Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chemmeen Mapas (Kerala Prawn Curry with coconut milk)

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The wedding season is here and all the partying and staying out late in the cold winter evenings does call for a sleepy and lazy Saturday/Sunday. The last thing you want to do that day is get up early and cook up a huge elaborate fare. Last Saturday was a similar one. We had just got over a very busy week involving loads of work at the office and hectic wedding celebrations in the evenings.
I decided to cook some prawn curry native to the christian community of Kerala. Since I have never tasted it in the past and was making do with an old newspaper cutting that had the instructions, I do not know whether I ended up making it as it should be, but it surely tasted heavenly with steamed rice on the side.

Chemmeen Mapas

Prawns, washed, shelled & deveined - 250 gm
Oil - 2 Tblsp
Mustard seeds (Rai) - 2 Tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Onion, sliced - 1
Green Chillies, slit - 2
Ginger, chopped - 2 Tsp
Garlic cloves finely chopped - 12
Coriander Powder - 2 Tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Tamarind, soaked in 2/3 up of water - 1 Lemon sized ball
Coconut milk - 2/3 Cup
Salt - To Taste

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds. When they start to crackle, add in the fenugreek seeds, Sliced onion, green chillies, ginger and garlic.
2. Fry till onion turns translucent.
3. Mix together the coriander powder and red chili powder with a tblsp of water to form a paste. Add the spice paste in and fry again for 2 minutes.
4. Extract the tamarind pulp and add that to the pan. Add in the salt and cook.
5. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add prawns and cook till prawns are half done.
6. Pour in the coconut milk and mix well. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.
7. Serve hot with steamed rice or appams.


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