Chemmeen thenga aracha curry

Shrimps cooked in ground coconut, raw mangoes and drumstick curry.

I could have a simple shrimp curry with steamed rice any time of the day. It is perfectly balanced, in terms of the flavours. There’s nothing your heart yearns for, after a good meal like this. What I love about most of the Kerala recipes is that it’s so easy to prepare, yet so amazingly delicious.

This shrimp curry has the sweetness from the shrimp and the coconut, heat from the chillies and sourness from the mangoes. We use coconut in most of our dishes. This could be freshly ground into a paste, roasted and ground or simply cut into slivers and used. But each of these preparations gives a different experience in terms of taste and texture.

The seafood used to be an integral part of our cuisine as I grew up. Rather, I would say that fish was more like a vegetable. There would be a curry or a fry served along with the vegetables and rice for both lunch and dinner. I remember my mother buying fish and shrimps from the fisherman who used to come in his bicycle.

She would clean everything quickly, pluck a mango from our yard and make this curry in a jiffy. As a kid, I used to wonder how she managed to make such amazing food in no time. Now I understand that a lot of these recipes are simple, but you need an understanding of the flavours to get the curry right. I hope you will love this as much as I do.

Chemmeen thenga aracha curry

Shrimps simmered in a curry with ground coconut, raw mangoes and drum stick.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 500 grams Shrimps cleaned and deveined
  • 2 nos Chillies slit
  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 sprig Curry leaves
  • 1 Drumstick cut into 2-inch pieces
  • to taste Salt
  • 1/2 cup Raw Mangoes cut into chunks

For the coconut paste

  • 1/2 cup Coconut grated
  • 1 tsp Ginger roughly sliced
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 6 nos Shallots
  • 1 no Green chilly
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Chilly powder
  • as required Water

Instructions

  • Make a fine paste by grinding all the ingredients with a little water.
  • Heat a traditional earthenware or meen chatti , if not, a wok. Add the ground coconut paste, green chillies, curry leaves and drumstick and enough water for the curry and simmer for 5-6 minutes until the drumsticks are half cooked.
  • Add the raw mangoes, and the shrimps. Check the seasoning and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the coconut oil in the end and mix everything.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Notes

  1. If raw mangoes are not available, you may substitute it with 2 pieces of kokum. When you add something to make the curry sour, add less in the beginning and more later, if required. The level of sourness vary in these ingredients.
  2. Shrimps tend to get over-cooked in no time, and it turns rubbery which is not ideal. It is better to add the shrimp right at the end, when you are sure of the flavours and the consistency of the curry.
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