Monday, 15 August 2011

Daring Cooks August 2011: Chemeen Pappas

Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

I haven't done very well with this this month. I so wanted to make it, I love love love curry, but my dissertation seems to have taken over my life! I was going to make it on Saturday and I got back late from Oxford, so I tried it yesterday evening, only to get the recipe out and read that the batter for the Appam needed to be left for 8-12 hours! So I made the curry, which was delicious and totally worth making but I guess I didn't quite fulfil daring cooks for this month. I want to make the beef curry too, so I'll try making the appam with that. I also forgot to take any photos until halfway through! Not doing well this evening!

Shrimp in Coconut Milk (Chemeen Pappas)
(Serves 6)

3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) mustard seed
1/8 teaspoon (⅔ ml/½ gm) fenugreek seeds
10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
2 cups (480 ml/480 gm/½ lb) thinly sliced onion
2 teaspoons (10ml/8 gm) minced garlic
1 teaspoon (5ml/4 gm) minced ginger
2 fresh green chiles, split lengthwise
2 teaspoons (10 ml/10 gm) tomato paste

Ground masala
4 teaspoons (20 ml/7 gm) ground coriander
½ teaspoon (2½ ml/1½ gm) paprika
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml/¾ gm) cayenne
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml/¾ gm) black pepper
1¼ teaspoons (6¼ ml/7½ gm) salt
¾ cup (180 ml) coconut milk
1 ½ pounds (750 gm) medium or large shrimp, shelled and deveined and sliced in half lengthwise if large

1. In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot add the mustard seeds and cover until they stop popping. Add the fenugreek seeds and stir until they color lightly. Add the curry leaves (they will sputter and spatter), wait about 20 seconds, then add the onions and fry until they are soft, but not brown.

2. Add the ginger, garlic and green chiles and cook for one minute. Add the tomato paste, dry masala and salt and stir and fry for another minute. If it dries out, add a few drops of water.

3. Add ½ cup (120 ml) of the coconut milk, along with 1 cup (240 ml) of water. Increase heat to medium-high and cook at a strong simmer, uncovered for 5-10 minutes to thicken the sauce and blend the flavors.

4. Add the shrimp, and cook, stirring, until they have all changed color and curled up. This will take less than 5 minutes, depending on the size of the shrimp. Add the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) of coconut milk, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Taste for salt and serve immediately.


  1. Too bad you missed out on the Appams - can always try them later. The curry looks great.

  2. Your curry looks great and don't worry at all about missing the appams--I'm sure it'll be fine. Thanks for participating and all the best with your dissertation!

  3. Don't you hate when life gets in the way! I'm sure your appams will be great if you get a chance to do them