Churakka Chemmen Curry / Prawns and Lauki Curry

Am now a days addicted to taking pictures of what ever I cook , though I used to do it before starting this blog , but that was just for some special dishes, thanks to Soccer Man for gifting a phone – which is very helpful to take pics in kitchen 😉
In my house , Mummy rarely used to cook mixed dishes like this one here – which gives mixed flavor and gives authentic Kerala taste , as she was brought up outside Kerala , but then she used to make North Indian dishes which we enjoyed much…..
Got an idea of typical Kerala cooking only when I spent days with Amamma – hubby’s Granny in Angamaly , I enjoy watch her cook and share her experiences and also tips….it was when I saw her cooking that I learned that Cooking is an Art and feeding with love and good sense makes home heavenly. 

This dish is a Kerala style fish curry , we used to make Prawns with tomatoes usually in my place , but then I saw Ammama (Granny) make Churakka with dried Prawns , I think dried Prawns with its strong flavor gives the best result.
I tried it with fresh prawns –  these are good too.
My sister in Law has Unnaka Chemeen – churakka curry / Dried Prawns with bottle gourd curry in her blog here mykitchentreasure.blogspot.com

Ingredients

Prawns – 1/2 a pound cleaned and deveined
Bottle Gourd/Lauki/ Churakka – 1/2 of 1 medium sized – cubed or sliced 1inch length wise
Ginger – 1/2 inch piece finely chopped
Vinegar – 2 table spoon (use your choice of stuff to give sour taste , can use tamarind , cocum or else tomatoes goes good too)
Turmeric Powder  – 1/2 tsp
Green Chili’s – 2 no’s (or more)
Salt to taste.

 For Grinding

Coconut – 3/4 cup Grated
Small Onion – 2 to 3 no’s (Optional)
Cumin /Jeera – 1 tsp

For tempering

Coconut Oil – 1 to 2 table spoon
Methi seeds/Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
Small Onions – 3 to 4 no’s sliced.
Curry Leaves – 1 spring
Dry Red chili’s – 2 no’s crushed (Optional , or else use red chili powder -1/4 tsp -gives good color)

Method

Clean and devein the prawns , mix a pinch of salt and keep aside.

Love these big guys !! 
* In a chatti- Madka /Kadai,  mix sliced Bottle gourd with salt , turmeric powder, finely chopped ginger , green chili and vinegar (or any tamarind you like to use). Cook with a little water sprinkled to it (if you want the gravy to be loose add more water) cover and cook for 10 – 15 minutes in medium to low heat.
*Add in the prawns and cook for another 5 minutes in low heat , in the meantime grind the ingredients given under grinding with a little water , pour this mixture to the fish mixture.
Switch off the heat if using a madka /chatti as the chatti will be hot enough to cook the coconut , if not using a chatti/madka do cook the curry for few seconds in low heat and switch off the heat. 
* Heat oil (Preferably coconut oil) in a pan , when hot add the fenugreek/methi seeds , followed by small onions and curry leaves and at last the red chili’s or chili powder (I forgot to use this,though the green chili was hot enough for the whole curry , though missed that color) . Pour this on to the fish curry and serve hot with Rice. 
The small onion should have been little more brown 🙂 
Enjoy with Kerala rice 
Cheers
TN

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