Sunday, June 29, 2008

Chemmeen Olathiyathu – Sautéed Prawns Fry

Shall I give you a break from my lengthy prefaces and go straight to the recipe? :)

Staying in a place blessed with abundance of fresh seafood, my mother always knew how to preserve the essence of seafood, especially prawns, with her careful use of spices. Also, she always made sure that such preparations were served with light and simple curd based curries and vegetable stir-fries for our everyday meals, so that our taste buds really appreciated the flavours of sea. The ingredient list and cooking process may seem somewhat similar to my Chemmeen Varattiyathu/Spicy Prawn Roast which I had posted sometime back, but this is not heavily spiced up with pungent fennel and peppercorns and still the simplicity shines in all its vigour !

  • ½ kg (approx. 1.14lb) prawns or shrimp peeled, deveined and washed thoroughly
  • 1 ½ cup red small onions thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 4 green chillies split lengthwise
  • 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
  • 1/3 cup small coconut slices/’Thengakothu’
  • 1 piece ‘kudam-puli’/Gamboge
  • ½ tsp + ½ tsp homemade garam masala
  • ½ tsp + 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • ¼ tsp + ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Make a marinade with ½ tsp garam masala, ½ tsp chilly powder, turmeric, salt and few drops of water and apply it thoroughly on the cleaned prawns, using your hands and leave it in room temperature for around 20 minutes. Soak the kudam-puli in some water to make it soft.
  • In the meantime, chop the red small onions, ginger and garlic.
  • Heat oil in a big shallow pan, sauté the small onions until they turn pale in low flame; add minced garlic and ginger cook until everything turns transparent, At this stage, add turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilly powder, pepper powder and garam masala and stir continuously until the raw smell goes and spices are sautéed well and combined thoroughly with the base mixture; make sure that you don’t burn your onions or spice powders. Now add the coconut slices (coconut slices should be smaller than the prawns) and a sprig of curry leaves and combine well with the base mixture and then add the marinated prawns to this; take out the leftover masala from the bowl by adding a couple of tablespoons of water and pour it to the pan and also the softened kudam-puli (without water) and cook covered, in medium heat, until the prawns changes its colour and is almost cooked. Do not add water to cook the prawns. Once the prawns are almost cooked, remove the lid and sauté them, in low flame for 5-10 minutes, until prawns are coated well with the spices, as in the picture. Whether to make it dry or keep it with some gravy-like masala, is purely one’s choice. Do a taste –test in between and adjust the salt, if needed. Just before turning off the stove, tear a sprig of curry leaves and coat the entire dish well with this herb.
  • Serve warm with rice or chappathi (Indian bread).
You may be also interested in :
Chemmeen eerkiliyil kuthi varuthathu Chemmeen Vada - Kerala Style Prawn Fritters Chemmeen Varattiyathu-Prawn Roast

Other Kerala Seafood specials from this blog:

Fish Curry - Central Kerala Style Pepper Fish Fry Meen Pollichathu Mashed Tapioca & Fish Curry Njandu Varutharachathu Njandu/Crab Roast Fish Molee


No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.


  1. This is exactly how it is made at home..and this is the way i like chemmeen the most...I always say..rice..chakkakkuru maanga curry and chemmeen olathiyathu...thats a combo which is unbeatable!!;-P

  2. prawns are my fav,..this for sure looks yummy,,,

  3. I missed reading your write-up in this one..You should keep them flowing..Its really lovely to read them..
    Shn, the pictures look awesome!!

  4. i love to read ur lenghty prefaces mishy... and i missed reading it today :(

  5. Lovely dish Shn. As everyone else said, missed your prefaces.

  6. Delicious looking chemmeen with rice :)

  7. My favorite prawns, Shn. This looks so fabulous!! Beautiful dish, girl! :)

  8. Oh, how delicious!Beautiful recipe.

  9. You've incorporated so many of my favorite flavors in one dish. I've never made chemmeen olathiyathu before, but I think I should.

  10. Ummmmmmm!!!!!!!
    Shn!! First time I've not checked your blog as regularly.. and I can already see how much I've missed
    Starting next week me shall start my routine experimenting with your recipes :D


  11. Maybe you should relocate to Dubai and be my neighbour....I can taste your naadan specials everyday instead of just drooling over the blog!!:)

  12. hi Shn, chemeen olathiyathu looks fabulous:) Loved the nadan look, ur blog is full of such colorful nadan tasty looking pics:) I always feel like I landed in kerala reading your posts, you shpuld continue writing your write up:)

  13. Hi Shn,

    Check this out I think this has one of your image....

    I donno whether the post acknowledged that s/he is using your photo.

  14. my fav ur all presentation...its superb....please pass on that plate for me...

  15. Padma, thanks so much for letting me know....the person has taken 2 of my pics and many more from other bloggers and other sites...i have dropped a message on the comment section to remove all the plagiarised pics....waiting to see if they take some action on this!

    This is my second experience today...frustrating to deal with such issues:(

  16. omg!! it is!! and how did u remember? thats a pic my sis took. we both cooked it together. let me see if i can contact this person!

  17. Shn,
    lovely cooked prawns , my kind of food LOL..

    hugs and smiles

  18. wow!What a naturality!Really fantastic!


  19. Hey all.....thank you for dropping a word or two here.....I am happy that you liked the recipe.....hope you will try as well....I hope to get back to active blogging quite soon, till then , bear with me for short posts and irregular visits to your blogs. Thank you for all your support!


  20. excellent post. is there a home made recipe you use for garam masala? if so, would you mind posting it?

  21. The prawns look delicious. Cant wait to try it with some steamed rice and pappad.

  22. Thanks for a gr8 recipe!
    Made it the second time for the New Year party and our Italian boss had all her focus on just this dish :)
    Have a gr8 year ahead!

    PS. This goes well with Shiraz :)


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