Chemmeen Varuthathu

Fried Shrimp/ Prawns

Here is something for seafood lovers. It is a basic recipe for shrimp-fry that would serve well as an appetizer or with any rice dish.

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time : 20 min
Ready in :30 min

  • 1 lb Medium shrimp , cleaned and de-veined
  • 1 cup pearl onions , crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder ( perum jeerakam)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 stalk of curry leaves
  • Oil to fry ( about 2-3 tbs)
  • Set the shrimp in a medium pan/ Skillet in medium heat
  • Add the onions, coriander powder, chilly powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder, fennel powder , salt and curry leaves
  • Cook till the shrimp is cooked and the water-content dries up ( the shrimp would now have a nice coating of the spices and powders by now)
  • Add the oil and saute for about 8-10 min ( till the coating on the shrimp gets a little crispy)
Happy Cooking !

PS: This one is on-demand from my friend,Veena .


Steamed Rice Dumplings with Sweetened Coconut filling.

One of my favorite snacks from childhood days .. I have had it made in couple of different ways ; with fillings sweetened with sugar or jaggery and then one without any filling.
It was also probably my worst nightmare of a snack while staying in hostels, away from home, for studies. Most school and college hostels in Kerala make this for an evening snack; and probably because it is made in large scale there is hardly any "sweet-surprise" inside the rice layer and therefore end up absolutely tasteless. So one can only imagine how Kozhukkatta has acquired the pet name "la bombe"!
My love for Kozhukkatta is mainly for the really really gooey jaggery-filling. I pack so much of the stuffing in it that by the time the dumplings come of the steaming, they are almost oozing the syrup from all sides. The ratio of the coconut-jaggery mixture is totally dependent on how much sweetness you want , and hence I am not mentioning exact amounts for them. So here is the recipe :

  • 1 cup Rice Flour ( the finely powdered and roasted variety, used for Idiyappam )
  • 1 cup water ( 1/2 cup more, if needed)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs cooking oil
For the filling
  • Shredded coconut
  • Jaggery ( I used approximately 1:1 ratio for coconut and jaggery)
  • Grate the jaggery & mix well with the coconut.
  • In a medium saucepan boil the water. Add the salt and the oil.
  • Remove from heat
  • In a steady stream add the rice flour and stir ( i prefer to use the handle of a wooden spoon to do this )
  • Keep mixing till the mixture forms a smooth dough. (In case the it gets dry, add some more boiling water, about 1/2 cup more )
  • As soon it cools down to a temperature you can handle , make small balls out of it ( 1 cup of rice flour should yield about 7-8 of these )
  • Grease your palms with some oil, and lightly flatten each ball ( Keep the dough on your left palm , press gently to make a 2"circle)
  • Put 1 teaspoonful of the filling in the center of the circle and bring the outer-edge together to cover it. ( I wish I had a pictorial to explain this ..Hope to post one soon). The dumplings eventually would like the ones in the picture.
Happy Cooking !

Eggless Chocolate Mousse

It is a typical case of mis-communication ! My friend makes one killer Eggless Chocolate Mousse .. he happens to be a pastry-chef. So the last time we met up I mentioned how good it was; seriously it was not in my intention to extract any of his trade secrets. But being the gentleman that he is he offered up the recipe . However, the recipe was lost in all the hustle n bustle at the restaurant . A very regretful me got back home , still determined to try out the mousse from whatever parts I remembered and then some common-kitchen-sense.
I started out with extra portions of all the ingredients so as to deal with any oncoming disasters. By now I am sure you would be wondering"" why is this woman even posting this recipe ??"" .So, let me assure you the outcome wasnt all that bad. On the good side, it is very easy to make and doesnt have any eggs in it ..on the flip side, if you dont like the bitter sweet taste of chocolate, this is not for you (but then you can always substitue another kind of chocolate if you dont like the taste of semi-sweet )

  • 1 cups (8 oz) Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 4 oz Semi Sweet Chocolate
  • 8 oz Whipped Cream
Procedure :
  • In a heavy bottom pan heat the whipping cream and chocolate. Bring it to a boil.
  • Let cool
  • Once it cools down , fold in the whipped cream.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours
Serve in scoops or garnished with fresh berries.

Recipe for Hot &Sweet Chicken and the newest addition to our pantry.

Chilli-Chicken , the Indo-Chinese preparation, is one of my all time favorites. There are many restaurants in Kerala who make this exceptionally well , at least there used to be. There are couple of Indian-restaurants here in valley who make really tasty versions of it. However, I am in constant fear of what salts are going in them and hence decided to try and make it at home. I was not following any recipe , and just used some sauces and other ingredients which I thought I had tasted in the traditional preparation. Guess what I ended up with , a really great recipe for Hot-n-Sweet Chicken. So while my quest for the Chill-Chicken continues, I would love to share the Hot-n-Sweet recipe with you all.
A friend told me that it is the Chilli sauce that makes all the difference in these preparations..sadly enough I forgot to ask her for recommendations. Later on went ahead and got a bottle of the Tabasco Green Chilli Sauce , and I have used it rather liberally here in this recipe.
I made this quite late in the evening and had a rather hungry group waiting for the grub. No need to mention, the portion vanished before I could take a picture. So please excuse me for not putting up the photo this time. However if you do get to making this at home you are more than welcome to send me a shot , and I will make sure to post it here ( of course, with due courtesies !). Happy Cooking everyone !

Yields : 6-8 servings
Prep time : -15 min for prepping the marinade
-Overnite for the marinade
-30 minutes before serving

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( cut into small bite size pieces )
For the batter
  • 3 Green chillies ( I used the Thai ones , you could use any small hot variety )
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic
  • 1" piece of ginger
  • 1 tbs Soy Sauce
  • Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed pepper corns
  • 3 tbs corn starch ( mixed in 4 oz/ half glass water)
Other Ingredients
  • 1 cup oil for deep frying
  • 2-3 Tbs oil for the saute
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic minced
  • 1" piece of ginger minced
  • 3 Tbs of tomato ketchup
  • 2 Tbs of green chilli sauce
  • 1 Tbs of Soy Sauce
  • Salt
  • 1 tsp Crushed Pepper Corns
  • 1 big onion ( cut into 1" squares / chunks)
  • 2 bell peppers ( cut into 1" squares )
  • Making the batter :Grind together green chillies, garlic and ginger to a smooth paste. Mix the corn-starch in water. Add salt, pepper and the ground paste. Mix well.
  • Toss in the chicken pieces to the batter and leave covered in the refrigerator, overnight.
  • Deep frying the chicken pieces: In a medium pan heat oil. Fry the chicken pieces in small batches , each batch should take about 5 minutes to be cooked. Leave the fried pieces on a paper towel to absorb the extra grease.
  • Making the stir-fry: Set a large skillet in high heat and add oil. Once the oil is smoking hot toss in the minced ginger and garlic.
  • Wait for the ginger n garlic to turn brown ; add salt , pepper and the sauces ( tomato, green chilly n soy). Mix well.
  • Add the fried chicken pieces and mix well so that they are covered well in the sauces.
  • Toss in the onion and bell pepper. Saute for couple of minutes in high heat.
  • Remove from heat.
LifeSaver : The salt, pepper, tomato sauce and chilly sauce quantities are variable. Check for taste in between and adjust the quantities accordingly.