Unakka/Onakka Chemmeen Chammanthi (Dried Shrimp Chutney)

Well, it's been sometime since we chatted, right? This was an unexpected break, just like some other unexpected things happened in the past. I had a wonderful time in the past few weeks. My brother and family visited us last month. We had a fab time with my two little nephews ruling the place :) Once they left, I was thinking, now what's next!? It's always nice to look forward to something, right? That's when Jose asked if we should make a trip to US. I causally said sure, that we could plan something in the next few months. But then he showed me the bookings for flight and hotel and asked me to start packing… as we were to leave the next day! It was my birthday on June 6th and Jose took me to New York as a surprise b'day gift!

So, that's how we ended up in New York. Do you remember about the post where I told you that we planned a holiday and that didnt work out? Well, it was our US trip plan. So this time, we didn't make any plans. Jose just booked the flight and hotel 2 days in advance and told me just one day before leaving!

We had a wonderful holiday. Since we didn't plan anything, we got up each morning and decided what to do depending on the weather. We mainly roamed through the streets of New York… sightseeing, eating, drinking, shopping… We were able to meet some of our cousins, whom we were meeting after a long time, say 15 years! We also went for the “Lion King” show and I loved it. It was my first experience with anything like that and I would strongly recommend seeing it, if you happen to be there in that part of the world. To top it off, we happened to see Ricky Martin, when we were getting out after the show :)

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Ok, I should say something about food, right? We were always confused about where to go, because there are ‘n' number of places to eat. While Jose focused on the seafood, I decided to check out the desserts, especially the famous “New york Cheesecake”. I've shared an album on MariasMenu Facebook pageyou can see it here, if you like.

We reached Bahrain last Wednesday night. I'm still in the process of getting back to the routine. But the first thing I did was to make some rice and chammanthi (chutney). That's when I thought about this chammanthi, which I promised to post long time ago… Though chammanthi is a regular fare at home, this one is kinda new at our place. I dont know why it took so long for us to make it, but once you get the taste of it, you sure will go back for more :)

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Here is the recipe…

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Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi

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Servings: 5 -6
Author: Maria Jose


  • 1/2 cup Cleaned dried shrimp
  • 1 cup Grated coconut
  • 2-3 tsp Crushed red chilli (refer notes)
  • 4 Small / Pearl onion (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp Ginger (chopped)
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Coconut oil


  • Dry rost the cleaned dried shrimp for 7-8 mins on low flame. Keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add crushed red chilli and sliced small onions. Fry it for 2 mins. Add grated coconut and stir for a few mins. Do not brown it. This is done mainly to remove the water content from the coconut. Remove from fire and let it cool.
  • Combine the heated coconut, roasted dried shrimp, ginger, salt and curry leaves. Grind everything together, till the dried shrimps are powdered well. Do not add water while grinding.
  • Serve with rice.


You can use whole dried red chilli instead of red chilli flakes. Use around 3-4. I have it with rice, dosa, idli, chapathi etc; Storage: You can store this in the fridge for 2 weeks in an airtight container.
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