Friday, September 22, 2006

Shrimp Fry - A recipe to toast with...

There is a small restaurant in Vadapalani, Chennai (Madras ) Called the R.R.Salem restaurant and per Nirmal ,they are supposed to make the best shrimp fry in town. Imagine my plight – for 3 yrs now the only thing I have been hearing is ‘my mother makes this well..’, ‘my mother makes this differently..’, 'my mother is the better cook' – after having exhausted myself competing with my M.I.L, now I am being compared to some 'lungi clad' cook in remote Chennai who specializes in kothu parota and shrimp fry.

So today was a throwdown between apron_clad_me and my lungi_clad_friend. And I won by letting my 5 month daughter decide the winner – she voted for ‘Ma’ !!!!

Now, shrimp fry can probably be made in ten different ways. But what makes it difficult in the U.S is the shrimp we get in the U.S is of the larger variety and different in taste to the smaller shrimps we get in India. Which means you will have to make good the loss in taste with your masala and preparation method.

Here is a recipe that works!


To Marinate:

  • Shrimp - 1 lb
  • Chilli powder - 3 tbs
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice - from 1 lemon
  • Fresh ground black pepper - 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

To Chop:

  • Onion - 1 big ( chop finely)
  • Coconut pieces - 3 tbs

& U Need

  • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1 tsp ( Crush coarsely using a stone pestle )
  • Dried red chillies - 4
  • Oil - 3 tbs
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cilantro and curry leaves


  • Make a paste with the ingredients in the" to marinate" section. Clean the shrimp and marinate it.Let it marinate for 2 hrs in the refrigerator. Finely chop the onion and coconut pieces . Heat oil in a pan,splutter mustard and add the chopped ingredients.Put the red chilly pieces in to it and fry .Add the ginger & garlic paste and fry untill the raw smell goes.Now add the marinated shrimp and cook. Don't add any water as the shrimp has a better moisture content. Now add freshly crushed fennel seeds and fry the shrimp until done.Add the chopped cilantro and fresh curry leaves at the end and serve hot.


  • Finely chop the coconut pieces as u would chop a piece of ginger.Make sure u remove the black portion from the coconut pieces.It is not recomented to add grated coconut insted .
  • Add /reduce the amount of chilli powder according to personal preferences.


Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

I am drooling maneka.. wish i can grab some and eat it--- another recipe to try out from your blog.. I got some Tuna this week to try your Tuna recipe.... btw regarding competing with MIL is there in every women's life... I hear those same words ‘my mother makes this differently..’, 'my mother is the better cook" often at my home....ha ha

1:00 AM  
Blogger Shaheen said...

really awesome looking shrimps. have to get shrimps now to try it.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Foodie's Hope said...

Awesome!! Beautiful color, bet it tastes delicious too!! Thanks !

11:33 AM  
Blogger sudhav said...

Maneka, i was asking vinodh about the R.R.Salemn and ho he was in all praise for that hotel..he is born and brought up in K.K.nagar..i had moved to chennai only my marriage..the dish looks great maneka..will surly try the next time we get shrimp..thanks for sharing..

1:14 PM  
Blogger maneka nirmal said...

priya,i don't have much prob with my MIL.only Nirmal make probs!!!he.he
shaheen..try and let me know..don't forget to add the finely chopped coconut as it gives the special taste when it fried along with the shrimp.
asha...thanks for the kind words.
sudha... i don't know y all these guys r so mad about R.R selam..i don't realy like it though...

2:46 PM  
Anonymous Linda said...

Hi Maneka --

I didn't even read through this whole recipe the first time -- it was the "comparison" that got me.

One day, it will be your kids saying "my mother makes this differently", and you will be the one to beat ;)

It looks delicious! Stand by your guns (your cooking). And I apologize for the lengthy comment :)

12:52 AM  
Blogger Meena Kandlakuti said...

rice is very good and photos are yummy..a must try recipe..thanks for sharing maneka.

3:25 PM  
Blogger archana said...

What a nice presentation Su, fabulous ! Shrimp is my all time favorite sea food.Thank you for your recipe.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous RP said...

Wow! What a nice presentation! I am craving for some shrimps now. :)
Thanks for visiting my blog. And I am glad I found yours too.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Revathi said...

Thats some yummy prawns there !!!

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

haha! thats all it matters! your kid voted for you! Nice!

8:46 PM  
Blogger maneka nirmal said...

i realy want to see my kid say 'mom is a great cook' he.he.


thanks ..


i like that name 'su'..i too am a big fan of sea food and shrimp is one of my favorites..


don't waste time then ..go get some shrimp and make it now..and let me know how it tastes..


thanks...long time posts??where were u?


i win many fights with Nirmal by using my 5 month old fan as the judge.

11:20 PM  
Anonymous shilpa said...

Wow...thats a lovely dish. I always look for new shrimp recipes. I want to try this soon.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Lera said...

gorgeous's so simple and delicious .Thanks!

10:21 PM  
Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

hey Menaka..tried your Tuna was awesome.. I am a fussy kid when it comes to non-veg. I tried the goat from the mediterianian shops and it doesn't taste the way it tasted back in India-- so stopped buying goat meat after coming to the US and never tried tin foods. You Tuna recipe tempted me to buy tin food and i was glad I liked this recipe a lot--- managed the whole week with tuna curry for lunch to my school --he he --and btw.. I am converting my bachelors from India to US basically I have to do some credits --- its a long way to go... will postively complete in two years....

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Bhargavi said...

Appetizing Maneka!!
Thanks for sharing.

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi maneka, this is Rg.

Picture perfect! Adipoli recipe!sounds yummy too. will give this a try this weekend and will sure let you know how it turned out for me. Thanks for sharing this recipe. Like Priya, I've also bought tuna cans to try out your tuna recipe too. will be trying that out tommorrow. BTW, I was brought up in K.K nagar which is closer to Vadapalani...I've seen this R.R.S... restaurant but haven't tried out any food there though. Anyways, keep such wonderful recipes coming! Thanks again.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Shaheen said...

Alright, time to post the next recipe..:)i did try this and like it a lot so I need somethingnew to try now.

11:58 AM  
Blogger Priya Bhaskaran said...

Hey Menaka, adipoli recipe-- I tried it today and came out so good :) It had a little bitter taste since I added more methi powder.... thanks for sharing-- and btw I made this recipe with cooked shrimp and shredded coconut-- it came out super delicious-- college is going good- weekdays flies like that :) So your kid is not allowing you to post recipes I guess....he he

5:24 PM  
Blogger Biju said...

Great recipe and very well presented. I will definitely try your recipes.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Gini said...

Adipoli! We made it last night and was really great. Full of flavor!

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Maneka

Nice presentation of shrimp fry. Foodies, chk out the recipe for kothu parotta here by eljaype:

5:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:28 AM  
Blogger Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Ur shrimp is looking very nice.... I love ur presentation....Nice pic....

9:36 AM  
Blogger Mishmash ! said...

Hello sweetie...I just finished cooking this shrimp fry and just wanted to let u know that the taste was superb I cant wait to have my dinner :))

I reduced the chili powder and still it is hot cant imagine how spicy it is when you make !!:)))

Thanks for sharing this recipe!


5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I have made this dish many times at hom,e and it is simply delicious... the only problem i face is that by the time the shrmp comes to the fried consistency, it gets overcooked and becomes kinda rubbery... do u have any suggestions for that?

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this yesterday. Prawns were a bit hard and fenugreek flavour was not going well. Maybe I went wrong with the proportion.The pic looks mouth watering though. Thanks!

7:36 AM  
Anonymous KK said...


About 5-6 years ago,I used to make Shrimp and Beef fry regularly, which my friends used to love, but stopped after my wife took over the cooking. I became a fishterian (no meat)and stopped my cooking binges! I tried making some shrimp fry earlier this year and turned out to be no where near my initial standards.

I made shrimp fry again using your recipe and it turned out be great! Thank you very much.... KK

6:17 PM  
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4:03 PM  
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4:04 PM  
Anonymous Jeethu said...


4:04 PM  
Blogger Roopa said...

First time i tried ur receipe.. shrimp fry was awesome......

9:36 PM  
Blogger Biju said...

I am a big fan of Kerala authentic coconut dishes..the "Kallu Shap" ones .. I always throught they were difficult to make , esp for guys.. I tried out your recipe and it came out perfect... Great recipe.. Thanks

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey just saw your recipe and pics here

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10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Maneka...

Just realised that i ought to thank you for this recipe. I am just about to make it for the 6th time or so in 6 months....:))

I'm a vegeterian and grew up not seeing any non veg cooked at my place. Got married about 7 months back and my husband enjoys non veg. So...i dared to try my hands with shrimp and amongst the many recipes google popped up, this one caught our attention..The picture looked appetising enough for my husband and cousin who was there to help me with my first attempt with non veg..And as they say rest is history...This has become a "HOT" favorite and we are not trying any other shrimp recipe but this ever since..

Thanks very much Maneka.


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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Also what from this follows?

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 tbs chilli powder? Surely some mistake? I used 3tsp and it was hot but delicious. I'm British but I can take more chilli than most native Indians, but I couldn't eat it at 3tbs chilli!!

5:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made this today and it was excellent. However I think that 3 tbs (tablespoons of red chilli powder) is a typo. I think it should be either 2 or 3 tsp (teaspoons). Thanks for sharing.

- Indian IT guy from San Antonio, Texas

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2:17 PM  
Blogger shyam said...

Thanks a lot.

Slightly adapted (more coconut and a two table spoons of cream) to my indo-italian kids and Italian wife and friends. Everyone loves it.

2:19 PM  
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yummy ... and Its a Hit !!!!! My hubby just loved it.

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