Prawns Curry in meenchatti

Prawns Curry in meenchatti

Recipe by Smita Chutke


Smita's Cookery spice type

Veggie Spice

This recipe of Shrimp rassa or gravy is inspired by my family recipe. It’s a combination of flavors from South and West of India. Even though the gravy looks super red, it’s actually really mild and flavorful . That’s because the red chili powder is Kashmiri chili powder that gives a bright vibrant color and is added in little quantity. The heat is well balanced by sour tamarind and creamy poppy and coconut gravy.


  • 1 lb raw cleaned, deveined, raw shrimp

  • Marinade
  • 1 tsp red chili powder

  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • Sea salt

  • Gravy (Rassa)
  • 1/4 cup dry unsweetened coconut powder

  • 2 tbsp white poppy seeds

  • Note on Spices
  • Note: If you have Smita’s Cookery veggie spice then you don’t need to add any spices listed below. Just use 1-2 tsp of Veggie spice.

  • Spices for final dish
  • 2-3 crushed garlic

  • small piece of crushed ginger(just wash the ginger, you don’t need to peel ginger skin)

  • 1-2 tsp of red chili powder

  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric

  • Final Dish
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

  • Coconut oil or your choice of cooking oil

  • 8-10 curry leaves( they are found in Indian grocery in refrigerated area)

  • 2-3 Thai green chilies( or use hotter chilies)

  • 1-2 tsp Smita’s Cookery Veggie spice or all the ingredients from spice for final dish

  • 1 tsp kodampuli soaked in water or 1 tbsp tamarind pulp

  • Gravy (see the gravy step)

  • Marinated Shrimp (see the marinade step above)

  • Salt

  • Water

  • Coriander leaves or herbs to garnish


  • Marinade
  • Marinate the clean and deveined shrimp with the marinade ingredients
  • Leave it for 20-30 mts. for best results
  • Make Gravy
  • If you do not have a high efficient blender like Vitamix that can blend Poppy seeds into fine smooth paste. Then soak it for at least an hour before grinding.
  • If you soaked the poppy seeds then no need to toast it . Heat a small pan on medium low heat to toast the coconut and poppy seeds until coconut turns slightly brown and keep aside. You may need to stir this and keep an eye so it doesn’t burn.
  • If you have coffee grinder then grind together the toasted Coconut and Poppy seeds into a fine powder until coconut leaves the oil and turns into brown coconut butter.
  • If you do not have coffee grinder then grind it all in the blender with some water into a smooth paste.
  • Final dish
  • I have used a traditional clay pot for making this dish but you can use a wok, pan or pot.
  • On medium flame, heat the pan/ pot you are using
  • Add coconut oil or your favorite cooking oil.
  • Once the oil is hot but not smoky or burning then temper with mustard seeds
  • If you have Smita’s Cookery veggie spice then add that and fry for 5-6 sec. Skip to STEP 8. If you don’t have the veggie spice then follow next step.
  • Next turn the heat to medium low and add green chilies, crushed ginger garlic and fry for 10-20 sec.
  • Now add the red chili powder, turmeric powder and fry for 5-6 sec.
  • Add the gravy paste and mix well.
  • Add marinated shrimp.
  • Squeeze the kodampuli soaked in water to extract all the sour juices from it and add the whole thing to the pot. If you are using tamarind pulp then add that.
  • Mix well. Add a cup of water and salt it to taste.
  • Cover with a lid and let it cook for about 7-8 mts.
  • Garnish with herbs of your choice and serve hot with rice or bread.


  • If you are using frozen shrimp then thaw it before marinating. Discard any liquid from and only use the marinated shrimp for cooking.
  • Kodampuli is a type of tamarind from Malabar region in Kerala (South of India) . It adds a nice balance to the gravy. Tamarind pulp works just fine too.
  • If this is your first time cooking in meenchatti clay pot then make sure you have seasoned the pot well. There are lot of videos online to see how to do that.

I am Smita Chutke , and welcome to my blog. Cooking for me is an art. Once you know the techniques then you have freedom to experiment and create something new.


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