Kerala Pickle Video

Prawns Pickle- Chemmeen Achar, Kerala Recipe

Kerala style prawns pickle or Chemmeen Achar…

Making prawns pickle had been on my ‘to cook’ list for so long, finally I struck it off. I literally did a happy dance after making this pickle and a crazy dance after tasting the pickle. It turned out awesome and yes better than the store bought ones. I don’t think there will be even a single Keralite (who is a non-veg) who can resist this pickle. It’s a true Kerala delicacy.

In India, we make pickles with different kinds of ingredients; with raw mango, lemon, gooseberry, mixed veggies, grapes, green chilies, fish etc etc. My most favourite pickles are prawns pickle and king fish pickle. Prawns pickle is a Kerala speciality pickle as prawns are abundantly found in Kerala.

My mom used to make prawn and king fish pickle often and they never lasted more than a day- well, pickles are supposed to last for a few weeks. It’s so addictive that you cannot stop eating it and you feel content after finishing it up. My sis, dad and I used to take turns and cleaned up the jar in just a few hours and the angry look on my mom’s face- how I miss those days, feeling nostalgic.

This can be served as a side dish along with rice and with literally any of the Indian meals.

If you cannot find fresh prawns, get the frozen ones or even the cooked frozen prawns can be used for making this pickle. Give it a try, I can vouch that this will turn into your favourite recipe and you will make this quite often. Enjoy!

Cooking Video

Prawns Pickle- Kerala Chemmeen Achar
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: Indian
  • Oil- ½ cup (for frying prawns)
For marinating prawns
  • Small Prawns- 80 (use fresh or frozen)
  • Chili powder- 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Ground pepper- 1 tsp
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
For making pickle
  • Oil, left after frying prawns- 4 tbsp (Gingelly oil or vegetable oil or coconut oil)
  • Ginger, minced 2 tbsp
  • Garlic, minced- 2 tbsp
  • Green chilies, chopped- 2
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
  • Add the marinade/masala- 1 tbsp
  • White Vinegar- ½ cup
  1. Use small prawns, either fresh or frozen ones. If frozen, thaw them well before marinating. You could also use cooked frozen prawns.
  2. In a bowl, combine the prawns along with chili powder, turmeric powder, ground pepper and salt.
  3. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
  4. Place a frying pan over medium heat, add enough oil for frying.
  5. Deep fry the prawns in 2 batches. Transfer the fried prawns onto a kitchen paper towel. Keep aside.
  6. In the same frying pan, use the leftover oil after frying prawns around 3 to 4 tbsp
  7. Add ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves; saute for a few minutes till they turn golden.
  8. Add fenugreek seeds, saute for a few seconds. Do not burn the seeds.
  9. Add the marinade/masala left in the bowl, if there is no enough masala: mix 2 tsp chili powder, ⅛ tsp turmeric powder & ½ tsp salt with little bit water & add this to the oil.
  10. Fry the masala for a few seconds.
  11. Add the fried prawns, combine well and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  12. Add white vinegar, combine well and cook for 2 minutes.
  13. Take the pan off the heat, let cool down completely.
  14. After it has cooled down, transfer to an air tight container & store in the refrigerator.
  15. Allow it to rest for a day, pickle will be set well and tastes better the next day.
  16. However, it's so hard to wait till the next day, everyone will start to taste this pickle right away. It never lasts more than a day in my house 😀
  17. Enjoy with rice or roti.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...