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Nimmy Paul’s Chemeen recipe uses small pink prawns that are as tender as can be. Careful selection of ingredients goes a long way to making any dish and with a delicate seafood dish, this is especially true.

Kokum – another of the key ingredients in the dish – is a small round type of tamarind pod native to South India. Look for it (as a dried version) at Indian Grocers or substitute a small amount of tamarind paste.

This dish comes together quickly. We hope you enjoy it and please check out Nimmy’s recipe for Fish Molee and Avial too.

Chemeen Recipe

4 Servings


1 lb small prawns or shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 kokum, split
6 curry leaves
½ tsp garlic paste
½ tsp ginger paste
½ tsp green chili paste
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup shallots, sliced lengthwise
20 fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
½ tsp turmeric
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt


  1. Marinate the prawns with the kokum, curry leaves and garlic, ginger and chili pastes for 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a wok on medium heat.
  3. Add the shallots and 20 curry leaves and cook until the shallots are crispy – about 10 – 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, add the coriander, chili powder, turmeric, pepper and salt and let the mixture rest.
    Tip: the shallots keep a crispy texture this way.
  4. Place the marinated prawns in another wok on medium heat and cook until they turn pink. Add them to the onion mixture with their juices.
  5. Enjoy with freshly cooked appams.

Thanks for trying this recipe.

One comment on “Nimmy Paul’s Chemeen

  1. Pingback: Nimmy Paul's Avial

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