Friday, August 11, 2006

ChemmeenMulakittathu&Kerala PrawnPepper Fry


Back home in Kerala for many of us the day begins itself with the fish vendors 'hooting' in a characteristic style announcing their arrival!!We have grown seeing the great transition in style that fish vendors have had over the years...In the earlier days they used to carry it on their shoulder in baskets like a weighing balance and would walk miles and miles to earn their living...then came the cycle vendors, the cycle vendors gave way to the more posh 'luna' or 'moped' vendors and then the yamaha vendors and then it became rickshaw vendors.I believe it has still gone miles ahead to posh homedelivery vans too in some privileged cities.Well that definitely marks the economic growth of India...Who says India is a poor country?!

Having said this I had never come across a fish vendor in UK so far except for the branded supermarket chains.Couple of days back I was surprised to see a fish vendor knocking my door,a very posh delivery van, a very colourful brochure and boxes of excellent fish, the names of many that I have not heard!The only familiar face among the frozen aquarians was that of King prawns, my favourite!How can a fish savvy person like me leave those real king size prawns, so bought 2kg!!So my lunch and dinner is going to be more 'prawny' in the coming days!!(Antiprawnists,please excuse!!;)

I have often felt a little delicate when it comes to posting recipes which are often very simple and common dishes for me at home...Is it worthy of posting?...wont it be ridiculous?...Then I remember there will still be someone who is not familiar with what is common for us...There will still be someone who do not know that a mackerel/squid/prawn/mussel can be just shallow fried, and can taste classy with something as simple as a chillipowder-turmeric powder-salt marinade.Chemmeen Mulakittathu and Prawn Pepper Fry(Chemmeen Kurumulaku Fry) is a very common item in our daily menu back home in Kerala...So the prelude!! Here is the recipe for the uninitiated:


King prawns-250 g
Green chillies-4
Shallots-10(or half an onion for the less patient souls!)
Garlic-6 pods
chilli powder-2tsp(less brave souls can reduce)
turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
tomato-2- chopped
Curry leaves-2 sprigs
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Methi seeds -a small pinch
coconut oil-2 tbsp(or any other oil of u'r choice)
Tamarind paste-1 tsp(If using tamarind,one small berry size,soaked in hot water)
Salt-as reqd
Heat oil in a wok.When the oil is hot add mustard seeds,methi seeds and curry leaves.(in the same order).Once they have spluttered add green chilli, onion, garlic and saute till onions become transluscent and slightly brownish.Mix chilli powder and turmeric powder with little water and make it into a paste and fry this masala in the oil for say 2 minutes or till bubbles appear. Add tomatoes and the tamarind paste and water as required for the consistency you desire. When it boils, add salt and the cleaned,deveined prawns.Cook till the prawns are done.(You may marinate the prawns with a little chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt for 5 minutes before adding to the gravy)May take 5-6 minutes.(pl do not over cook prawns).Finally garnish with some coriander leaves and serve it hot with
  • GheeRice
  • ,
  • Chappathi

  • Naan

  • KeralaPorota

  • Ari pathiri

  • NeiPathiri/PorichaPathiri
  • or just plain rice!

    Prawns -250(cleaned,deveined with the tail end retained)
    Green chilli-4
    Shallots-15(or 1 red onion)
    Curry leaves-3sprigs(that's the tasty bit)
    Copra/Dessicated Coconut-3 tbsp
    Pepper powder-1 tsp
    Red chilli powder-1 tsp
    Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
    Oil-as reqd
    Salt-as rqd

    Marinate the prawns with chilli powder,turmeric powder,pepper powder and salt.Pound ginger,garlic and green chilles.You may use a mincer as well.But do not grind into paste.Heat oil in a wok.Add the Curry leaves,and onion.Saute till onions become brown.Now add the ginger-garlic-green chilli mixture.Saute till you get a fine aroma.Now add the marinated prawns along with the masala.Add more salt if required.Fry it till the prawns look brownish say fro 2-3 minutes.Do not over cook prawns.Finally add the copra pieces or the dessicated coconut and serve it hot with rice /chappathi or any of the dishes mentioned above.Warning: Control your temptation to pop the prawns into your mouth, you are very likely to end up with an empty plate before serving!!;)


    indosungod said...

    Oh My my... speechless

    RP said...

    hehehe...I too have a spicy shrimp roast coming up! You beat me shynee. I only have a picture now! Don't know when I would be able to type the recipe.
    Your shrimp fry looks delicious.

    shilpa said...

    Lovely..i am gonnu try it once u post the recipe :D.

    archana said...

    Oh!!! Goood,Goood,Goood !!!

    indianadoc said...

    >thanx indosun ;)
    >rp..Cheers to our twinning...shrimp roast....hmm...Malabari?
    >Oh shilpa pl do try...
    >thanx archana :)

    Shaheen said...

    i like the the fish vendor cooo..oo..l memories. the fish markets here are so colorless. nice recipe for mulakukootan.

    Revathi said...

    I am really really drooling here. I was thinking of buying fish for the weekend.. Now thinking about buying prawnss..

    And very true I also keep thinking whether simple home recipes are post-worthy but to my surprise they are always a hit among food-bloggers. I think its the common home food that evokes strong emotions in us - Like this prawn dish.. I want nowwwww !!!

    Manisha said...

    Of course you must document the very recipes that you take for granted and make on auto-pilot! I am drooling over both prawn dishes. Sam's Club here I come for an extra-large packet of shrimp!!

    BTW, your chicken curry was excellent! I used frozen grated coconut shipped all the way from Kerala - I thought it was very apt! - and it was really great. I also didn't use shallots cos I didn't have any. But it tasted super nevertheless!! So thanks! And yes, please keep posting even if *you* think they are ultra-simple recipes. They are mouth-watering and delicious to the rest of us!

    indianadoc said...

    >Shaheen,our moms used to distinguish one fish vendor from the other by their style of hooting!! yeah u right it is more disciplined a market without the colour and smell of the fish market back home...
    >thanx revathi...yeah sometimes we find that most of the recipe books available also teach us things are which are very hi-fi but blogging has definitely made a difference by teaching us also the basics...
    >Thanx manisha for all the kind words...Well,this is a confusion that I have often had...should i post or not...but feel happy when I get to know a lot many of my friends out here enjoy even those very simple dishes...I'm happy to know that u enjoyed my chicken recipe as well.Shallots and copra can definitely be substituted but only thing is that they still add more taste to the dish...happy to know that u enjoyed it even without them...I too do it the same way whenever I'm impatient and lazy or when things r not available!!

    Puspha said...


    aqua said...

    Amme enikku vaiyyaaa.. Njan weekendil enthokke undakkum.. Prawns ente oru weakness annu!

    Anonymous said...

    of course what you think silly might be something totally unheard of for someone else! So do post! But dheere dheere maam... why dont you make some vegetable or something less rich? hehehehe...
    kothiyaayittaaneee :)

    indianadoc said...

    >thanx pushpa...
    >Prawns enteyum weakness aanu it cos we both r aquarians?!!
    >Inji,I've many times hesitated to post things which are very common...but it is often your kappa and thattukada which convince me that there are people who look forward for all those simple dishes and who infact love them too...Inji enthu cheyyana,fish entey weakness aayippoyi...pachakkariyum ishtam thanney...njangal randu perum made for each other- bhakshana karyathil...athu konda!!

    Daagh said...

    this one looks very very yummy... will give it a try soon :-)

    indianadoc said...

    >thanx daagh for dropping do try...

    Anonymous said...

    Looks very delicious and lovely presentation of the Pawn pepper fry. Reminds me of my childhood days in kerala when my Mom used to make those yummy fish fry.
    Chk out this favourite fish recipe of mine - Garlic prawns

    Deepthikrishna said...

    Try cooking the marinated prawn first, with little water. Cook till water evaporates fully. This will make the prawn very soft and more tasty.

    indianadoc said...

    >thanx anony.for dropping in...i shall have a look at your recipe
    >thanx deepthi for dropping in ...I just wanted to avoid over cooking of prawns and hence did not precook it before adding to the gravy...My experience hasnt really been good with precooking of prawns...