Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Malabar Chemeen Curry

In the Kannur region Fish or some sort of seafood is consumed on a daily basis. Meen curry is such an integral part of Kannur cuisine that outsiders often joke that - the lady of the house would wake up in the morning and along with breakfast preparation she would grind half of a coconut into a fine paste and keep it aside.Then depending on what kind of seafood is available that day the curry is made. Fish,crab,shrimp etc are used. When fresh fish is not available the same gravy is used to make a curry out of dry fish or Shrimp. This curry is not as fiery and concentrated in flavor as the Kottayam fish curry and hence you get best results when using extremely fresh fish.In other words the taste of the curry depends on the flavor of seafood you use.

Even during festivals like Onam and vishu when the rest of Keralites stick to a vegetarian meal, fish is inevitable in the Malabar region specially Kannur.Yes we Kannur folks love our seafood :).

  1. Shrimp - 1 lb( about 1/2 kg)
  2. Chilly powder - 2 tsp
  3. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. Shallots - 5 (slice 3 roughly and slice 2 finely for tadka)
  5. Ginger - 1 inch piece chopped
  6. Garlic - 8 cloves chopped
  7. Curry leaves - 2 springs
  8. Dry red chillies - 2 broken
  9. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  10. Oil - 1 tbsp
  11. Cocum/Kudam puli or Tamarind paste - to taste
  12. Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  13. salt - to taste
Grind the coconut with 1/4 cup water to a fine paste and keep aside.
Peel, de-vein, wash and drain the shrimp and add to a clay pot.
Add the roughly chopped shallots, garlic,ginger, chilly powder, turmeric powder, salt to taste, cocum/tamarind paste and 1 cup water to the clay pot and stir well.
Cook this mixture until the shrimp is cooked and absorbs the flavors( about 10 minutes).
Add in the ground coconut paste and enough water to make a semi thick gravy.
Bring to a simmer and adjust salt and tamarind to taste and turn the flame off.
Heat oil in a small pan and splutter the mustard seeds.
Add in the shallots and fry until it turns light brown.
Add in the dry red chillies and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
Pour this into the curry in the clay pot and keep covered for 10 minutes.
Mix the curry well and serve with rice.


  1. Hi, I'm Michele...this recipe looks yummy! I must try it! CHEERS! Michele

  2. Looks delicious....

    Pushpa @

  3. hey i have heard this joke from my mom...:D

  4. Adpoly recipe..absolutely delicious....beautiful template...

    Tasty Appetite

  5. this background image of the sea reminded me of payyambalam beach.


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