Try This Mangalorean Chemmeen Ghee Roast Recipe For Dinner
Image Credit: Prawn Ghee Roast is a riff on the traditional Mangalorean Chicken Ghee Roast. Image courtesy: Facebook/Kitchen AndMe

Cooking up a dinner that’s delicious and effortless at the same time may be a tall ask, but this Chemmeen Ghee Roast or Prawn Ghee Roast recipe proves it is possible. Anybody who cooks prawns regularly knows that these little shellfish are super-easy and quick to cook. You can basically cook up a starter or main course prawn dish in 30 minutes if you are a dab hand in the kitchen. Even if you aren’t a pro, we guarantee that prawns can be cooked easily by a beginner-level cook as well. 

Now, coming to this splendid Mangalorean Chemmeen Ghee Roast. You should know that this recipe is basically a prawn-based twist to the traditional Chicken Ghee Roast from Mangalore. Ghee Roast was first invented at Shetty Lunch Home in the 1960s. Located in Kundapura, the first branch of this now popular place opened its doors in 1957, and was run by Tejappa and Prabhavathi Shetty. Their aim was to highlight the local cuisine of the Kundapura Bunt community. It was Prabhavathi Shetty who experimented with desi ghee, Byadagi chillies and created the first Chicken Ghee Roast. Since then, the dish has travelled far and wide, and become a household favourite. 

The first thing that hits you about Chemmeen Ghee Roast is the level of heat the dish packs. A single whiff of the spice blend itself can make you salivate. In fact, if you are a smart cook, you might want to whip up this spice blend and store it in an airtight jar in your refrigerator because it can turn everything from veggies to chicken to meat into a delectable dish in no time. The second thing that pops about this recipe in particular is the amount of desi ghee, which adds to the flavour of the spices. This Chemmeen Ghee Roast is a quick cook, so don’t wait up. Try this recipe right now. 


250 g prawns, shelled and deveined 

4 Byadagi red chillies 

½ tsp black peppercorns 

½ tsp cumin seeds 

¼ tsp fenugreek seeds 

½ tsp fennel seeds 

½ tsp coriander seeds 

¼ tsp small mustard seeds 

1 tsp turmeric powder 

1 tbsp red chilli powder 

½ tsp tamarind paste 

½ tsp ginger garlic paste 

2 tbsp curd 

3 tbsp ghee 

Salt, to taste 

1 sprig curry leaves 


1. Soak the Byadagi red chillies in hot water for 10-15 minutes. You can also soak them overnight if you are making the spice blend ahead of time. 

2. In a bowl, place the prawns, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, ginger garlic paste, salt and curd. Mix well and let the prawns marinate until needed. 

3. Dry roast the black peppercorns, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds in a small pan until they turn aromatic and toasty. 

4. Transfer the soaked Byadagi chillies and the roasted seeds into a grinder and grind it all into a smooth paste. You can add a splash of water to ease the process.  

5. Heat the ghee in a pan, then add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. 

6. Once these stop spluttering, add the spice blend and marinated prawns into the pan. 

7. Keep the flame at a low and saute the prawn and spice blend until the Chemmeen Ghee Roast is almost done. 

8. Now, add the tamarind paste, mix well and cook for another minute or two. 

9. You can add some more ghee and curry leaves as garnish if you feel like. The Chemmeen Ghee Roast is ready. Serve it hot with porotta or chapatis.