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.




Shrimp Fry / Eral Varuval / Prawn Fry / Prawn Varuval / Shrimp Curry / Era / Seafood / Dry -Fry / Vepudu / Naatu Era Varuval / Country Style Shrimp fry / How to make Shrimp Fry? / Shrimp Fry Recipe / 


15 shrimp/prawns
3 medium size onion
2 medium size tomatoes (ripe)
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 green chillies
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
10 curry leaves
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)
2 tablespoon oil


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.


Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Orkut
  • Google Buzz
  • LinkedIn

9 comments to ERAL VARUVAL RECIPE – Shrimp Fry Recipe

  • premalatha

    Hi Mullai,
    One of my friends told me about your SIO. Doing a great service. The wild catch (fresh sea prawns) I buy has a strong chlorine smell which does not go away even after several rinsing and cooking. I don’t like the frozen ones. Do you have any idea?

    • Hi Premalatha, after shelling and deveining I marinate them with little turmeric, a pinch of salt and lemon juice for 10 minutes anything longer will literally cook the prawns because of the acidity in lemon juice. A quick turmeric lemon juice wash will also help. After marination you may either wash prawns or if you don’t mind citrus flavor then cook along with it. We don’t get fresh prawns in our area and apply this for my frozen shrimps, but have mom and in-laws do the same in India for fresh caught prawns. Hope this helps, thanks.

  • Karthiga

    I Like this dish. Ur recipes r excellent. Even my hubby likes ur recipes. Can u pls temme that shrimp name. We will buy medium size raw prawns . It does nt taste that much good

  • vasanthi Pandian

    Era varuval preperation is really good.Looks very attractive and tempting.

  • Shalini

    Dear Mullai,

    The Era varuval is really mouth watering.Will try soon.BTW,Did u get these small prawns from any oriental stores?I hv only those jumbo prawns available in my grocery store

    • Shalini, these are medium sized shrimps from Sams club. I really miss those tiny Indian prawns; never seen them in any of the stores here. Ofcourse salad style shrimps are available at Walmart, those are pre-cooked and not that tasty. Thanks.

  • Cappuccino

    The outcome was absolutely Fabulous ! Love your recipes. Will def try this with Paneer. Your pan looks great, where did you bought that and how much ?

Leave a Reply





You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

February 2015
« Jan