Eral varuval colloquially pronounced as Era is one of the most popular south India non-vegetarian dishes. Shared here is my mom’s style prawn fry. She makes this scrumptious varuval with those little Indian prawns, vegetarians can pick tofu/paneer /soy chunks/Green peas.. any of these will suit for this recipe. Even though the ingredients look elaborate, its just extremely simple. This varuval would be more of a country style / Naatu purathu samayal with main highlight from fennel and cumin seeds which just adds the perfect punch which you need in every bite.
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|3 medium size||onion|
|2 medium size||tomatoes (ripe)|
|1 teaspoon||ginger garlic paste|
|1/4 teaspoon||mustard seeds|
|1 teaspoon||fennel seeds|
|1 teaspoon||cumin seeds|
|3 stalks||coriander leaves|
|1 teaspoon||red chili powder|
|1/2 teaspoon||turmeric powder|
|2 tablespoon||coriander powder|
|1/2 teaspoon||black pepper powder (freshly ground)|
|1 teaspoon||salt (or to taste)|
Finely chop the onions, slit open the green chilies, wash the shrimp and remove the shell.
Lets clean the shrimp before cooking. You may skip if you have shelled and pre cleaned shrimps. Pre-cooked shrimp is just tasteless, so better go for uncooked ones. First put the shrimps in cold water, take one at a time and remove the head by twisting, pinch off the legs and that will loosen the shell which eventually will slip off. Second step is deveining….shrimp can be cooked with or without veins but its always good to devein before cooking. Just remember, the vein is the digestive tract of the shrimp and you will probably have to remove it!!! There are two veins… not exactly veins one is the digestive tract which runs on the top and the one on the underside is the intestine. Both needs to be removed. Just run a sharp knife along the top and bottom, wash off the black dirt with cold running water.
Thats’ s the black stuff you don’t want to eat!!
This is the underside , make a slit with sharp knife and clean the dirt in cold running water.
Now you are all set. Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard, cumin , fennel and about 5 curry leaves. Add the chopped onion, ginger garlic paste and green chillies to it. Fry until golden, which takes about 6 minutes over medium flame.
Once done, add chopped tomato, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder and salt. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Let all the tomatoes turn mushy and the mixture turn like a thick lump.
Keep sauteing for another 3 to 4 minutes, the mixture will turn slightly dry and chunky. Absolutely no water!!
You may soak the shrip/prawn in little turmeric and salt before adding to the curry. (This is optional is to just take off the stinky smell and to make the shrimp lightly soft) Add cleaned shrimp at this stage and cover. Let it cook for 2 minutes.
Remove the lid and keep frying over medium high flame for the next 4-5 minutes, add remaining curry leaves, throw in some coriander leaves too. Keep frying until the masala turns brown and dry. Switch off and serve.
We had this shrimp varuval with sambar sadham.
Yields 3 adult servings.
Using small onion instead of big will give added taste and flavor. (Use about 15 sambar onions or 8 shallots)
Adding freshly crushed ginger and garlic instead of ground ginger garlic paste will highlight a better taste in every bite.