Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chemmeen Ularthiyathu - a delicious local preparation of prawns

Chemeen (Prawns) Ularthiyathu is a local prawn preparation which is really delicious. The key ingredients are prawns, onion and coconut pieces cooked along with masala. Becuase of the proximity to the backwaters, we get enough good quality prawns at affordable rates throughout the year. This dish is available in some restaurants, and it is prepared in almost every house hold in the coastal Kerala. As we move from southern Kerala to Northern Kerala, the spice levels also increases. Before the invasion of the modern dishes, amount of sweating by the consumer of the food (due to spicy food) was considered as a measure of the quality of the food. More spicy means, better food - that was the norm. Since my Mother is from Trichur (central Kerala), she cooked very spicy food, where as my Mother in law (from southern Kerala) cooks food which is moderately spicy. In Trichur (dominated by Christians), most of the men and women had the habit of having a drink at the end of the day, and they liked spicy food along with alcohol. This could be a reason for the spiciness of food from central Kerala. Depending on your spice tolerance, be proactive to mention that to the cook, else you may not be able to enjoy the food.