Sunday, 20 May 2018

Unakka Chemmeen Roast | Unakka Chemmeen Fry | Kerala Style Dried Shrimp Roast | Dry Prawns Fry | Dried Prawns Stir fry

Unakka Chemmeen Ularthiyathu | Unakka Chemmeen Mulakittathu

I'm back with another delicacy with dried shrimps :) See that's what I do when I get hold of something exotic to us.. GO overboard ;) But this is also something that you all would love and enjoy. It's a roast or fry with the unakka chemmeen or dried shrimps (prawns).. You know what Deeps asked when I served this dish. "Deep fried???"  I was like, "No, shallow with 2 tbsp oil ;) That's the magic here.. Looks and feels like a deep fry, but have used minimal oil here. And I paired this with some spinach dal and cabbage poriyal.. Oh my, it tasted just awesome with the dal ! You can have it with kanji (rice gruel) as well and I'm sure you wouldn't need another side dish :) or just dal or mild gravy. This is so easy to make and will take your simple meal to another level. And spice and shallots, feel free to increase or decrease according to your needs..So let's see how easily this is made :)

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 30 minutes

Serves : 2 persons

I Used:

Dried Shrimp - 1 cup
Shallots - 6 nos
Red Chilly - 2 nos
Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Salt - As Needed

The Way:

1. Peel the shallots and rinse them well in water. Take the shallots and red chillies in a mixer jar and coarsely pulse them 2-3 times. Do not have to grind them to a smooth paste

2. Rinse and wash the shrimp thoroughly 3-4 times to remove any dirt or dust particles in them. They tend to absorb water, so be quick to rinse. Once done, drain them and keep aside

3. Heat coconut oil in a pan/kadai. Splutter the curry leaves

4. Now add the coarsely pulsed shallot-red chilly mix. Saute them for about 3-4 minutes in medium flame

5. Then add the rinsed dried shrimps and give a quick mix. Keep sauteeing for another 4-5 minutes till they start to become dry

6. Now add the turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt (Dried fish will already have salt in them, so add cautiously) and give a nice stir

7. Reduce the flame to low and keep stirring occasionally to avoid the shrimps getting burnt. If you feel they need a little more oil, add a tsp or two and mix. Check for salt and hotness and add salt and red chilly powder if needed. They should turn golden and dry (no moisture content). this would take around 12-15 minutes

When done, serve with hot rice and a gravy of choice or kanji(rice gruel)!


  • I have used 2 tsp red chilly powder here which is fairly hot and suited for our taste buds. You can very well increase or decrease the quantity according to the needs of your family
  • If you want you can increase the amount of shallots for more masala
  • Dry shrimps comes with added salt. Hence add salt accordingly
  • If your shrimps are larger and you want to remove the head and tail then you can do the same after rinsing them

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Unakka Chemmeen Chammanthi Podi | Kerala Style Chemmeen Chammanthi Podi | Dry Shrimp Chutney powder

You know, I have been making this condiment on and off for the past 5 years.. On and off in the sense, whenever I get my hands on a pack of dried shrimps, I for sure make them ! I learnt to make them from a very dear blogger friend Meena's space 'Elephants and Coconut trees'. It was a saviour during our days at Norway. Deeps is a great fan of dried fish and getting them was close to impossible there. Once in a while we get the dried shrimps packet in the Asian stores. Whenever we spot one, we buy them and get it roasted and ground :D 

And the taste is so awesome that even after getting back to India and having pretty good access to fresh and dried fish, we still crave for this :D And this time when we went to Kerala, Deeps found this at our local super market and got 2 packets :) So I made this podi with one packet and some other dishes with the other one. Stay tuned to see what they are :) Meena keeps her podi pretty simple but I, when I made it the first time itself used all those extras that she mentioned in her notes.. So I have been making it like that ever since ! They are sooper easy to make. A little time consuming only to roast the ingredients and that is so important coz your shelf life depends on how well they are roasted and how moisture free they are.. And we like to pair it up with kanji (rice gruel) for our dinner. Little of this podi, choodu kanji, mutta scramble (egg scrambled) and achar (pickle) is all that we need to have a mind filling dinner :) So do try this out if you get your hands on one and let me know how you liked it :)

Recipe Source: Adapted from Here

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 45 minutes

Makes : 1.5cups

I Used:

Dried Shrimp - One 50 gm packet
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Shallots - 8 nos
Garlic - 5 pods
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Pepper - 1 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - ½ tsp
Tamarind - 1 tsp (tightly packed)
Salt - As Needed

The Way:

1. Rinse and wash the shrimp thoroughly 3-4 times to remove any dirt or dust particles in them. They tend to absorb water, so be quick to rinse and once done, drain them and take them in a plate and spread them out. Leave them for 30-60 minutes to dry

2. If you are hard pressed for time, do not bother to dry them. Take them in a kadai/pan and dry roast them in low flame. For a better and longer shelf time, there shouldn't be any moisture content in the powder we are going to make. Hence make sure you roast the shrimps in low flame till they are crisp and dry. Also make sure that you keep stirring occasionally so that they don't get burnt

3. Once they are crisp and starts to crack and splutter, take them in a plate and keep aside

4. In the same pan, add the grated coconut, shallots, garlic, curry leaves and pepper. Saute on a low flame till the coconut turns deep brown in colour. Keep sauteeing continuously and take care not to burn them

5. Now add red chilly powder, salt and asafoetida. Give a quick stir

6. Then add the roasted shrimp and give a nice stir. Keep stirring for another 3-4 minutes. Then add the tamarind and saute for a minute. Switch off the flame

7. Allow it to cool down. Then grind it coarsely and store in an air tight container


  • Store in an air tight container for a longer shelf life. Use a clean and dry spoon to take out the podi
  • Dry shrimps comes with added salt. Hence add salt accordingly while making the podi
  • If your shrimps are a bit larger and you want to remove the head and tail then you can do the same. I use small variety for making this podi and don't remove the heads or tails
  • Roast the ingredients really well and keep them away from moisture for a better shelf life

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Vazhaithandu Pachadi | Vazhathandu Pachadi | Banana Stem Raita

This year summer in Pune has also become unbearable. The past two years I found it much better when compared to Chennai or Kerala, but this time it was bad :( And so, we were resorting to all sorts of coolants for the body and soul ! You do not feel like eating an elaborate lunch during summer, do you? We don't.. We feel like eating just some cold fruits and drink loads of buttermilk and lemonades ;) But everyday I don't do that. Somedays I cook rice and keep it simple with some steamed veggies and curd. 

I had a weeny tiny bit of banana stem remaining with me one day and that wasn't sufficient to make a kootu or upperi so I thought will make pachadi out of it. So googled for the recipe and found at Chitra's blog. I thought I had to cook the stem before making pachadi, but the recipe was a breeze that required no cooking at all and just the tempering. Also you do not feel any raw taste of the vazhaithandu/banana stem also ! That's a plus right :) So if you are looking for recipes that do not need much of cooking time and want to enjoy the summer under the fan like me, this recipe is one for you. Check out !

Recipe Source: Adapted from Here

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 5 minutes

Serves : 2-3 persons 

I Used:

Vazhaithandu/Banana stem ½ cup (chopped)
Curd (Thick) 1 cup
Salt As Needed
Coriander Leaves 2-3 sprigs for garnish

To Temper:

Oil 2 tbsp
Mustard ½ tsp
Urd Dal 1 tsp
Green Chilly 1 no
Asafoetida/Hing ½ tsp
Curry leaves 1-2 sprigs

The Way:

1. Whisk the curd in a bowl till smooth and there are no lumps. If you prefer the pachadi a little watery, add little water to the curd

2. Next clean and chop the banana stem to fine pieces. For cleaning the banana, discard the outer cover that comes off easily when you peel them. Then take the inner pith (hard part) and cut them into round discs. While doing so, you can see that there is a little fibre in between the discs.Discard them

3. Then chop the discs into small pieces and add them to the whisked curd immediately. (No need to cook the banana stem) If you keep it in open air, they will change colour. Alternately you can add the chopped banana stem pieces to water or little buttermilk till use to prevent them from changing colour

4. Add salt to the curd-banana stem and mix it

5. Now the tempering part - heat oil in a tadka pan. Splutter mustard. Reduce the flame to low. Add the urad dal. Let it fry for a few seconds. Take care not to burn it

6. Now add the hing, curry leaves and slit green chilly. Let it fry for a few seconds. The green chilly will start to pop out the oil. So be careful. Now switch off the flame

7. Add the tadka to the curd and garnish with coriander leaves. Mix well and serve !


Friday, 11 May 2018

Watermelon Popsicle Recipe | Easy Watermelon Popsicle Recipe | Kids Special Summer Recipe

As I am drafting this recipe, it's my little one's reaction on seeing the popsicle that comes to my mind. He kept on jumping saying "ice-cream, ice-cream".. Popsicles are so easy to make and so refreshing in this summer heat right :) And when you make popsicles out of watermelon and likes, it is easy to up the little one's water intake who is otherwise very hesitant to drink water :( Here I have added just a tsp of honey to the pureed watermelon to make this pops. If you like a tangy flavour add little lemon juice as well. Maybe you can make it more colourful by sneaking in a slice of kiwi or lemon as well :) In the pics the colour seems a little pale coz they were snapped right after taking out of the freezer. After a while they turned bright red !

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

I Used:

Watermelon (cut into cubes) - 2 cups
Honey - 1 tsp (optional)
Lemon juice - 1 tsp (optional)

The Way:

1. Roughly chop the water melon into cubes. Remove the seeds and take them in a blender jar

2. Grind them. Add honey if using (if the watermelon is sweet enough you can omit them) and again give a quick blend

3. Pour the puree into popsicle moulds so that they are 3/4 full

4. Freeze them in refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours

5. After 8 hours de-mould them gently (can show under tap water while de-moulding) and enjoy !


Thursday, 10 May 2018

Pacha Manga Uppilitathu | Raw Mangoes in Brine | Brined Raw Mangoes | Uppilitta Manga

Mangoes are in season and I know many of you have your family or signature recipes that you make as soon as get hold of some raw or ripe mangoes na.. You know what I do when I get hold of some raw mangoes? Brine it.. Yes, that's what Deeps loves the most with raw mangoes :) And then comes the pickle of course ! But for me it's the Manga pachadi that my mom makes.. I'm yet to post that here.. Didn't get decent pics yet to make it here ;) So you may remember that I brined gooseberries when they were in season and so you must now have understood my family's love for brined veggies.. The process for the raw mangoes is also same as that for gooseberries.. Only thing that takes time here is cutting the mangoes..And since I had some time I took some extra pics and hence this page is spammed with them and I hope you don't mind.. So if you also love brined raw mangoes, go make some before they go out of season :)

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

I Used:

Raw Mango (Salem/Totapuri)-1 big one
Green Chilly-2 nos
Salt-As needed
Water-1 ½ cup

The Way:

1. Rinse the raw mango well and allow them to dry. You can pat them dry using a kitchen towel

2. Then cut them into bite size pieces. The size of the mango is purely your choice. If you want the skin on all pieces, then cut them in half (through the seed) and then remove the seed and cut them into pieces.

3. Heat water in a saucepan. Allow it to come to boil and then cool it to room temperature

4. Now take the raw mango pieces in a glass bottle or container. Add slit green chillies and salt. Then pour the water into it. The water level should be above the raw mangoes. Check for salt. The water should be salty (slightly more than normal salty taste). If not sufficient, add accordingly

5. Rest it for a day or two and then you can refrigerate it. Leave it for at least a week before having it


  • No need to add vinegar or lemon juice as the mangoes itself will be very sour. As soon as you pluck them or buy them, brine it. If you keep it for a day or two the mangoes will start to sweeten up
  • I allowed the raw mangoes to rest for a day in room temperature and then refrigerated it for a month and then used it
  • Avoid using plastic containers to preserve this. I did once and also did not refrigerate them and they developed mold and had to discard them
  • You can also use up the brine once the raw mangoes are over. Take about half glass of the brine, add some lemon juice and another half a glass of soda. Mix well and serve


Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Easy Brocolli Stir fry | Easy Broccoli Poriyal | Easy Broccoli Upperi

Love quick fixes and love broccoli? Then this is the recipe for you. Actually you cannot call this a recipe as such, it is more like a salad kinda dish with a basic salt-pepper dressing. And this is how my mom makes broccoli at home. She says Indian spices do not go well with broccoli and so she never uses ginger-garlic paste or garam masala while making them. And I too agree and follow her while making broccoli. You can serve this as a side dish with dry or as a sabzi for your chapathi as well. So let's see this simple recipe today :)

Recipe Source: Ma

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 30 minutes

Serves : 2-3 persons 

I Used:

Broccoli - 100 gms
Onion - 1 medium sized - chopped
Tomato - ½ of a medium sized one - chopped
Pepper Powder - 2 tsp (As Needed)
Turmeric powder
As Needed
¼ tsp

The Way:

1. Clean and cut broccoli to small bite sized florets

2. Parboil the broccoli. This step is optional. If you want to parboil, in a saucepan heat water. When it starts to boil, add the broccoli florets along with salt and turmeric powder and reduce the flame to medium. Leave it for about 5 minutes. Then switch off the flame and drain the water

3. In another pan, heat oil. Add the chopped onions and saute

4. When they turn translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and saute

5. When the tomatoes are almost cooked, add in the pepper powder and salt. give a quick stir

6. Now add the par boiled broccoli and stir well. Leave it for 2-3 minutes. Then switch off the flame and serve. If you have not parboiled the broccoli florets, then add the broccoli and sprinkle some water. Close the lid and cook till done. Stir and sprinkle water (if needed) in between to see that it does not get burnt 


Sunday, 6 May 2018

Chemmeen Curry | Konju curry | Malabar Style Chemmeen Kootan | Kerala Style Chemmeen Curry | Shrimp Coconut Curry

Many of you had loved this shrimp gravy when I had posted in Instagram and so I am here without much delay (maybe a little) with it's recipe. It is a classic preparation by my in laws especially Deepak's aunt.. It is very simple to make especially if you have some grated coconut and cleaned shrimps in hand. And it uses just red chilly powder for masala and the taste is brought about with the balance of tamarind and red chilly powder and of course the coconut. 

The measurements given here are just guidelines (this is exactly what I use) but they differ from family to family. So taste, adjust, taste, adjust. That's how you roll in the kitchen right :) And do not go stingy on the coconut. If you do, it does compromise the taste. Been there, done that. So do mark my words :) And when you try out this recipe, do let me know how you liked it. Now off to the recipe..

Recipe Source: Mil

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 40 minutes

Serves : 3-4 persons 

I Used:

Chemmeen/Prawns - 12-15 (big ones) (almost 250 gm before de-shelling)
Shallots - 4-5 nos (sliced)
Garlic - 3-4 big ones (chopped)
Ginger - A 2 inch piece(chopped)
Green Chilly - 2 nos
Tomato - 1 medium sized one (chopped)
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Tamarind - A lemon sized 
Grated Coconut - ¾ cup
Salt - As needed
Coconut Oil - 2-3 tbsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

The Way:

1. Clean the prawns (remove the shell and de-vein them) and rinse well in water

2. Soak tamarind in 1 cup of warm water for 20-30 minutes. Extract the pulp and keep aside

3. Grind the grated coconut to a smooth paste with water and keep aside 

4. In an earthen pot (manchatti) or a pan, heat coconut oil. Add chopped ginger, garlic and slit green chillies and saute

5. When they start to turn brown in colour, add the sliced shallots and saute

6. When they turn start to turn golden, add chopped tomatoes and saute. The tomatoes should become mushy

7. When the tomatoes turn mushy and the masala seems to have reduced add in the dry powders - red chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt. I use the really hot variety of red hilly powder here and hence adding only 1 tsp. Suit yourself according to your powder and taste buds

8. Saute them for 2-3 minutes till the raw smell goes off. Then add the tamarind water to it

9. Allow it to come to a boil. Then reduce the flame and add the prawns. Now allow the prawns to cook which would take around 12-15 minutes

10. When the prawns are cooked add the coconut paste and give a stir. Check the consistency of gravy. If it is too thick add little more water. Also check salt and hotness. If they are less add more salt or red chilly powder accordingly

11. Let the gravy come to a boil. Then add the curry leaves and give a swirl or gentle stir and switch off the flame

Serve with matta rice and a side dish of your choice. I served with aviyal !