Chemmeen/Prawns/Shrimp Olathiyathu

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 3 -4
Author: Maria Jose Martin
Print Recipe


  • 250 gms Prawns measured after cleaning
  • 1 tbsp each Crushed Ginger & garlic
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander powder optional, refer notes
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Garam masala optional, refer notes
  • 2-3 small pieces Kokum (kudam puli) soaked in water for around 10 minutes
  • 1/4 cup Thengakothu (tiny coconut pieces) (you can add more if you like)
  • 2 medium Onions sliced finely
  • 5 Small onion / Pearl onion sliced thinly
  • Salt
  • Curry leaves
  • Coconut oil


  • Wash and clean the prawns. Add half of the ginger & garlic, chilli powder (half of it) & turmeric powder, kokum, thengakothu, salt & curry leaves to the prawns. Mix well using your hands. Add water and cook till it is done, make sure that prawns are not over cooked. Drain the excess water.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add finely sliced small onion and fry till it becomes golden brown. Add remaining ginger & garlic, curry leaves & onion. Saute till the onion becomes light brown. Add the remaining chilli powder, coriander powder & garam masala (if using) and fry till the raw smell goes and oil starts appearing. Add cooked prawns & salt (since prawns is already cooked with salt, adjust the salt for the gravy accordingly). Mix well and add 2-3 tbsp of water. Cook it till the water is dried and prawns are well coated with masala. I like the prawns to be roasted well, so I keep it for around 10-12minutes on low flame, by stirring it in between. Serve with rice or roti.


The original recipe does not use coriander powder & garam masala. Since I like it spicy, I added it. So you can use it as per your taste.