Chemmeen Ularthiyathu

I can view stretch marks on my thighs….

Huh! What?

This came into my whatsapp inbox the other day. The lanky bordering on thin fifteen year old boy sent it to me just before his ICSE Biology paper. From his room to mine. Like that Beatles song, with love from me to you.

Do something! A diktat? Or a plea garbed as an instruction? Or an exasperated statement which actually was meant to be, I can view stretch marks on my thighs like you can……Possibly!

Ever since we are eating quinoa, grills, smoothies interspersed with crisps and an occasional chocolate. Occasional has had a change of definition from once in a while to everyday. The mother of course does not work for Frito Lay. Nor for Lindt for that matter, So she cannot be allowed any lee ways. No short routes for us. Health is the new flavor of delish in the kitchen. Thus happened Naachni Dosas or millet crepes with a St. Thomas Christian Prawn dish called ‘Chemeen Ularthiyathu’.


The millet dosa batter came in a packet. I am bothering only with recipe of the fresh sauted prawn masala. Works?

Prep work would be to soak 5 dried Kokum fruits in a cup of warm water at least an hour before you begin to cook.

For a kilo of Prawns, cleaned, tailed and beheaded, take about fifteen to twenty curry leaves, two large red onions and a tsp of mustard seeds. I prefer the black ones for this recipe. Slice the onions. In a warm wok, pour in about one and a half tsp oil and allow it to warm. Spoon in the mustard seeds and when they start crackling add the onions and the curry leaves. Fry till the onions turn brownish pink. Set this aside.

We Bengalis fry all our fish. Most of them for sure. So I lightly coated the prawns with salt, turmeric and chilli powder and sauted the prawns for a couple of minutes. If they released a little water I allowed them to be sunk in that water. Down in Kerala they would leave the prawns untarnished.

In a thick bottom deep dish I ladled in the prawn with its water and the Kokum with its water. Now finely chop an inch of ginger and four pods of garlic and add both to the deep dish. Slit four green chillies, cut half a coconut in half inch long and one forth inch thick pieces and take a cup of hot water. All of this goes into the deep dish. Season with a tsp of chilli powder, half a tsp of turmeric powder and salt to season. Mix well and set the dish on heat. Cook until most of the water evaporates and the prawns get cooked till tender, Add the onion mustard curry leaf seasoning to this and toss well for two more minutes.

Remove from fire. Serve hot. As I said millet dosas make a perfect partner.

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Category: Tried & Tasted

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