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Eeral Thokku Tamilnadu Style is a tangy, spicy and mouthwatering prawns masala. This spicy chettinad eeral (prawns) masala is very easy and quick to make with simple Indian spices. Makes a perfect and comforting weeknight meal when served with rice.

Chettinad Prawn Masala or Eeral thokku as we call it in Tamil, a dry and spicy prawn curry is full of flavour and comes together well under 30 minutes. Juicy plump fresh prawns are cooked in onion and tomato masala with regular Indian spices. The addition of hing and fennel seeds to this eeral thokku (prawns masala) adds new dimension to this dish.


  • large thick bottomed pan


  • 400 grams Prawns washed and deveined
  • 2 Onions thinly sliced
  • 2 small Tomato chopped
  • 2-3 Green chillies chopped
  • 1 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
  • 10-15 Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder plus 1/4 tsp to marinate the prawns
  • 2 tsp Chilli powder ** plus 1/4 tsp to marinate the prawns
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Fennel seeds powder
  • 1/4 tsp Hing
  • 1 tsp Jaggery
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2-3 tbsp Coconut oil / oil
  • Coriander leaves for garnish


  1. Marinate the prawns with little salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder and keep it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, add hing. Sauté for few seconds add the onions.
  3. Now add the curry leaves and chopped green chillies and mix everything well.
  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry for few minutes until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.
  5. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, black pepper powder and salt. Mix every thing well and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add a tbsp of water, if the masala turns too dry and is sticking to the bottom.
  6. Toss in the marinated prawns and mix everything well so that the prawns are coated well with the masala and it is pinkish in colour and no longer raw.
  7. Now add 1/2 cup of water and jaggery and mix everything well. Cover and cook for 12 -15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  8. After 12-15 minutes you see the oil oozing out on the sides. Once the prawns are cooked and the masala reaches your desired consistency. Take it off the flame.

Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves or curry leaves and serve it hot with rice.


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