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Urulaikizhangu Chemmeen Varutharachathu / Potato and Prawns in Roasted Coconut Gravy

Urulakizhangu chemmeen varutharachathu is a very simple and easy preparation of potato and prawn.  For the first time, I tasted this from my childhood friend's home during my last visit to Kerala. We have been together from first standard, in the same school, same class and same bench. But a few years back her family shifted from my neighborhood hence we separated . But fortunately in last vacation, we were so happy to being together again.

Anyways, this is her recipe, but not exactly, I made some changes suit to our taste. This is potato and prawn curry. You can make this without potato also. But the use of prawns especially the Kerala prawns, you can't imagine, how tasty it is.

I have already given a detailed post before on how to make roasted coconut paste or thenga varutharachathu. If you have any doubts, please check that....

I used cooked prawns here, but If you have fresh prawns ...yes,  that will be yummy... As this prawns are not available here, I brought it from Kerala.

This curry can be served with chapati, rice, appam or anything you like. Try this and let me know how this turned out.

 Urulakizhangu chemeen varutharachathu

Author: Anju Aneesh
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: India, South India, Kerala
Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 20 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes


To cook potatoes
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into squires
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste
To grind
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil

For Gravy

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 dried red chilies
  • 1 spring curry leaves
  • 1 large onion
  • 1" piece ginger
  • 6  cloves of garlic
  • 3 green chilies
  • 1/4 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 2/4 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons garam masla
  • 1/2 teaspoons pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup prawns, cleaned and cooked
  • water 1 cup
  • Salt as needed

 Direction of preparation

  1. Pressure cook the potatoes with enough salt and water. Keep aside.
  2. Make roasted coconut paste by frying 1 cup of grated coconut in 3 to 4 teaspoons of coconut oil. Keep aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in another pan,splutter mustard seeds, add red chilies and curry leaves. Saute for one or two seconds.
  4. Then add onions, green chilies, ginger and garlic. Saute till the onions turns brown. 
  5. Add the spices such as chili powder, turmeric powder, garam massala, and pepper powder and saute till the raw smell leaves.
  6. Add Cooked prawns, potatoes along with water and half of the roasted coconut paste.
  7. Add 1 cup of water and cook till the gravy thickens and the pieces absorbs all the spices.
  8. Add the remaining ground paste and let it boil for one or two minutes. Switch off the stove.
  9. Heat oil in an another pan,  and immediately pour on top of the curry.

Step by step

  1. Take potatoes in a pressure cooker, add enough salt and about 1 cup water. 
  2. Cook for 1 whistle on high flame. Do not over cook. The pieces should retain its shape.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and saute grated coconut on medium flame till turn golden brown in color. (For more information, please click here)
  4. Grind into a smooth paste.
  5. Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds and add chopped dried red chilies and curry leaves.
  6. Then add in chopped onion (You can replace onions with shallots for better taste), slit green chilies, peeled and chopped ginger and garlic. Saute till the onion pieces starts to change its color.
  7.  Add in spice powder and saute till the raw smell vanishes.
  8. Then combine cooked potatoes and prawns. I used cooked prawns, you can use fresh prawns also.
  9. Also add 1 cup of water and half of the ground paste.
  10. Let it boil for a few minutes until all the potatoes and prawns absorbs all the spices. Once done and the gravy reduced to half, add the remaining ground coconut paste and boil for one or two minutes till the gravy thickens. Switch off the stove.
  11. Serve with rice or chapati.


  1. Do not overcook the potatoes. The potatoes should retain its shape after cooking.
  2. I used cooked prawns here, you can use fresh prawns also.

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