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Prawn Masala – Kerala style


“If given a choice I can live on a deserted island sit under a coconut tree and eat prawns all day.” Black Phoenix


Prawn masala/roast/ ularthu – Kerala style , a spicy dish, filled with the flavour of cocum, spices added and of course the coconut oil, not to forget the fried, crunchy pieces of coconut. Just divine! Some Kerala parathas or even Puttu to have it with and you are in heaven.

Back home in Kerala you get the freshest of prawns so easily available, and all you are thinking of is either a prawn and mango curry, a prawn roast or even a prawn Biriyani. Mary, our cook who’s been with us for so long makes the most awesome prawn and mango curry . For the prawn masala/ roast, she adds a handful of sliced and cooked Chinese potato which just elevates the dish to a whole new level. There are never any left overs whenever she cooks prawns and the quantity is never sufficient.

If you ever have to ask her for a recipe – the answer would be a little bit of onion, little bit of tomato, some ginger- garlic ,some spice powders and that’s it ! Keep stirring – whether it’s chicken, mutton – basically anything! Be happy and move on. There’s magic in her fingers ……7

We love prawns, except for my daughter who is allergic. She doesn’t know what she is missing. When I get fresh prawns this is the dish I love to cook and which is liked by all.

So here goes my superfast, quick version of a very tasty dish. Happy to be sharing with you-


  • Prawns – 1/2 kg cleaned
  • Chilli powder -1 tbsp
  • Ginger-garlic paste -1 tbsp
  • Pepper powder-1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Cocum – 2-3 pieces ( Kudam puli)

To fry:

  • Small onions sliced -1 cup
  • Curry leaves
  • Kashmiri chilli powder-1/2 tbsp
  • Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Coconut oil or any vegetable oil
  • Coconut pieces – 2 -3 tablespoons
  • Dry red chillies -3-4


  • You have to buy a kilo of prawns to get half a kilo of cleaned prawns.
  • Soak cocum in a little water. Keep aside .
  • To the cleaned prawns add ginger- garlic paste, chilli , turmeric, pepper, cocum and salt to taste. Keep aside for half an hour.
  • Cook the marinated prawns for 3-4 minutes. Remove. Do not add water.
  • In 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil, fry the coconut pieces till golden brown and remove.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil if required, add sliced small onion and fry till golden brown.
  • Add dry red chillies, curry leaves and the remaining powders and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the cooked prawns, fried coconut pieces and mix well till thoroughly blended.
  • Let it fry on a low flame for a couple of minutes till the prawns are well coated with the masala.
  • Add a few drops of coconut oil and fresh curry leaves, cover and keep.


Chef’s tips:

  • Prawns should be absolutely fresh, should be deveined and cleaned thoroughly.
  • Soak the cocum in 1/4 cup of water.
  • Coconut pieces from a tender coconut always taste better.
  • Prawns takes very little time to cook, maximum 4-6 minutes.
  • This dish should be made in coconut oil, an alternative would be a mix of coconut oil and any vegetable oil. (50/50)
  • You could add half a tsp of coriander powder if you want.
  • After the coconut oil has been added at the last step, the dish should be covered so as to retain the flavour and aroma of the oil.
  • This dish serves 4-6.


Requesting all my readers to put up pictures of the dishes they have tried out and would love the feedback.


Till my next post,



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