Of Thalassery 'thengamuris' and 'kottathenga'

Of Thalassery 'thengamuris' and 'kottathenga'

All Malabaris grow up listening to the lore of coconuts. They are all around right from the time a sapling is planted to the time it grows tall, bears fruits and yields the precious trickle, the oil that's almost touted as an elixir.

The copra or the dry coconut is what yields the oil. Malabar is still awash with the aroma of warm coconut oil dripping from the copra in the grinding mills and the sales outlets.

Each place has its particular brand, like for example the Kuttiyadi coconut and the Kuttiyadi coconut oil.

Malabar has a special egg dish that looks like a piece of coconut and it evidently had its origin in Thalassery. The deep fried dish is shaped after a dry coconut. Hence it goes by the name of 'kottathenga', or dry coconut. It's also called 'thengamuri', or Thalassery 'thengamuri.'

Here's how to make the dish:

Cook two potatoes, remove the skin, and mash them into a pulp. It should be cooked well enough to be shaped like the half of a coconut.

Finely chop a cup of coriander leaves, five green chillies, two cloves of garlic, and a small piece of ginger. Grind them finely in a mixer. Add no water. A fine green colored masala is now ready.

Heat oil in a pan and add salt and pepper powder. Mix in the mashed potato. Add in the ground masala and take it off the flame. Allow it to cool.

Boil three eggs and coat them with corn flour. Take scoops of the masala and roll them in the shape of a pathiri. Cover the eggs with the pathiri-masala. Wrap the eggs with the masala and roll them up in the shape of a coconut. See that the eggs are not visible. You may keep them in the fridge for a while till they turn more solid.

Break an egg into another dish. Mix a teaspoon of corn flour with water and keep in a separate dish. Mix the egg and corn flour well with a pinch of salt. Coat the boiled eggs with bread crumbs and dip them in the egg-corn flour mix. Once again coat them with bread crumbs and deep fry.

Drain out the oil and place them in a plate. The 'kottathenga' or dry coconut is now ready. If they are halved, they look like the half of a dry coconut and take the name of 'thengamuri.'

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