Mulaku Chammanthi: Red Chilli and Shallots Chutney From Kerala
Image Credit: Mulaku Chammanthi

Despite being called as God's own country, Kerala is also known as the ‘Land of spices’. The aromatic spices have given rise to a number of delicacies present today. Spices are an integral part of Kerala. They are its identity. In the whole of Kerala, ranging from north to south, and east to west , there are several varieties of chutneys, each with unique and distinct flavours. Kerala can never go wrong with the chutneys.  It is almost served with anything and everything. The cuisines of Kerala are incomplete without thick and rich-flavourful chutney i.e., ‘Chammanthis’- a concoction of spices, and grated coconut. 

Mulaku Chamanthi is one best-ever chutney. It is made with dried red chillies that are fried and then grinded with shallots and other required ingredients, mainly the spices and coconut. It is then tempered with the irreplaceable coconut-scented oil which is poured over and allowed to blend. It is a favourite dish in every typical Keralite home. The hot fiery flavour of this authentic coconut chutney will leave you craving for more. It is just a delight and complements the other side dishes. It can be enjoyed as the main dish as well as the side dish, such is the versatility. The simple ingredients inhibit complex flavours. Made with the only few ingredients in less time, it is a part of the Indian diet that adds rasa to a dish and makes it a happy-comfort treat. Can you ever think of enjoying pakoras without chutney ? Or, Have you ever had a nightmare eating idli and dosa without coconut chammanthi? That's how important they are.

 Chammanthi is popular as chutney in North India, besides it has other alternative names as well. Chutney was originally  created 500 years ago by Indians. It was a technique of preserving foods. The culinary element is older than any other food. Also, it was once advised by Shah Jahan's hakims that chutney infuses ingredients that are good for digestion. Chutney is originated from a Sanskrit word, chaatni meaning 'to lick' and is an undeniably a significant item on plates. Be it spicy or tangy, it is a firecracker bursting flavours and no one can help but lick the fingers!



  • 12 Dried red chillies
  • 30 Shallots
  • Some Tamarind
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt, as per taste
  • 4 teaspoon Coconut oil


  • In a pan, heat some oil. Add the dried red chillies and fry them. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same pan with heated oil, add some shallots, tamarind and curry leaves. Saute and fry them well.
  • Now in a mixer-grinder, add fried shallots, tamarind, curry leaves along with the fried red chillies. Blend well. 
  • Add salt and fresh coconut oil to this mixture.
  • Serve and relish the perfect Keralite delicacy with Kappa or Dosa.
  • Keep this in an airtight container for longer consumption.

Relish the Chammanthi with idli, dosa, rice, appam, and whatnot. It is friendly with everything and goes well with each food item.