The name Chettinad conjures up a vision of intense flavours of spices and coconut. This recipe for this hails from Tamil Nadu in India. Prawn or Shrimp is en robed in a wonderful combination of dried chillies and spices, curry leaves and grated coconut and is shallow fried in coconut oil. This version will yield a thicker gravy more suitable to eat with rotis or appams but you can easily make this a more gravy type consistency by adding more water to the ground spice paste.

I love recipes that use coconut oil, it’s not only very trend these days and it’s really good for you. It’s also cool that these traditional recipes from the coast have always been prepared using this oil.

Prawn Chettinad

2.98 from 173 votes


  • 1 lb Prawn or Shrimp
  • Juice of 1/2 Lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric

Spice Paste

  • 4 Kashmiri Chillies
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsps black Peppercorns
  • 1/2 tbsp Fennel seeds
  • 1 inch stick Cinnamon
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1/4 cup grated Coconut
  • Water as required
  • 1-2 tbsps Coconut Oil
  • 1 cup diced Onion
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 cup of Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp each Garlic and Ginger paste
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Tomato paste


  • Marinate the prawn or shrimp with the lime juice, salt and turmeric
  • Grind all the dry spices together and add the coconut, some water and grind again
  • Heat the coconut oil and sauce the onion
  • Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and allow the onion to turn a golden brown
  • Add the ginger and garlic paste
  • Add the ground masala and saute
  • Add the prawn or shrimp and allow it to cook
  • Add the water and the tomato paste