Chemmeen/Prawn curry with coconut milk


I got this recipe from a Malayalam magazine when I went home last year and took a year to make it. Ah nothing new and very me :-).

The prawns are cooked in creamy, tangy and spicy sauce. A very authentic Keralan recipe. I have altered the recipe a bit and adjusted the quantity of spices as well.  Serve this with rice or just as I love too with bread.

You need –

  • Prawns – 500 grams, cleaned
  • Thick coconut milk – 1 cup
  • Thin coconut milk – 1/2 cup
  • Onion – 1 large, finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Tamarind pulp – 1 tablespoon, soaked in 1/4 cups of water
  • Ginger & garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
  • Green chilies – 2 slit lengthwise
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  • chili powder – 1 teaspoon or as per taste
  • Curry leaves – 2 twigs
  • Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Crushed pepper – ½ teaspoon

whole spices

  1. Cinnamon – 1 small stick
  2. Clove – 1
  3. Cardamom – 2
  4. Star anise – 1 small
  5. Bay leaf – 1/2
How to –

Heat oil in skillet/pan, add the whole spices and fry till fragrant. Tip the onion, green chilies, curry leaves, ginger and garlic paste and cook till the onions turns golden. 

Add the coriander, chili and turmeric powder: cook for a minute or till oil start to separate. Add the chopped tomato with little water , salt to taste and cook till mushy. Add the tamarind water (Strain the tamarind water with sieve and discard the seeds) and  the thin coconut milk and cook till the gravy is thick.

Add the cleaned prawns and cook till done. Add the thick coconut milk, pepper powder; mix and turn off the heat. Please do not boil after you add the thick coconut milk.

Serve hot with rice or bread.


15 thoughts on “Chemmeen/Prawn curry with coconut milk

  1. Ahh, naavil velam oorunnu.. Love this one, my Mil & Valyamma makes this.. I enjoy them with kuthari choru.. Bliss !! Lovely clicks Rekha, as usual 🙂

  2. This is a spot-on dish and I am with it and rice. The thing about prawns is I don't enjoy the cleaning, takes much time. Am looking of replacing the prawns with fish and that I am sure will be perfect, the same inviting flavors as this with prawns.

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