Chemmeen Ularthiyathu is a Syrian Christian recipe. The Syrian Christians had an innate style. In the caste systems back in those days they came at a level apt with the Nairs which was a warrior community. Their food was legendry; a masked elegance is unmistakable in their dishes cooked often in other oils than coconut oil, in fact, even in olive oil. Some use tamarind in this recipe, I choose to cook it with kokum. I would like to sign off by saying that the one ingredient which is a must is the fresh coconut, I have seen some recipes sans the coconut, and somehow I cannot be liberal about that!
My food word for this recipe would be Syrian Christian.
When you go out shopping look for;
Medium size fresh prawns
The recipe would be;
At first soak fifteen grams kokum. Finely slice about twenty shallots and keep three sprigs of curry leaves handy.
Warm oil in a wok and add a tsp mustard seeds and allow it to sputter. Immediately fry the finely sliced shallots and the curry leaves plucked freshly from the vein. As soon as the shallots turn brown switch off the heat and set this aside.
In a heavy based wok add half kilo prawns, one sliced onion, lengthwise sliced ten garlic pods, finely chopped inch of ginger, lengthwise sliced half a cup of coconut, one tsp chilly powder and half tsp turmeric powder. To this wok add the kokum with its water. Mix everything in the wok well. Season with salt and allow it to cook till the water evaporates. Once it is dry add the mustard seeds seasoning and toss it well. Enjoy with Keralite brown rice.