Meen Curry is something that you can find in my adukala in almost all the days of the week or year for that matter.Hailing from one of India's famous harbors, my love for sea food needs no introduction.Mummy on the other hand is not a great fish eater.She used to tell me, that she got bored because her mother(My ammooma) always fed her with fish ,either fry or curry.So mummy got bored and doesnot cook fish if am not at home.My daddy leans on the vegetarian side ,so no issues for him even if mummy does not cook fish.
Prawns/Konju is something that i buy whenever i find them.I prefer the relatively smaller ones rather than the hefty creatures.Even though de-veining them is such a pain i donot mind ,coz i dream about the yummy end product.A back breaking business indeed.
This time when i got some from the meenkaaran my brother was insisting that i make pickles out of it.My mom wanted to make a Padavalanga chemmeen curry and i wanted to make olarthu.I was convincing both of them that i need to blog about this and so on.My marketing strategy worked and here it is Yummy prawn olarthu.The main reason why i opted for this version of cooking prawns is that i wanted to try this.I followed the recipe to the T and it was amazing.Oh my ,amazing would be an understatement.Any number of adjectives will not explain how yummy it turned out.My brother who was going around with a sad doggy face for not getting the prawn pickle was overjoyed for that matter.He told me,"Namakku adutha pravashyam chemmeen medikumbol ithu thanney undaakam tto".That says it all.It is a spicy preparation so please go easy if you find the measurements to be too much for your standards.But trust me itz worth it.
Coconut oil does wonders to this yummy delicacy from Kuttanad.
- Prawns- 1 lbs (peeled ,cleaned and deveined )
- shallots- 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup chopped
- Ginger - 1 1/2 tbsp minced finely
- Garlic - 1/4 cup julienned
- Green chillies - 4 slit lengthwise
- Thenga kothu/Cocunut slices-1/3 cup
- Kudam puli -1 or 2 pieces.
- Masala powder
- Red Chilly powder- 2 tsp
- Coriander powder-1 1/2 tbsp
- Turmeric powder-1/4+1/4 tsp
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice-1 tbsp(I omitted this coz i didnt have any)
- Coconut oil-As required
- Salt-To taste
- Curry leaves- A handful
For Masala Powder
- Fennel Seeds -1 tsp
- Black pepper-1/2 tbsp
- Cinnamon 4 or 5 1/2 inch sticks
- clove -1
I added two cloves and two cardamom coz they were small in size.Grind the above to a powder using a coffee grinder or the smallest jar of your mixer grinder.Set aside.
- Make a marinade with the masala powder,1/4 tsp of turmeric powder,salt ,lemon juice and half of the chilly powder and coriander powder and set aside for an hour.
- Soak the kudam puli in a cup of water.
- Heat oil in a manchatti,and saute the small onions till they become translucent.Now add the ginger,garlic and green chillies and cook till the raw smell goes.
- At this stage add the remaining turmeric powder,chilly powder and coriander powder.have stove in low flame when adding the masala powder coz they should not get burnt.
- Now add the coconut slices and curry leaves and give a quick mix.
- Add the marinated prawns along witht the masala thatis sticking with the vessel used for marination.
- Add the soaked kudampuli and required salt at this stage.
- Cover and cook in medium flame till the prawns are done.
- Remove the lid and roast till all the water is dried uo and the prawns are lavishly coated with the masala.It should get a brown color as mentioned by Shn.Do a taste test at this stage and add coconut oil and curry leaves as this is what gives a great face lift to the dish.
- Serve with Rice or Roti or simply eat like we did.
- This is a really spicy dish for people who are not used to.
- Donot replace Shallots for big onions as it will be a compromise on the taste.
- The dish does not have an overpowering taste of garlic.
- I donot advice substituting or avoiding any of the mentioned ingredients.