Ulli chammandi(Dip made of shallots for Dosa)


As I mentioned in my previous post, we used to have dosa almost daily as our breakfast. And if dosa was something that regular, there was its sibling which was equally popular or regular 🙂 And that was Ulli chammandi. Ulli Chammandi is a side condiment made of shallots(translates to ‘ulli’ or ‘cheriya ulli’ in Malayalam) and goes very well with Dosa and Idli. I have seen most people include DD prefers to have dosa or idli with sambar and coconut chutney. Somehow, sambar and dosa or even, sambar and idli was not such a popular combination in our house. For us, dosa comes with ulli chammandi and coconut chutney.

The trick of getting this right is in the frying process. You should ensure not to burn the ingredients while frying and just lightly roast it. That would give the perfect taste to this side dip. I have got it wrong couple of times myself 😦 and I wasn’t very happy about it. I thought to myself, “Can I not get such a simple recipe right?” Anyway, all is well that ends well 😉 We don’t use the tamarind mentioned in the ingredients section. I put it in there because last day mom mentioned that, that is also a variation although we don’t use it. So this time I made ulli chammandi using tamarind and it was pretty good. But since I am used to the ‘tamarind-less’ version, I like that better 😛



Note: This recipe yields only 2 servings

Shallots – 5-6
Garlic – 1-2 small pods
Dry red chilli – 1 nos
Red chilli powder – 1/4 tsp
Tamarind – A gooseberry seed sized ball(optional)
Salt – to taste(apprx. 1/4 tsp)
Coconut oil – 1.5 tbsp


1. Heat 2 tsp of coconut oil in a pan. Fry red chilli, shallots(halves) and garlic till the raw smell goes off.
2. The dry red chilli should slightly brown and the shallots should turn pale(pink) and the garlic should turn light brown. Ensure that none of these ingredients burn.
3. Remove from heat and put red chilli powder, tamarind and salt. Let it cool down.
4. In a mixie/grinder, give it 4-5 pulses and make into a coarse paste. Before grinding, break the dry red chilli into small pieces. Don’t grind it till it becomes smooth, there should be small bites of shallots.
5. Transfer to a small bowl and pour remaining coconut oil and give a good mix.

Serve with Dosa or Idli 🙂