January 5, 2011

Fiery Red Prawn Curry — Chemmeen Mulakittathu

Our usual lunch includes rice, fish, vegetables and yoghurt. Oh yeah, fish. We cook and eat fish and seafood a lot and often. I guess that’s the influence of being a native of the coast. Coastline of any country has a unique, exciting cuisine different from the rest of the land. One of the blessings of life on the Malabar Coast is that we get to enjoy fresh fish, seafood, vegetables, and poultry. Yes, all fresh. The chicken running around in the courtyard is caught and dressed to prepare spicy delicacies. Fresh seafood and fish is boiled in earthern pots made from local red clay, and firewood is used to impart a smoky flavor to dishes. Ah, those good carefree days.

Enough. Let’s talk about this spicy, tangy prawn curry prepared with green mango. This is simple to make and delicious too. All the effort goes into cleaning the crustacean. Then again, if you are able to buy fresh, peeled, deveined prawns from the market, you can have fun in the kitchen!

Fiery Red Prawn Curry — Chemmeen Mulakittathu


250g prawns, peeled and deveined
2 small tomatoes, unpeeled, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon onion, thinly sliced
6 fresh curry leaves
1 green chili, slit lengthwise
½ teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1 ¼ teaspoon kashmiri chili powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 small green mango (raw), peeled and cut random
2 cups water
Salt, to taste
2 teaspoon oil
A sprig of cilantro (optional)

For tempering (thaalikal)
1 ½ teaspoon coconut oil
¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds

In a deep pan, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until soft but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in ginger-garlic paste and gently toss for 30 seconds. Tip in curry leaves, green chili and tomatoes, then simmer until tomatoes are soft and almost broken down, about 4 minutes. Add mango and toss for few seconds.

Combine chili powder and turmeric in a bit of water, and stir into the pan. Pour in 2 cups water, add salt, and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Now add the prawns, stir, and simmer until prawns are cooked and tender, and the curry is reduced by three-quarters, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

In small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustards and cook until the seeds crackle, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the seeds. Drizzle over the curry and mix well. Serve hot garnished with cilantro.

This dish is best enjoyed with steamed rice, moru kachiyathu (seasoned yogurt) and Kerala pappadam.


  1. kanumbo thanne kothi akunnuuuuu....superb fotos!!!!

  2. Aww,ente vayaru niraju..:) Love ya!

  3. Am gonna try this too and put it in my blog with due credit to you :). Hey lovely napkins/serviettes you have...noted some colourful ones in your tindora post too. Pics superb as usual.

  4. Judy, I'm blushing. Again. Thanks!
    Yes, plz do try this recipe and let me know if you liked it.

  5. Nashi... tried this for lunch (am at home since Rhea is sick) and it came out pretty good (except it came out very spicy and I added potatoes).

  6. Hey Joyce, hope Rhea is feeling better.

    Really appreciate your feedback. You know, our non-veg dishes are basically hot and spicy (obviously, Portugese influence!)similar to the Goan cuisine. 'Mulakittathu' curries, like this one, are known for its intense fiery flavor. If you liked the curry, next time omit the green chili and reduce the chili powder to suit your taste :)

  7. Prawn is my absolute fav.. Your version looks so tempting and inviting..


  8. Thanks so much Krithi!

  9. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful recipe. My boy absolutely loved it! Thanks for the generosity of your spirit for posting it so we can try it in our homes. :-)

  10. These prawns sound tasty!

    1. It sure is! You should give it a try :)

  11. Hey Nashi...had made this prawn curry, spices reduced, and it tasted great with Vellappam...all relished it...the next in my list is your Rogan Josh...wishing you and your family a blessed Ramadan :)))

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi