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Chemeen Theeyal

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala


  • Prawns – 500gm shelled and de-veined
  • Shallots/small onion – 10-15 depending on size, sliced finely
  • Garlic – 3 cloves – finely chopped
  • Shredded coconut – 1 cup
  • Curry leaves – 3 sprigs use only the leaves
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 3 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Tamarind – a small ball soaked in water (should give about 2 tbsp of thick extract)
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Fenugreek powder – ¼ tsp
  • Salt – to season


  • In a non stick pan, dry roast (on low flame) the shredded/grated coconut along with half of the curry leaves, half of the sliced onions and garlic till light brown. Take care not to burn the coconut as this will lend a bitter taste to the dish. When almost done, add turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder.
  • Cool this well and grind to a smooth paste with just enough water.
  • In another kadai or earthenware pot (if you have, use it), add this ground paste, tamarind extract and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and bring to boil.
  • Add the prawns and cook till done. Add more water if necessary to get the semi-thick consistency.
  • Make a tempering with the remaining sliced onions and curry leaves. Add this as a garnish to the dish and stir through just before serving.
  • Serve hot with steamed white rice.