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South Indian style shrimp fried rice

Shrimp fried rice
Shrimp fried rice


The past week has been all about Project Kitchen Clean-up. I mean a good, thorough clean-up to give the kitchen a fresh start.

[And no, I don't mean cleaning the kitchen floors. Helo does more than a stellar job of that - you'd be hard pressed to find even a single morsel of food anywhere on the kitchen floor. He has chased down every rolling pea, pounced on every fruit bit that made contact with the floor, lapped up any liquid that splattered on the vinyl and made quick work of all the crusty bread crumbs that so often carpet our kitchen floor. Talk about efficiency!]

No, this clean-up was about emptying out our ridiculously over stuffed pantry and getting rid of food that was left forgotten at the back of the fridge. You know, like the pomegranate molasses I made a few months ago? Like the vat of strawberry sauce just sitting out on the middle shelf? Like the gazillion different cans of veggies, fruits and beans that looked so delectable when I bought them but shelved them as soon as I got home?

Seriously, my pantry is out of control. There isn’t even room for a box of Altoids.

Getting back to Project Kitchen Clean-up, my first target was the old rice in the fridge. Now, that was just begging to be converted to fried rice and so, I obliged!

The recipe is based on the classic  poha from vahrevah but I added coconut and shrimp because I wanted to shake things up!   The classic South Indian flavors of curry leaves with mustard seeds, cumin and asafoetida made for a unique fried rice – so different from the Chinese and Thai ones we are used to having! It tasted of warm spices, succulent shrimp and was fragrant with the coconut and curry leaves.

Why don’t you try it the next time you have some left over rice?

Here is the recipe -


South Indian style shrimp fried rice

Serves 3-4


1 tbsp mustard seeds

1 tbsp cumin seeds

4 dried whole red chillies

20 curry leaves

1/2 cup shredded dessicated coconut

1/4 cup dahlia

1 tbsp urad wash

1 large onion, sliced thinly

2 jalapenos, finely diced

pinch of turmeric

1/2 tsp asafoetida

1 lemon, juiced

3 cups cooked rice ( at least a day old)

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

handful of roasted peanuts

20 medium shrimp ( I used cooked frozen ones that I thawed)

Salt, to taste

Vegetable oil



1) Heat oil in a big pot or wok. On medium heat add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried chillies, curry leaves, coconut, dahlia and the urad wash. Stir until everything is cooked.

2) Add the onions, jalapenos, asafoetida, salt and turmeric. Stir until the onions are cooked through and translucent.

3) Add the lemon juice and stir well. Add the rice and mix well. Add the shrimp and peanuts at this point and quickly mix it in. Remember, the shrimp are already cooked, so you don’t want to over cook it! ( If using raw shrimp, then you would need to saute it after the onions are cooked through and before you add in the rice).

4) Garnish with the chopped cilantro and serve immediately. Enjoy!


South Indian shrimp fried rice
South Indian shrimp fried rice


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