Shrimp Roast (Chemmeen Roast)

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If you’re looking for the most delicious way to prepare shrimp, this recipe is it. Kerala shrimp roast will wow you. It’s packed with incredible flavor, lots of spice, and coated in a thick sauce made of caramelized onions and sauteed ripe tomatoes.

Kerala Shrimp Roast

What is Kerala Shrimp Roast?

If you know someone who is Keralite, I’d bet that this shrimp roast, is their favorite seafood dish. And if you know anything about Kerala’s Cuisine and the role that seafood plays, then you know how big of a deal this is. This shrimp roast is exceptionally delicious.

Now, if you’ve never had Kerala shrimp roast, then be prepared because your tastebuds are in for a ride. Shrimp roast is unique – so different from any shrimp curry out there. Unlike my 1-Minute Shrimp Curry or my Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Shrimp, this shrimp roast is a “dry curry.” It’s not meant to be soupy but instead calls for a thick sauce that envelopes the shrimp.

This thick sauce is the key to a Kerala roast. I grew up in the US, and here, when you hear the word roast, you probably think of roast chicken – or some meat you cook in the oven. Well, a Kerala roast calls for first frying meat on the stovetop and then serving it in a thick gravy. I already have two other Kerala roasts on the blog – both are amazing recipes: Chicken Dry Roast and Egg Roast.

Like those other two roast recipes, this shrimp roast can also be served as a main dish. Or, you can serve it as an appetizer. It’s common to serve a plate of this shrimp at the bar – spicy shrimp served with beer or some other type of beverage.

“This is delicious! Made the meat masala so I’ve got plenty for the future! I loved the sweetness of the onions and the subtle heat. The dish was full of flavour. Served with rice and homemade naan.”

Carol
Kerala Shrimp Roast

Shrimp Roast Ingredients

Kerala Shrimp Roast ingredients
  • Shrimp: medium to large, peeled, deveined, tail-off
  • Spices: paprika, turmeric, salt
  • Coconut Oil
  • Red Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Green Chili: serrano or Indian green chilli works
  • Curry Leaves
  • Dried Red Chilies
  • Tomato
  • Spices: coriander powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, cayenne
  • Meat Masala: this is a spice mix you’ll need before making this shrimp. I use it in nearly every Keralite recipe on this website. It adds so much unique flavor to this dish, so please take the time to make it.
  • Vinegar: you can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
Kerala Shrimp Roast

How to Make Kerala Shrimp Roast

Add shrimp, paprika, turmeric, and salt to a bowl and mix well. Fry the shrimp in coconut oil.

how to make kerala shrimp roast

Cook onions until golden brown, along with garlic, ginger, green chili, curry leaves, and dried red chilies. Then add chopped tomatoes and cook until softened. Add the spices. Then cook the sauce, add shrimp, and vinegar, and enjoy!

how to make kerala shrimp roast
Kerala Shrimp Roast

What to Serve with Shrimp Roast:

This shrimp is sometimes served like bar food – on a plate alongside a cold glass of beer. So if you’re having a party, you can enjoy it that way. Or turn it into a meal, serve it with rice, vegetable thoran, and moru, a yogurt curry similar to raita.

Kerala Shrimp Roast

Kerala Shrimp Roast (Chemmeen Roast)

Kerala Shrimp Roast

Kerala Shrimp Roast (Chemmeen Roast)

5 from 6 reviews
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 pound of thawed medium to large shrimp peeled, deveined, tail-off
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 red onions approx 1 pound total, diced
  • 5 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • ½ teaspoon minced green chili
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1 tomato approx 8 ounces, chopped
  • ¼ cup water

Spices:

  • 1 teaspoon vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Add the shrimp, paprika, turmeric, salt to a bowl and mix well.
  • Heat coconut oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, then add half the shrimp (or as many as you can fit in a single layer). Let it cook for 2-3 minutes to develop a browned crust, then flip over and cook until done. Remove the shrimp and set it aside for now. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.
  • Add onions and stir occasionally for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions look golden brown. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any burned bits as you stir.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, green chilli, curry leaves, and dried red chillies and stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the tomato and stir-fry for 5 minutes or until softened (this is a good time to scrape the bottom if needed).
  • Add the spices and mix well. Then add the water, cover the pot with a lid, and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, and stir-fry for 2 minutes to dry any moisture in the pot, then add the vinegar and shrimp and mix well.
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Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.

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Comments

  1. Maggie says

    Hi Ashley… I love all your recipes but this one looks especially good. I’m entertaining soon and would like to make this for dinner. What do you suggest as side dishes to accompany this recipe (aside from rice or naan)? Thanks!

  2. Carol says

    5 stars
    This is delicious! Made the meat masala so I’ve got plenty for the future! I loved the sweetness of the onions and the subtle heat. The dish was full of flavour. Served with rice and homemade naan.

  3. Jeena says

    This looks amazing. Do you think this is a recipe that could be made with prepared onion masala? If so, how would you go about it? Thank you! Can’t wait to try.

    • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

      Thanks, Jeena! I wouldn’t use onion masala here – I know the dish calls for onions and tomatoes but the flavor and texture is totally different. You’ll see what I mean after you try it! Let me know what you think 🙂

        • Ashley - My Heart Beets says

          I would say a 6 out of 10 – it’s spicy, but certainly less spicy than it traditionally is (and less than my Keralite husband would like, ha). The ingredients that make this spicy are: half a teaspoon of minced green chilli, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne, as well as 2 dried red chilies. You can certainly omit or decrease these ingredients to make the dish more savory than spicy.

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