Cooking · India · Recipes · Sea Food · South India · Tamil Nadu · Tirunelvelli

Tirunelveli Simple Prawn Masala

Prawns are a family favourite .Ever since we discovered, frozen deveined prawns in our local supermarket, I always try to have some in my freezer so that I can make this recipe quickly. This recipe is so simple and and so easy to make , goes really with curd rice, sambar rice or with rasam and rice that I make it when I am lost for ideas to make for dinner.

Ingredients :

250 gms Shelled and deveined Prawns

1 cup chopped Red Onion ,( I like to use shallots or pearl onions)

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 tsp Fennel seeds

1 tsp red chilli powder ( I use medium spicy)

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

a handful of chopped coriander leaves

2 sprigs curry leaves if available

a little less than 1/4 cup water

2 tbsps sesame oil

Salt to taste

Method :

Heat oil in a skillet.

Add the fennel seeds and curry leaves if available. Let them splutter.

Add the chopped onions. Let them become nearly caramelised.

Add ginger garlic paste, sauté till the raw smell goes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, sauté until mushy.

Add in all the powders, sauté until the raw smell goes and oil separates

Pour in the water, let it cook for a minute

Add salt

Add the prawns, let the masala coat over them and the prawns turn a little pink.

Cover and let it cook for a few minutes.

Cook until the prawn are well cooked but not over cooked

Then open the cover , increase the temperature on the stove, ( or flame to medium high) let the water evaporate a little and the masala becomes semi thick.

Garnish with coriander leaves .Serve.

Cook Book Scribbles

Keep track of how much water you add by adding a little at a time as the prawns release some water too when covered.

I also used dried curry leaves because I did not have fresh ones at hand.

Edited to add the video version as well

Cooking · Fish · How to · Recipes · Sea Food

Dry Masala Fish

serve Growing up , I never knew that cooking a recipe from a cookbook was looked down upon as the hallmark of a bad cook!

I was the typical eager beaver tween trying out recipes from magazines and random recipes book I happened to chance upon, in my grandparent’s kitchen.
My grandparents ,my parents , my brother , cousins , uncles and aunts were very indulgent and appreciated all the efforts  that went into following a recipe from a cook book and  presenting the dish at the table.I had no clue I could go wrong with a recipe from a recipe book.Not because every recipe I tried was a success, but because there was always someone aka my mom at hand, ready to help and convert the dish into something edible .

It was only early into my married life that I heard disparaging remarks about the connection between bad cooks and recipe books! Since it was not from J, I did not care about those remarks. I happily carried on with my penchant for trying out recipes from Recipe books with J cheerleading me  and being a willing guinea pig for all my attempts.Later when the children came along, they also joined us on the culinary journeys we undertook through these recipe books.
Not only did it expose us to a variety of  regional  Indian and International cuisines.It has also helped us learn quite a lot about different cultures and be open to new ideas.

With age and experience I kind of know which ones will work or won’t .what to add and what to leave out so that it will satisfy the tastebuds of my family.

My family  is the ultimate touchstone for the recipes I try. If they give the thumbs up, the recipe goes into my Cookbook, if its thumbs down, then I never make it again.

The other day at the library I chanced upon Madhur Jaffrey’s book and decided to check it out in the hopes of trying out new recipes. I gave the book to the boys and asked them to choose a recipe each from the book.

Big B was hoping to find a recipe for Butter Chicken which sadly this book did not have. Lil B is fond of fish and so he chose the Dry Masala Fish recipe.


The recipe, turned out to be one of those easy and quick , no fuss , yummy preparation that everyone loved.

Recipe adapted from “100 Essential Curries”by Madhur Jaffrey

Ingredients to serve 4

Salmon Loins- 250 grams
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder – 2tsp
Ginger -1/2 ” grated
Garlic – 2 cloves-grated
Lemon Juice  -1 tsp
Greek Yoghurt -2 tablespoon
Vegetable Oil enough to smear on fish.


Rub salt on the washed and dried fish filets.Keep aside for 10 mins.Mix yoghurt,lemon juice,the tumeric powder,chilli powder,garam masala powder
grated ginger and garlic .Rub this mixture on to the fish fillets on both sides so the masala is spread evenly on both sides.
Place the fish on a baking sheet on the oven tray.Drizzle oil on top and keep aside..
Now preheat the oven in the grill setting at 185 degrees C.When the oven is sufficiently hot, place the oven tray in the middle in oven

Grill on one side till it becomes slightly brown, turn to the other side to get the same colouring.fishRepeat turning once more until it is golden brown evenly on both sides.

Serve hot.DSC_0117

Fish · Recipes · Sea Food · Uncategorized

Onion Fish Fry

This is one of my mom’s special dishes .Its a personal  favorite.


King Fish 1/2 kg

2 Medium sized onions (cut lengthwise)

1 Tomato (Cut into cubes)

4 Green Chillies(slit)

2 Small pieces Cinamon

1/2 tsp Fennel

5 Cloves

5 Cloves Garlic

Corriander Leaves Curry Leaves a little

Oil enough for frying.

Ingredients fish fry

Make into a Paste

2tbsps Chilli Powder

1 tsp Cumin Powder

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1tsp Lime Juice

Salt to taste

Wash and Clean the fish pieces. In a bowl mix into a paste the ingredients given in make into a paste. Smear over the fish and keep aside foe 15 minutes.

Masala marinated fish filets
Heat oil in a skillet and fry the fish lightly and keep aside.

Lightly fried fish filets

In the same oil, add curry leaves, fennel , cloves, cinnamon, garlic, onion and sauté till the onion becomes slightly brown

Saute onion green chilli and spices
add tomatoes, coriander leaves, and salt and sauté a for few minutes.

Add in the tomatoes

Lower the flame .Place the fried fish pieces one by one arranging being careful not to break them. After a few seconds, turn them over slowly

Allow the fish to fry well

Do this for a few more minutes, till the fish filets are all evenly cooked. Serve .

.Fish fry

Cook book Scribbles:

Also is a great recipe to use up left over fried fish.