Thursday, May 25, 2006
Unakka Chemmeen Curry/Dry shrimp curry
Dry shrimp curry always brings memories of Monsoon in Kerala....thunder n showers....the sensuous smell of the mud....tiny toads croaking...and the rough sea.... the fishermen dont go to the sea much when the weather is too turbulent. Then the fish markets flood with dry sea food and those typical sea food addicts in Kerala survive on these for the entire season...It is very interesting to note here that there are many Keralites who cant think of a single day without fish!!...For many housewives the socialising conversation of the day starts with the typical dialogue," what is the fish today?"(Meenentha kittiyathu?"!!)...like the Europeans commenting about the weather to start a conversation!! A packet of dry shrimps which we had got from the Kerala shop in Birmingham was lying in my cupboard for quite some time...I kept on postponing for I wasnt sure whether my shrimp curry will be voted.... because my husband has very choosy taste buds...At last I thought to give it a try yesterday and the result was lip smacking.... with the steamed power boiled rice(uppudu beeyam)...A little appalled was my husband to see the size of the rice grains( a non mallu's unfamiliarity)!!...But the smile on his face as he started eating ratified the taste!! Here goes the recipe.
Tomato-1 large(cut into pieces)
Red chilli powder-1tsp
Turmeric Powder-1 pinch
Raw Mango-1/2( cut into pieces)
Aam choor-1tbsp(if u dont have raw mango)-optional
Cumin seed-1/4 tsp
Baby shallots(cheriya ulli)-50g(cut into small pieces)
Ginger-25 gr( cut into small pieces)
Curry leaves-1 sprig
Salt- as required
This curry is traditionally cooked in a mud pot(mun chatti)...Clean the dry shrimp thoroughly(or else it will be too salty.Now add tomato,green chilli,mango pieces,red chilli powder, turmeric powder, a little oil and water to it. Cook it in a low flame until it boils and the shrimps are cooked well.
Now grind coconut with cumin seed into a very fine paste. Add this to the cooked shrimp and mix it well. Now add salt as required...If you add it earlier there is a likely chance that you may end up making it more salty, for, the dried shrimps are salty...hence be careful when you add salt.. Cook again for another 3 or 4 minutes.
Heat oil in a small wok. Prepare the seasoning with mustard seed, baby shallots,ginger pieces and curry leaves. Pour the seasoning over the curry and mix it well. Dry shrimp curry is ready to go with steamed rice... Dry shrimp can be substituted with any other dry fish as well.
Posted by indianadoc at 12:43 AM