16 September 2020

Thenga Chammanthi Podi |Roasted Coconut Chutney Powder Kerala style|ചമ്മന്തി പൊടി


If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes, only then would you realize how special you are to me.” Frida Kahlo

Chammanthi podi is a dry chutney powder/condiment made with shredded coconut, spices, curry leaves and tamarind. The idea behind this simple yet nostalgic edible delicacy/creation is to make a dry chutney powder that has a longer shelf life and can go well with any kind of meal deliciously. 

Well, whoever came up with this amazing podi idea... Hats off !!...This chammanthi podi is my heart stealer, my most favorite edible food I can't have enough of . Who needs rice, idli,dosa,I would simply eat it by itself 😜 .It is spicy,tangy,simply tasty ! I can't stop licking my fingers and sometimes I wonder if I may eat my fingers as well... That much I love them....💓😍


1. Since we used to be in North India for long, and we didn't get free or enough coconut like we are so blessed enough to get in Kerala,Amma hardly prepared them.Chammanthi podi which is a staple in most of the Kerala homes, was prepared once in a blue moon at my home(Govt. quarters) in North India .
Mostly,while travelling from Bokaro to Kerala during summer vacation,it used to take almost three days and if there was one food item that would stay fresh for more than three days ,it used to be this chammanthi podi . Though it has a long shelf life,it would never dare to stay that long in my presence as I would complete it before we reached Kerala..I could hear my amma shouting in the background ,"Don't eat too much at a stretch or you will have stomach ache or loose motion." ...but to no avail...Chammanthi podi was like a powdery snack to me...my edible weakness 💟🙌

Pic credit:Quora Uruli and Ullaka
While going back to Bokaro from Kerala after vacation,I remember my ammama/maternal grandma and/or aunts preparing this chammanth podi traditionally in a special huge mortar and pestle with a tough wooden stick called urali and ullakka.
It used to be an unforgettable lovely sight to watch them pounding this chutney powder traditionally as it looked like an art,a dance of hands ,creating some edible magic tirelessly and all of them happily gossiping simultaneously. Such a humble atmosphere and what a dang whole body workout it was! No gym or personal trainer can dare to compete I feel... Gone are those days ...

 3. During my college days especially when I was doing my Masters in Coimbatore,amma used to pack bottles of chammanthi podi for happily surviving hostel stay - a dash/touch of her food with every boring, tasteless meals served everyday in hostel.It not only used to make my day but my friend's day as well.
One of my close friend ,who used to call me her soulmate/sister,my roommate, one of the loveliest and wisest girl I have ever met in my life ,she used to wait for me in hostel when I used to return from Bokaro after any vacation with open arms and all eyes on my backpack as she knew my amma would have for sure packed packets of chammanthi podi and we used to enjoy it together with lots of gossips and stories.#MissYouSwapu

4.After my marriage, whenever we travel back to US from India,I don't mind forgetting to bring anything else but chammanthi podi.Chammanthi podi is inevitable just like passport 😁. Not only me,my hubby is also a huge fan of chammanthi podi, so there is a clash of the Titans between us...ath shree Mahabharat katha ....and no one wins..it's always a tie... So,it finishes up as fast as a melting ice cream... 



If my hubby is crazy about pickle,then I am crazy about this chammanthi podi 😎.I can finish a small jar/bottle of my mommade chammanthi podi in a day for sure 😋 ...So,if there is a pickle eating competition,do let my hubby know and if there is a chammanthi podi eating competition,do let ME know...No one can beat us respectively...

Chammanthi podi recipe varies from region to region in Kerala. Since it has a long shelf life,is travel friendly,almost every home in Kerala have a story to tell.I've tried many versions of Chammandi podi but it's my mother's that's the bestest for me.


So,let me share with you all our family secret chammandi podi recipe in our own nadan way ...

Chammanthi podi recipe|Roasted Coconut Chutney Powder Kerala style


Coconut large  5 nos.
Red chilies,stem removed 80 Nos

Shallots/kunj ulli 20 Nos.
Curry leaves 10 Nos.
Coriander powder 4 Tbsp

Salt to taste
Tamarind ,lemon ,medium size (Seedless) 1 No.  

Preparation method to make chamandi podi:


  1. Grate the coconut and keep them aside.
  2. Heat a WIDE pan ,add the grated coconut,red chilies and shallots and keep on sauteing on high flame till the moisture evaporates.
  3. Add curry leaves,then keep on sauteing on medium to low flame.
  4. Add coriander powder and keep on sauteing until everything is well roasted and turns brown in color and coconut has a crispy texture to it.
  5. Put the flame off and let it cool down.
  6. Then remove all red chilies and grind it with salt and tamarind and keep them aside.
  7. Then take little portion of the ground powder ,the above (Number six) chili mix and little portion of dry roasted coconut and keep on grinding it batch by batch so that we can get a well combined chammanthi podi.Don't run the jar for tooo long or it may produce oil .It doesn't have to be super fine powdery consistency.
  8. That's it nadan style chammanthi podi is ready !!
  9. Store it in an airtight container.


  • The continuous sautéing / dry roasting coconut until they turn brown and crisp is the key step in preparing this Chammanthi podi. 
  • Whil grinding don't run the mixer jar too long or it may turn oily.

OR,watch this step by step chammanthi podi video.Hope it helps.

If there is one recipe I wanted to learn how to make by all means,then it was my amma's style of Chammandi podi . My love for chammanthi podi is something that is beyond words ....#MyLoveAtFirstTaste #MyForeverEdibleLove ..Do you have any idea how much I love you Chammandi podi ??? You are my Yin to my edible Yang....

I am soo glad I finally learned how to make chammandi podi nadan style .Coincidently,Amma made this chammandi podi for me to take with me to US and this is, for now, my last cooking lesson/session with her in India (looking forward to more ..touchwood!!)...sighhh...and my last blogpost in India...

Every year ,whenever I used to visit India,my acha/father would tell me to learn all cooking recipes from my mother as much as possible but due to lack of time,I would never be able to do so.Anyways,this long vacation I could fulfill my father's wish to an extent.:)


Now,it's TIME...It's time to pack ..it's time to fly ...it's time to say goodbye (India)....with loads of memories and a few lessons... Thanking almighty (and his notorious muse ,Corona) for granting me such a long stay with my parents in my motherland...though had to stay away from my hubby for long too which I believe is God's way of saying," Let the absence make the hearts grow fonder forever." AMEN!!

Also, thanking my hubby for adjusting with my long stay away from him ,tolerating me regardless and putting his health at risk and finally coming to India for us (though in quarantine)..Can't wait to see him....Time to go back to our God gifted, hard-earned nest ...May God bless us always! Amen !!💕

Accha chalti hoon,Duaaon mein yaad rakhna

Mere zikr ka zubaan pe swaad rakhna


Dil ke sandookon mein,Mere acche kaam rakhna

Chitthi taaron mein bhi,Mera salaam rakhna................🙏💗

Please take good care of yourself,


15 September 2020

Padavalanga theeyal recipe Kerala recipe | Snake Gourd Theeyal recipe |പടവലങ്ങ തീയല്‍|Padavalanga Varutharacha Curry


 Theeyal is a vegetable curry made with roasted coconuts ,a few spices and vegetables like Eggplant/Snake gourd/Bitter gourd/Potato/Drumstick/Onion/Prawns/Okra/Ladies finger popularly .If you ask me what does theeyal mean,then I would say , "When coconut was getting roasted on thee/fire/flame,it started yelling ,hence it is called "Thee+Yell/Yal in a sober way ".😉😂😋.Jokes apart, according to Mr.Wiki ,Theeyal means "burnt dish"as the coconut is roasted with spices till it turns tad brownish and the final curry is also dark brown in color.

My entire family loves theeyal, even my munchkin a.k.a D.K.P a.k.a honey D loves it. Whenever I leave India and go back to pardes/US,my mother would pack me a huge cover full of homemade, ready to cook, theeyal podi that is theeyal powder . This theeyal podi is such a lifesaver/time saver especially when I am sick,or feel lazy to cook or running short of time , it is a super quick way to whip up a lip smacking ,healthy curry in no time loved by all.#Happiness 


The best thing about this theeyal curry is that it is quite versatile ,we can use varieties of vegetables and even non veg like egg or prawns mainly.So, this theeyal powder is quite handy and useful beyond words.

It needs to be refrigerated though.I treasure it as very precious, so, sparingly I use it for making curry .Amma is always surprised that the theeyal podi is always in stock even after a year or two ,which Amma is not at all happy about as she thinks it may not be that healthy after such a long period of time .Guess what I still have the theeyal podi that Amma gave me last year....Shhhh..😬😑

However, this time, as I am packing up to go back to US, I told my mother not to bother because it is indeed a Herculean task especially to dry roast the coconut in large quantity and so,I don't want to disturb her more. So,I decided to learn how to make theeyal curry Amma style so that I can myself prepare it when needed later.


This is a Padavalanga Theeyal recipe ,പടവലങ്ങ തീയല്‍,snakegourd curry recipe ...I only knew to use snake gourd in Avial and sambar ,now good to learn a snake gourd theeyal curry recipe...

Let's head to the theeyal recipe then..what say ?

Padavalanga Theeyal Curry|SnakeGourd theeyal curry


Snake Gourd,chopped  1 Cup

Onion,large 1 No.,chopped

or Shallots/Kunj Ulli,chopped 1 cup 

Potato,medium size,chopped 1 No.

Drumstick,sliced 3 inch long

Tomato,medium size ,chopped 1 No. 

Green chillies,chopped 2 to 3 Nos.

Coconut,grated 1 Cup

Red chili powder 1 Tbsp

Coriander powder 1 Tbsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 Tsp

Fennel powder 3/4th Tsp

Fenugreek powder 1/4th Tsp

Coconut oil 2 to 4 Tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 Tsp

Dry red chillies,broken 2 Nos.(Optional)

Curry leaves,a few

Water as needed

salt to taste

 Preparation method to make theeyal :

  1. Wash all the vegetables well and keep them aside.
  2. Scrape the skin of the Snake gourd and cut them into pieces ,remove the seeds and then chop them into more pieces,1 inch long approx.
  3. Peel the skin of the drumstick and cut them into 3 inch long and keep them aside.
  4. Heat a pan and dry roast the coconut till they turn golden brown on high flame first to just dry out the grated coconut ,keep on sautéing continuously. Then on medium to low flame dry roast until the coconut turns brown .
  5. Then add all the spices and saute on low flame . Make sure not to burn the coconut by all means ,otherwise it may change the actual taste of the curry making it bitter.
  6. Then put the flame off and let it cool off.
  7. Meanwhile, heat oil on a pan ,splutter mustard seeds,add broken red chilies ,add all the chopped vegetables and saute until they turn soft and onion turns transparent.
  8. Finally, add the chopped tomato and saute until they become soft.
  9. Then grind the roasted coconut and all spice powders with little water until it becomes a not so thick not so thin smooth coconut paste.
  10. Add the coconut paste to the cooked vegetables above and mix well
  11. Add enough water.
  12. Let it come to full boil.
  13. Then reduce the flame and let it simmer until the curry thickens up a bit.
  14. Then throw a sprig of curry leaves and slat to taste.
  15. Put the flame off.
  16. That's it theeyal curry is ready.


  • Shallots/Kunj Ulli makes this curry more flavorful than onion.
  • You may omit potato, drumstick.
  • Fennel is the main spice in this theeyal recipe.
  • We don't use tamarind .Tomato's sourness is enough for the curry. However, for bitter gourd theeyal, we use tamarind only.
  • The key thing in the recipe is the nicely dry roasted coconut without getting burnt.
  • Instead of snake gourd ,we can also use onion, eggplant or bitter gourd or okra or eggs or prawns  for making different curries with same spice mix and roasted coconut.

 Theeyal is also one of the main curry of Kerala's grand feast,Sadya.This curry is so coconut-ty that it goes amazing with boiled rice and any side dish.This curry tastes more flavorful next day.And I am a huuge fan of theeyal curry,finally learned it.A happy camper here!😊🙌

That's it for now.

Take care of yourself.

Just a humble reminder : (CNN (<-Click for the link))If people washed their hands regularly, wore masks, and kept their social distance from each other, these three simple behaviors could stop most of the Covid-19 pandemic, even without a vaccine or additional treatments, according to a new study. PLS DO NOT FORGET!!

14 September 2020

Vadukapuli Naranga Achar | Naranga Curry pickle|Wild Lemon pickle Kerala style - A Kerala Sadya Pickle Recipe


Vadukapuli Naranga Achar is a traditional lemon pickle usually prepared for Kerala's grand feast,Sadya . What makes this lemon pickle unique from other usual lemon pickles is the special lemon used called "wild lemon"a.k.a Curry citrus a.k.a. Curry Naranga a.k.a Vadukapuli Naranga in Malayalam.Hence, this lemon pickle is known as Vadukapuli Naranga Achar.


Day before Onam 2020:

Amma/Her highness : Honey,do you get the curry lemon in US?

Yours truly,moi: Since my G.K. is too good,I thought only one kind of lemon and it's non-identical twin, lime only exists. So, I replied,"Amma,you name it,we get it in US for sure ..sometimes they are in frozen form though.

Amma: Really!! That's good. Alrighty,wanna learn how to make vadukapuli naranga achar then?

Yours truly: Yeppy...let's do it ! 

Amma : Bring that lemon from the refrigerator.

Yours truly:Brings the gooseberry size lemon with a zing in my steps.💃

Amma: Oho..not this one, bring the large one.

Yours truly: Searches the refrigerator like a spy 007 in and out (singing the James Bond BGM) .My mother rushed towards me wondering what happened,why is it taking too long.

Amma:I asked you to bring the lemon not to clean the refrigerator .

Yours truly:Ooopsie... There is no lemon Amma.Scold acha/father,he forgot to buy it seems ...me LOLing...😉😋😁

Amma:You have two big eyes like a frog.Can't you see this lemon ??👀

Yours truly : Speechless😬 ..then stammering...aren't we gonna make a lem..mon pickle. Why do we need a grapefruit ??😧


Amma :Loling ...honey this is the lemon we will be using for the pickle.It is called curry pickle or vadukapuli traditionally.

Yours truly : Realises and reconfirms ,that my G.K. is truly not up to mark with a mouth wide open and deep sigh .#Hightime

Amma: So,you do get this curry lemon in store in US ..right?

Your truly :Aa..mmm...we get grapefruits like that 😨 . (Finds a quick excuse!) I am sure they are available in stores there..I might not have paid attention.

Amma : Since she knows her daughter very welll😎...honey don't worry ,you can use medium size lemons for this pickle too.

Yours truly : Really?? ...OK 😬 .. (Sho chammipoyii !!😐😏)

Truth be told,this is the first time ever I saw this huge lemon ,it's a wild lemon,size of a small grapefruit yellow in color and tastes little sourer than the usual lemons .#HolyLemonOLY 

This wild lemon definitely stole my heart (I was like who knew you existed darling? 😍💛) and so does this curry style lemon pickle. 


The good thing about this pickle is that it is an instant pickle ,which can be prepared quickly and served quickly as well. This naranga curry pickle tastes so fine, finger-licking that it can make everyday meal also more mouthwatering. And the favorite way of enjoying this lemon pickle when served in Sadya is not just licking in between the meal but mainly with the desserts,the payasams as the spicy pickle helps in balancing the sweetness of the desserts.I love love love this pickle especially my mother's recipe.


Reminds me, when we used to be in North India, during vacation to Kerala, we used to board train that had a halt in Madras and next day we used to board the next train to Kerala from there. Then we used to stay in hotel, and they used to serve this pickle with dosa chutney or rice and curries exclusively. Simply delicious!! Though there is a direct train ,Bokaro-Alleppey now,but those Madras-ee memories are refreshing.😊

RELATED:Spicy Kerala Naranga Achar

The downside of this homemade pickle is that it doesn't have a long shelf life. Max 2 to 3 weeks it stays fresh and yummy when properly refrigerated. Anyways, it is so tasty that it will finish fast.

I always wanted to learn how to make this curry naranga pickle but funny thing is that yet, I had no idea a big lemon is used for the traditional recipe. No wonder why the lemon pieces tastes so succulent and different.

So,this is how we make curry style naranga pickle :

Vadakapuli Naranga Achar |Curry Style Lemon Pickle Kerala 


Wild lemon,1 No.,chopped

Water + Salt ,boiled and cooled off  1 Cup

Vinegar ,boiled and cooled off  1/4th cup

Gingely oil/Sesame oil  6 Tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 Tsp

Garlic,slit 10 to 20 Nos.

Green Chilies ,chopped 4 to 7 Nos.

Red chili powder  4 Tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 Tbsp
Fenugreek Powder 1 Tbsp
Asafoetida Powder 1/2 Tbsp

Sugar 1/2 to 1 Tsp

Preparation method to make curry naranga achar :

  1. Boil little water and let it cool off.
  2. Boil vinegar and let it cool off.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the skin off the wild lemon and cut it into half and then cut it vertically into six or more pieces. Then chop it into more pieces.
  4. Heat a pan with oil and splutter mustard seeds.
  5. Add chopped garlic and green chilies and sauté until they are transparent and change color slightly.
  6. Then add the chopped lemon and saute on low flame until the water oozes out of the lemon.
  7. Then add all the spices and saute until everything is well coated.
  8. Then add the water till it entirely covers the pickle.
  9. Finally, add the vinegar and stir well.
  10. Check salt and add sugar if needed.  
  11. Let it come to boil, then lower the flame and let it simmer until it thickens to the desired level.
  12. Put off the flame.Let it cool off.
  13. That's it Vadukapuli Naaranga Achar is ready to serve.


  • Instead of wild lemons, the usual medium size lemons can also be used .But don't remove the skin of those small lemons though. Wild lemons have too thick skin that's why they are peeled off.
  • Adjust the green chilies and spice powders to make it less spicy.But it tastes good when it is spicy.If you can tolerate,or you like the presence or taste of dry red chilies,then you may add broken red chilies on low flame after spluttering the mustard seeds.
  • Some people add ginger pieces too,taste may differ then though.
  • You may add curry leaves as well.
  • Sugar or even jaggery can be added to balance the bitterness any and enhancing the taste.
  • Always use dry sterilized glass jars/bottles/ceramic utensils to store pickle.
  • Always use dry spoons to scoop out the pickle or the pickle may get spoiled, develop fungus. 
  • Refrigerate it!

OR,watch this pickle video how to make vadukapuli Naranga Achar step by step .Hope it helps.

Not only just the pickle ,I also love the name of the pickle so much "Vadukapuli Naranga Achar" sounds like Narasimham/Puli Murugan /RajaManikyam/Rajaputhran ...You know kinda power-packed/ royal ...Nalley Punch olley peru.... 👊💪💥#PuliAaanuKeta😎😉😻


This pickle and the vella naranga achar , I would like to make them more as they can be prepared quickly and also Honey P won't be able to finish it off that fast...Yendano?? Nalla erri ulla pacha mulag ondey athond (Chili, the villain is there !) 😜👏😂 ...Alapinney...Ennodaa kalii ,enoddu kalicha njan kali padipikyuvvey 🙊🙉 ....Chumatha Praveen chetta (a.k.a. Honey P a.k.a /one of the quirky name I gave to my hubby) ,BYJU's App ndey ad. anganna /dialoguey 🙈🙉😉😁 ...njan onnum (p)arinjilla Rama Narayana 😐😉😍. #HubbyIsAPickleAddicto 

RELATED:Kadumanga Achar|Cut Mango Pickle recipe

Whether you are a huge fan of pickle or not,but this simple instant pickle can make you one ,I believe.Try it .Hope you will go gaga and pink and maa dona (in Hindi) over it .I mean you will love it.I betcha !!

That's it for today!

Pls take good care of yourself.😊

Just a humble reminder : (CNN (<-Click for the link))If people washed their hands regularly, wore masks, and kept their social distance from each other, these three simple behaviors could stop most of the Covid-19 pandemic, even without a vaccine or additional treatments, according to a new study. PLS DO NOT FORGET!!