For most Indian cuisines, pickles accompany the main course. Indian pickles can be made from almost every vegetable and fruit, with fresh spices and herbs. Each and every family have their own version of making out..In addition to vegetable and fruit pickles, back home in Kerala, we make a good non vegetarian pickles too; like fish pickle, prawns pickle, mussels pickle, chicken pickle, beef pickle for non vegetarian lovers.
This pickle also suits prefectly as a spread over breads and its a real feast for spicy lovers. Usually for this preparation we are using lots of oil; if u want to prepare the low-fat version, do not add more oil, but it’s good to use more oil if you want to keep the same for longer. The whole inspiration behind making this pickle was from Sarah, Vazhayila. I have combined her recipe and the traditional one. It tasted awesome. Thank you Honey for inspiring.
A spoonful of pickle, as they say, makes life go down easy. So let me tell u how I made the delicious Kerala Cheemeen /Konju /Shrimp /Prawn Pickle.
Chemmeen Achar Recipe – Konju Achar Recipe | Kerala Shrimp Pickle – Prawn Pickle Recipe
Serves : One big bottle
For Marination :
Shrimp/Prawns/Chemmeen : 1 lb /1/2 kg (fresh or forzen)
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly Powder : 1 tsp or to your spice level
Salt to taste
Oil : 1/4 cup or as needed for frying
To Make Paste :
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder : 2 tsp or to your spice level
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
Vinegar : 2 tbsp
For Sauteing :
Ginger : 2 tbsp (finely sliced)
Garlic : 2 tbsp (finely, sliced)
Green Chillies : 3 (chopped)
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds : 1/4 tsp
Asafetida /Hing /Kayam : a large pinch
Curry Leaves : 2 sprig
Vinegar : 2 tbsp or as required (optional)
Gingelly Oil /Sesame Oil /Nallenna : 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
How to make Chemmeen Achar – Konju Achar | Kerala Shrimp Pickle – Prawn Pickle :
1. If using fresh shrimp, deshell, devein and wash well or if your using frozen then just thaw it and wash well. I have used frozen cooked one.
2. Marinate with all the ingredients listed above “For Marination’ and arrange it on a tray or cookie sheet and leave it open in the sun for a 2 days. This step is optional or if you don’t want the sun dried version then marinate and keep it for 1/2 – 1 hour in a refrigerator. (or) To expedite the process you can also opt to bake the marinated shrimp , till it is dry and browned and fried and omit the sun drying and frying part.
3.Then deep fry the shrimp until light brown. If your don’t prefer deep frying , then shallow fry it. Drain the excess oil in the paper towel and keep it aside
4. Make a fine paste using the ingredients listed above ‘To make a paste’. If needed sprinkle a spoon of water and set it aside.
5. Heat little oil from the fried shrimp pan , or use sesame oil /gingelly oil /nalenna.
6. Add the mustard seed, when it’s starts spluttering, add fenugreek seeds, the curry leaves.
7. Add the garlic slices, ginger slices, chopped green chilles into it and reduce the fire over medium flame saute for couple of minutes till the raw smell goes.
8. Simmer the flame. Add the above mixed chilli paste and combine well.
9. Add 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil, when the it turns to thick.
10. Add in the fried shrimp/prawns and mix well , Saute for couple of minutes. Adjust the salt and remove from the fire and allow to cool.
12. After 4 hrs, add asafetida /hing /kayam and vinegar; combine well in a such a way that vinegar has to get into all the part.
13. Transfer it in an air tight glass jar or container and pour couple of tablespoon gingelly/sesame oil/Nalenna and keep it in a room temperature for a weeks for the flavor to set in and then refrigerated it for further use.
14. Kerala style Shrimp /Prawn Pickle/Chemmeen/ Konju Achar is ready.
15. Serve and Enjoy with anything as you wish!! Pairs well with curd rice!
- Be cautious not to get the pickle in contact with water…Use only clean dry spoon to scoop the pickle from the jar. Do not use wet spoon which adds moisture and the pickle very easily get “fungus” and that spoils the whole pickle.
- Best to use smallest salad shrimp/prawns, like the konju we get back home. If you are using big shrimp then cut it into small pieces.
- If you wish you can add any other oil, using sesame oil gives authentic & special flavor to the pickle and it helps pickle stay longer.
- This pickle stay for more than two to three months, if they are conserved properly.
- If the oil seems to less add boiled and cooled oil to the top of the pickle..This will prevent fungus.
- Add or reduce the chilly powder to the pickle.
- Avoid using steel container for storing..Always store in dry ceramic jar /bharani or a glass jar and please note to clean the bottle and caps you planning to use for pickle with hot water and wipe and dry well without any water content.
Good Day All !