Nadan Chammanthi Podi

Does it happen to you? You build up an image about a person or an object in your mind for so long that it sometimes becomes larger than life or too perfect to be real? Well, it happens to me at times. This Chammanthi Podi (Chutney Powder) recipe turned out to be one such thing. It was kind of a staple when I was growing up, then somehow it slowly disappeared from our kitchen…

I can’t help but be nostalgic when I think about this. It reminds me of the time I spent at both my parents places with my cousins. As I’ve said earlier, it was kinda a regular thing at the dining table along with some kind of Achar. Usually, I'm not a person who fusses about the taste too much, may be because my parents weren't the kind to fuss about whether we ate enough or not. My Amma's policy was, if you are hungry, you eat, otherwise don’t. Simple!

You see, I grew up with having maids who learnt cooking after working for us for a few months and in some worst case scenarios who never got the hang of the cooking ;) That was our situation…

But oh boy, did I fuss too much about this recipe or not! I've never tried a recipe this many times, period! I guess I've have made it more times than I can count. Every time, I would feel something was missing.

I played around with the proportions of the spices, roasting time of coconut etc; I was almost sure, I'd never get it right, because in my mind this thing, this perfect recipe… has turned into something so big that I wouldn’t achieve it no matter what I do. It took me some time to separate my emotions from the taste, which is actually a hard thing to do. You know what I mean, right? There are times when you've eaten just to feed your emotions more than the need to feed your tummy, right?

Well, the last time, I made it, I made an effort to keep away all the emotions and concentrate on the taste part. Again, I was stumped! Because, every time I taste a good Chammanthi Podi, it feels like the spiciness from the red chilli and pepper, the tanginess from the tamarind, the nuttiness from the roasted coconut and salt is competing with each other to show their dominance. I couldn’t just pinpoint and say, I like this one the best, it's a perfect balance of all those elements that makes it kick. Your taste buds should feel like a riot is taking place, at least that's what I think.

Just from this description, you've got an idea about how much I like this, right? It's one of my fav fav things! I got this recipe from my friend Maryann’s mother. Thank you so much aunty for sharing your recipe :)  I made some teeny tiny changes and now finally I could put my search for perfect Chammanthi podi to rest.

Well, I've adjusted the proportions to suit my taste requirements, you can always adjust it to suit yours. Try it out, and let me know how it goes…

Btw, this can also be a good Christmas gift for your friends and loved ones, especially for those who cant have sweet treats and for those who are staying away from home. 

Click Here For Recipe…

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  • This recipe is really amazing and you don’t need anything else to have rice .
    How will you correct the excess tamarind flavour and how will you increase the chilli flavour after ayou finish making the podi

  • Ok. I haven’t tried any recipes yet but I’m so glad I got to this site! I loved Kerala cuisine when I visited there so having recipes that I can try out is going to be awesome! Thanks!!!

    • Hi Dharti,

      Thank you so much for visiting MM! Really happy to know that you enjoyed Kerala food during your visit. I do hope you get to recreate those taste with our recipes :)


    • Hi Anu,

      This particular container was a gift from a friend. However, I’ve seen similar containers available in super markets. Check out the container aisle of any supermarket. I’m sure you will find it there…


  • Hi Maria, just wanted to know how to add tamarind to the recipe. Do you add the paste form or just a piece of tamarind? Does it have to be seedless?

  • Hi Maria
    First and foremost – I LOVE YOUR WEBSITE (you’d probably hear it from everyone BUT I AM SERIOUS!!! :) It’s an absolute life savor). Born and bought up outside India I am very mallu in nature and LOVE my Mallu food… :)
    I come from a place where we get desiccated coconut So I was wondering the quantity that would be equivalent to the fresh coconut mention above… Thanks

    • Hi Ann,

      Thank you so much for your comment, it really made my day :)

      About the desiccated coconut, I’m not very sure about the exact qty, but I guess 1.5 – 2 cups of desiccated coconut will do. Hope you get to try this and like it as well.


  • Hi Maria, Here I would like to add that it will be better if the coconut is not very fresh….cos fresh coconut will have more oil, will stick more to the pan and will be difficult to roast. A little dry one will be easier to fry…not that it should be copra…but not very fresh either.

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