How to make Malabar Chemeen Kari -

Prawns or chemeen cooked with drumsticks in the typical Keralite style.

Sanjeev Kapoor

This is a Sanjeev Kapoor exclusive recipe.

Main Ingredients : Prawns (kolambi/jhinga) , Coconut (नारियल)

Cuisine : Kerala

Course : Main Course Seafood

Malabar Chemeen Kari

Malabar Chemeen Kari Recipe Card


The cuisine of Kerala is very hot and spicy and offers several gastronomic opportunities. The food is generally fresh, aromatic and flavoured. Keralites are mostly fish-and-rice eating people. The land and the food are rich with coconut, though one cannot imagine Kerala food without chillies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, tamarind and asafoetida. Just a little tamarind can substitute tomatoes, but there is no real substitute for curry leaves. 
The locals put to good use whatever the land offers and the result is a marvellous cuisine that is simple yet palate tickling. 
Kerala has an abundance of jackfruits, pineapples, mangoes, custard apples and an endless variety of bananas. The unusual cuisine of Kerala brings to the fore the culinary expertise of the people of Kerala. Producing some of the tastiest foods on earth, the people of Kerala are gourmets with a difference.

Prep Time : 16-20 minutes

Cook time : 31-40 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Moderate

Taste : Mild

Ingredients for Malabar Chemeen Kari Recipe

  • Prawns (kolambi/jhinga) 1 kilogram

  • Coconut scraped 2 cups

  • Turmeric powder 1 teaspoon

  • Salt to taste

  • Raw mangoes 2 medium

  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) 1 teaspoon

  • Drumstick 3 inch pieces 2

  • Oil 6 tablespoons

  • Sambhar onions halved 10-12

  • Red chilli powder 1 tablespoon

  • Coriander powder 1 tablespoon

  • Green chillies slit 2

  • Curd chillies slit 4

  • Curry leaves 10-12

  • Kodumpuli 6 pieces

  • Coconut oil 1 tablespoon

  • Whole dry red chillies 4


Step 1

Clean, de-vein and wash the prawns. Pat them dry and marinate in turmeric powder and little salt.

Step 2

Peel mangoes and cut into wedges. Lightly pound the fenugreek seeds. Soak and grind coconut with half a cup of warm water and extract thick milk.

Step 3

Reserve the coconut residue also. Heat four tablespoons of oil in a deep pan, add onions and fry till transluscent. Add red chilli powder and coriander powder and stir.

Step 4

Put in the green and curd chillies, curry leaves and the kodumpuli. Add the coconut residue and four cups of water.

Step 5

Boil till it reduces by half and thickens. Strain the curry through a mesh pressing well to extract all the flavors.

Step 6

Keep aside. Heat the remaining oil and coconut oil, add the pounded fenugreek seeds and the whole red chillies and stir well.

Step 7

Add the marinated prawns, drumsticks and mangoes. Cook till the prawns are almost done. Pour in the curry and simmer till it combines well, add salt to taste. Remove from heat and add the coconut milk and reheat to simmering point.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.