It was only the week before that I saw some pics on my ex-colleague's Facebook album - that had yummy prawns and fish curry - I was so tempted that I asked for the recipes and very sweetly, his wife sent me all the recipes immediately. I wanted to make the recipe that she had suggested but that had tomato sauce in it and I was not sure if my in-laws who are visiting me would like a different taste. So i decided to stick to the traditional Thoran (obviously with a few modifications from my end).
Here are the key ingredients that I used:
- Prawns - de-veined and cleaned - 1 kg
- Shallots (Small/Sambar Onions)- 300 gms
- Green Chillies - 4-5 (depending on how spicy you want it to be)
- Coconut - 1/2 to 3/4 grated (depends on how much you like)
- Curry Leaves - 3-4 sprigs
- Ginger finely chopped - 2 inch piece
- Garlic chopped lengthwise - 10-15 cloves
- Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
- Chilly Powder - 1 tsp (adjust it according to your spice level)
- Salt - to taste
- Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
- Coconut Oil - 4-5 tbsp (you can reduce it)
- Tamarind Paste - 1/2 tsp or Kudam Puli - 1/2 piece *(Optional)
- Chilly Powder - 2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
- Salt - 1 tsp
- Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp*(Optional)
- Poppy Seeds (Khus Khus) - 1 tsp *(Optional)
- Cashew nuts - 1/2 cup *(Optional)
- Cinnamon - 1 small piece *(Optional)
- Clove - 1 *(Optional)
- Marinate the prawns with the ingredients above and set aside for 2 hours
- Heat coconut oil in a vessel, splutter mustard seeds.
- Add curry leaves, chopped shallots, green chillies, ginger and garlic and fry well.
- Add the turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt and fry well.
- Add the marinated prawns and mix well.
- You may add the tamarind paste or the kudam puli if you want a tangy flavor in the dish.
- Do not add water as the prawns will bring out water.
- Cook covered till the prawns are done.
- Dry the excess water and add grated coconut and mix well.
- You can remove the Kudam Puli piece after cooking, if you have added it.
- That's it - Tasty Chemmeen Thoran is ready to be served with rice and roti's!
Note: Apart from cleaning and de-veining the prawns, the tough parts would be to peel and chop the shallots and grate the coconut. An easier alternative would be to use normal onions and exclude the coconut and maybe you may want to substitute the coconut oil with your regular cooking oil - but trust me, it will lose the authentic flavor.