Kerala prawn pickle

Kerala prawn pickle

For the past week I have been wondering why I haven’t posted any sea-food recipes in the blog. And that brought me up to making this Kerala prawn pickle and another delicious prawn recipe, which will be posted very soon.

Pickle has been an integral part of Indian cuisine for many years or even ages. No meal is complete without pickle. And yet, this pickle has remained humble. So, don’t you all think it is time to give credit to this amazing dish?

I have been totally under the influence of the Kerala style cuisine and in love with it too. So, like for many days in the past few week it has all been different recipes from Kerala. I even tried the pothi biryani, again with prawn, which turned out to be the most flavorful biryani ever.

To go with this biryani, I made Kerala prawn pickle (commonly called as chemmeen achaar). To be honest, I do not like pickle at all. So, this was tasted by my husband and he loved it totally. Especially, according to him, the pickle tasted even better after two days. This was because; the prawn absorbs the masala and soaks in it very nicely.

An important thing that I wanted to tell you all is that I have now tried making the ginger-garlic and green chili paste in a different way. Instead of making it as a paste, I am now crushing it using a food processor. So, it is not crushed fully, but into very very tiny pieces.

Kerala prawn pickle

By crushing it this way, each and every recipe made with this tastes really good. In fact, I just love frying it in oil before adding anything else just for its aroma alone. I just love it. And, if you are comfortable using the ginger, garlic and green chili this way, then I would strongly recommend you to do so. If you are not comfortable, then just try it once, you will fall in love with it too!

This Kerala prawn pickle recipe definitely uses coconut oil to fry the prawns. I have been in love with the flavor that coconut oil lends to the all these foods and so, in recent days, the usage of coconut oil at home has also increased.

Using coconut oil is really good for your health too! And the flavor it gives is just brilliant! I simply love the taste. Goan style prawn pickle is also famous like this one. Now that my husband is very fond of prawn pickle am sure I would try this too very soon. I will upload the recipe once I try it. Until then, enjoy this delicious Kerala prawn pickle with every meal you have.

Store the pickle in clean and moisture-free glass or ceramic jars. When refrigerated, this Kerala prawn pickle stays good for up to a month. Stay safe; Stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating! While you are here, do checkout my other Kerala style recipes and also the ever-famous and my favorite Pazham Pori too!

Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.

If you have tried any of my recipes, then tag @the_busy_apron and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #thebusyapron. Also tag @TheBusyApron and share it on Twitter with the hashtag #thebusyapron.

Kerala prawn pickle

Kerala Prawn Pickle

Abhipriya Raghav
A spicy Kerala style prawn pickle recipe with a hint of flavor from coconut oil!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Pickle, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 cups


To marinate the prawn

  • 250 grams prawns, peeled, de-viened and cleaned
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt

To fry the prawns

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • handful of curry leaves, chopped

To prepare the pickle

  • 1/2 cup sesame oil / gingelly oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 tbsp crushed ginger-garlic-green chili
  • 5 green chilies, slit
  • handful of curry leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • salt, if and as required


Marinating the prawn

  • Clean the prawns and marinate them with the ingredients mentioned under 'To marinate the prawn'.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • Mix all the spices well with the prawn pieces and set it aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
    Kerala prawn pickle

Frying the prawns

  • Heat coconut oil in a kadai on medium heat.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • Fry the prawns with some chopped curry leaves until they are cooked (for a maximum of 2-3 minutes). Drain the prawns onto a plate and set aside.
    Kerala prawn pickle

Preparing the pickle

  • In the same kadai, add sesame oil and let it heat.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • Add the crushed ginger-garlic-green chili and fry them until the raw smell disappears.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • Add the slit green chilies and saute them.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • Add the curry leaves and mix well. At this stage, add the required salt too.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • Add the red chili powder and cook for less than a minute.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • To this mixture, add the fried prawns and mix well.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • Add vinegar and cook until oil separates and the mixture becomes dry.
    Kerala prawn pickle
  • Serve it as a side dish either warm or at room temperature.
    Kerala prawn pickle


  • If you are using large prawns, cut them into smaller pieces before marinating. 
  • If you want big and chunky pieces of prawn in your pickle then avoid the earlier note.
  • Frying the prawns in coconut oil will give it the authentic taste of Kerala. You can fry them in any oil you want.
  • Do not fry the prawns for more than 3 minutes as they turn rubber-like if cooked longer.
  • Instead of using crushed ginger-garlic-green chili, you can use either the paste of even chopped ginger, garlic and green chili.
  • Do not let the ginger-garlic-green chili burn.
  • Adding salt while preparing the pickle is if and as required. Keep in mind that you have already added around 1.5 tsp salt while marinating the prawn.
  • While adding the red chili powder, do not let it burn. fry it in the oil for less than a minute.
  • Add red chili powder as per your taste
  • From 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of vinegar can be added to preserve.
  • The pickle can be stored in clean glass jars at room temperature or in the refrigerator for upto a month.
Keyword achaar, indian, kerala food, pickle, prawn, prawn pickle, south Indian