Monday, 29 September 2008

Chemmeen chamanthi (Dried shrimps with grated coconut)

Chemmeen chammanthi is my favorite side dish ever. It is made of sun dried shrimps sauted and then ground to a smooth or coarse paste. The flavour of dried shrimps is very much different from the fresh ones and it yields an entirely different flavour as well. I love to have this as a side dish for my plain rice. It is very easy to make, tastes delicious but not for people who doesnt like dried seafood.

½ cup - Dry shrimps( Unakka chemmeen)
2 cups freshly grated coconut/frozen grated coconut
4 Shallots / half of a small onion
1 tbs Kashmiri chilly powder ) OR
Regular red chilli powder – As required.
2 tbs Coconut oil
2 goose berry size Dried tamarind

1. Wash shrimps and leave it in a strainer to strain all the water away
2. Grate Coconut and peel the shallots.
3. Heat oil in pan and add the shrimps and stir fry for few minutes (4-5) in medium flame.
4. Add chilli powder and stir for another minute. Turn the flame off.
5. Grind this stir fried shrimps along with coconut, tamarind and shallots in a food processor to get a coarse mixture or grinder if you want even a smoother mixture.
6. Serve with steamed plain rice.
7. Stores well in an airtight container in refrigerator for more than a week. If storing in refrigerator, keep in room temperature for an hour or two to let the coconut thaw. Else it may be a bit dry. Optionally, you can also microwave just to thaw the coconut.

Dumplings (Luqaimat)

Dumplings are crispy little balls made of fermented batter that is deep fried in oil and then served with sugar syrup. This is another recipe that I used to have during Ramadan in my hostel. My flatmates used to make this but at that time, again, I never bothered to learn the recipe cause I was not into cooking at all. But I have seen them making it and used to give a hand. So I know what consistency the batter has and how it is done. So this recipe that got from here, was altered accordingly to bring that consistency and crispiness that last quite long.

1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoons yeast
1 tsp sugar
salt as required
1/3 cup yogurt
3/4 cup warm water
oil for deep frying

1. In ¾ cup of lukewarm water, add sugar and yeast and stir well. Keep aside for around half an hour until a thick layer of froth forms over the yeast mixture.

2. Take a large bowl, Add flour, salt and mix well. Then add yogurt and yeast mixture and stir well until you get a sticky batter. You can mix the batter in the food processor if difficult to mix them by hand. I usually use hand for mixing the batter, but it takes quite longer time. Keep it in a warm area for about 4-6 hours.
3. At this stage you can see bubbles formed in the batter. Knock down the bubbles and stir well again.
4. Heat oil (to deep fry) in a pan or wok until it really gets hot.
5. Dip the fingers in water and take a good size pinch of batter(a teaspoon size) and drop in oil slowly. Since the batter is sticky and has dropping consistency, it will be difficult to handle the batter without dabbing the fingers with water. Add few more pinches of batter in oil by dabbing finger in water every time you take the batter.
6.Once they fall in oil they will puff up and take round shapes or almost round shapes. DOesnt matter if it doesnt come into exact round shapes. Deep fry them until they turn golden on all sides. It is very important not to make it golden brown cause it will be hard rather than crispy. Strain them using slotted spoon and place them on kitchen towel to drain out excess oil.
7. Repeat the process until all the batter is fried into dumplings.
8. Transfer into serving dish and pour syrup all over.

For syrup:

1 cups sugar
1 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lime/lemon juice


Put the water in a pan with the sugar and place over a medium heat; bring to boil and allow to boil for ten minutes, removing the froth as it appears. Add the lemon juice and leave to simmer for ten minutes. Pour it over the fried dumplings and serve warm or cold.

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