Chettinad Prawn Masala is a finger-licking good South Indian style prawn curry. It is spicy, bold, and perfect curry to serve with steamed rice or Malabar parotta. So far one of the best prawn curry recipes on my website.
The Chettinad Masala
One of the signature characteristics of any Chettinad Curry is the masala. I am in love with this fragrant, flavorsome, fiery Chettinad masala from the wealthy community of Tamil traders, known as Chettiyars.
All you need – fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cumin seeds, dry red chilies, coriander seeds, ginger, and garlic. Dry roast, blend and the freshly made Chettinad masala is ready for the curries. It is worthy of all the effort.
TIP: If you are looking for an authentic taste, then try using the best available ingredients to make the curry paste. Like, the whole peppercorns instead of black pepper powder, bright and crisp dry red chilies, and of course the fresh curry leaves.
In case you are wondering about the spiciness of this curry paste, then don’t! Remove the seeds from the red chilies to lessen the heat in the curry paste. Also, adjust the number of chilies and peppercorns as per personal preference.
A splash of coconut milk can also be added to the curry to calm down the hotness.
About Prawn Masala
This epic South Indian curry takes no time to get ready and is indeed a treat for the culinary senses.
What’s not to love about Chettinad Prawn Masala? It’s like all my favorite things, simmered in one pot – prawns, Chettinad masala, gingelly oil, and loads of spices.
More Reasons To LOVE
one pot curry
easy to make
meal prep friendly curry paste
Step-By-Step Chettinad Prawn Masala
Start with making the Chettinad Masala Paste. It is a two-step easy method. Dry roast the spices, and then grind them.
The prawn/shrimp does not require any marination for making Chettinad Curry.
Next, prepare onion and tomato masala by frying for the curry.
Add the Chettinad curry paste, shrimp, salt, slow cook till meat is tender, and the Prawn Chettinad Masala is ready!
Whether it is the traditional Chicken Chettinad or prawn masala, both of them are my lunch favorites with a heap of ghee rice and tomato garlic rasam. The combination is an absolute foodgasm kinda experience.
The Chettinad prawn masala tastes delicious with Malabar parotta, pillowy appam, or a crisp dosa as well.
It is a robust, bold, spicy curry that complements Indian bread and rice dishes perfectly.
More Prawn Recipes
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Chettinad Prawn Masala Recipe
- Heavy Bottom Kadhai
- 500 gram prawns cleaned and deveined
- 1 inch piece of cinnamon
- 2 green cardamom, crushed
- 2 large-size onion fine, chopped
- 2 large size tomato, blend
- salt to taste
- 4 tablespoon mustard oil/gingely oil/coconut oil
Ingredients for Chettinad Masala
- 3 – 4 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf)
- 2 teaspoon black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 4 dried red chilies esp goondu milagai variety
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds (sabut dhaniya)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoon ginger – garlic paste
- To prepare Chettinad Prawn Masala, first wash, clean and devein the prawns. If possible, use the pre-cleaned prawns.
How To Make Chettinad Masala:
- Dry roast fennel seeds, black pepper, cumin, red chilies, coriander seeds till fragrant and slightly darkened. Grind them in a mixer to a smooth paste using little water.
- Add turmeric and ginger – garlic paste to the freshly ground spice mix. Stir to combine and set aside in a bowl.
How To Make Chettinad Prawn Masala:
- Heat oil in a large kadhai over medium heat. Add the cinnamon, cardamom pods, curry leaves and saute for few seconds till fragrant. Add the chopped onion and saute over low heat till onion is light brown.
- Next, add the tomato puree and fry the masala for 10 minutes or so over low heat. The indication of masala being ready is oil starts separating from it.
- Now add the Chettinad paste to the fried onion and stir to combine. Continue to saute the masala scraping the bottom of the kadhai, till the masala takes deep brown color and nicely roasted.
- At this stage add the clean prawns, salt and stir to combine. Turn the heat to low and cook the prawns 10 – 15 minutes.
- Serve Chettinad Prawn Masala with lachha paratha, steamed rice, and tomato rasam.
- You can use frozen prawns as well to make Chettinad Prawn Masala.
- Do not cook the prawns for too long as they might turn chewy.
- Adjust the number of chilies in the Chettinad masala paste and curry as per your taste preference.
- You can balance the heat of spices by adding 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut milk.