Monday, December 3, 2012

Chemeen Theeyal/ Prawns in a roasted coconut gravy

Theeyal is a very common dish  to every household in Kerala. Its when Wikipedia defined it as a burnt dish, we also realized that it does mean that in literal terms ("Thee -Fire"). Theeyal can  be made with several combination of vegetables, but this one is our favorite.

Prep Time: 30 mins
Grated  Coconut: 1/3 cup
Shallots/Pearl onions: 6-7
Drumstick : 1
Tomato: 1
Potato: 1 (small chopped)
Tamarind pulp: 1 tablespoon  
Water: 1 cup
Prawns: 15-20
Green chillies: 3-4(slit)
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Chilli powder: 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder : 2 teaspoons
Fenugreek seeds: 5-6
Salt to taste
Oil to saute

* Vegetarians can make this theeyal with a combination of Ladyfinger(okra), shallots and potatoes or bitter-guard and shallots or eggplant and shallots.

Roast the coconut and fenugreek seeds on medium heat until coconut turns brown. Keep stirring and make sure you don't burn the coconut. Then add chili powder and coriander powder and stir for 5 mins. The key  to a good theeyal is browning the coconut with the masala without burning it. After this has slightly cooled, grind it to a smooth paste without adding any water. The oil will come out to make it a thick paste. Keep aside.

Heat some oil in a deep pan. Saute the shallots, green chillies, drumsticks, potatoes and curry leaves for about 5-10 mins. Add the chopped tomatoes and tamarind pulp mixed with water and let it come to a boil. Add the ground coconut paste. Adjust the salt. Now let it boil and check if the drumstick and potato has cooked. Then add the prawns in the very end because they take very little time to cook. Boil on low- medium heat until the oil starts to show on the top. Theeyal is ready and serve with rice.


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