burnt

3. Once they are crisp and starts to crack and splutter, take them in a plate and keep aside

4. In the same pan, add the grated coconut, shallots, garlic, curry leaves and pepper. Saute on a low flame till the coconut turns deep brown in colour. Keep sauteeing continuously and take care not to burn them

5. Now add red chilly powder, salt and asafoetida. Give a quick stir

6. Then add the roasted shrimp and give a nice stir. Keep stirring for another 3-4 minutes. Then add the tamarind and saute for a minute. Switch off the flame

7. Allow it to cool down. Then grind it coarsely and store in an air tight container


  • Store in an air tight container for a longer shelf life. Use a clean and dry spoon to take out the podi
  • Dry shrimps comes with added salt. Hence add salt accordingly while making the podi
  • If your shrimps are a bit larger and you want to remove the head and tail then you can do the same. I use small variety for making this podi and don't remove the heads or tails
  • Roast the ingredients really well and keep them away from moisture for a better shelf life


  1. Sounds interesting! I'm tempted to try!

  2. This must have smelled amazing! We make a chelli chammanthi for dosas but that one is with a little fluid and not dry... this one looks nice to sprinkle onto rice and have...


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