Chemeen Nirachath/ Meenkaayi/ Stuffed Prawns

Steamed rice cakes with spicy prawn filling stuffed inside a pancake made with coconut and fennel seeds flavored rice flour, which is then marinated with red chili powder and shallow fried. Soo yumm!!

We love Kallumakayi Nirachath with a passion. That tops the list of our favorite dishes. Kallumakayi Nirachath is a North Kerala speciality dish which are stuffed mussels. I have never made it myself but my mom in law makes it wonderfully. She is too good at that. Love love it. My mom makes a similar recipe with fish or prawns and she calls it meenkayi and I call it chemeen nirachath. 😀 

It tastes a lot like Kallumakayi Nirachath. I must warn you that this is a lengthy recipe, lots of work but I can say that it is not difficult. It just takes a lot of time. But it tastes out of this world good. If you have someone to help you, and you can divide the work, then it won’t be so difficult. I just made this twice. The first time I made it, I wanted to post it. But I knew the post is going to be lengthy and will require lots of typing which made me lethargic. But I really wanted to share this recipe with you guys because this has to be shared, I didn’t want you all to miss this flavor rich, delicious dish. Even though the preparation takes a considerable amount of time, it is worth every bit of flavor. Please do try this out at least once. It will keep you craving for more. 

Chemeen Nirachath/ Meenkaayi/ Stuffed Prawns

Steamed rice cakes with spicy prawn filling stuffed inside a pancake made with coconut and fennel seeds flavored rice flour, which is then marinated with red chili powder and shallow fried. I have not eaten anything so delicious recently. Soo yumm.

Ingredients
  

To make the prawn filling:

  • 400 grams prawns, cleaned and deveined cut into small pieces
  • 2 plus 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 medium sized onions chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies chopped
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • curry leaves chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp garam masala powder

For the rice dough:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ cup gtated coconut
  • 2 cups rice flour (read notes)
  • 2 ½ cups water (adjust as needed)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • coconut oil for shallow frying

Instructions
 

To make the prawn filling:

  • Marinate prawns with 2 tsp red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Shallow fry in coconut oil. Keep aside.
  • In the same pan, add more oil if need and saute the onions until browned.
  • Meanwhile roast the coconut. Add coconut in a pan and roast it on medium flame until it turns golden brown in color stirring constantly.
  • Grind it into a paste with a little bit of water.
  • Add green chillies and ginger garlic paste to the onions. Stir around for a minute on low flame.
  • Add 1 tsp of red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder. Cook for a minute.
  • Add the coconut paste to it and mix to combine.
  • Add salt.
  • Drop in the fried prawns and mix. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on very low flame.
  • Your filling is ready.

To make the rice flour dough:

  • In a grinder, grind together onion, coconut and fennel seeds with ½ cup of water into a paste.
  • In a bowl, add rice flour and salt. Mix well.
  • Pour the ground coconut-onion mixture and water. Knead well to a smooth dough. The dough should'nt be too stiff or too loose.

To assemble:

  • Make small balls out of the rice flour dough.
  • In a pathiri/chapathi press or with your fingers make it flat on an oiled plastic sheet. It shouldnt be very thick.
  • Add filling on the side and close in the shape of half moon sealing the edges well. Roll it and mould it into an oval shape.
  • Steam it in a steamer for 25 minutes.
  • In a bowl mix, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Pour 2 tbsps or more of water and make a paste.
  • In a frying pan, heat about 3 tbsps of coconut oil.
  • Dip the stuffed prawns in red chilli paste and shallow fry on medium high flame until nicely browned on all sides.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Notes

I used malabar pathiri podi (rice flour) to make this. In that you have to add normal water to make the dough. But if you dont get that, you can use the usual pathiri podi where you will have to pour boiling water. Use hot or normal water depending on what is written on the package directions of the rice flour you use. 
You can make this with chicken or any other fleshy fish.
 

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