Tiny shrimps are referred to as Chenna Kunni in Tamil Nadu. They are salted and dried whole i.e., with the head and shell intact. These are combined with vegetables and prepared as poriyal (fry). I came up with this recipe as I wanted to prepare a very high protein side dish, and dry shrimp has very concentrated protein. I used broad beans as their water content is not very high, and that goes well with the dry shrimp. Chenna kunni is usually combined with drumstick leaves in Tamil Nadu.
The combination of chenna kunni with broad beans is a delicious preparation that is served as a side dish along with rice. Since the shrimp is dried with its head and shell, make sure that you chew properly. You may experience some digestive disturbance initially, but once your system gets used to it you will enjoy it without reservations 🙂
Chenna kunni is available in 2 sizes: tiny and very tiny. I have used the very tiny variety in this dish because that is easily available.
Dried shrimp has a whopping protein content of 68g per 100g. The broad beans provide 4.8g of protein per 100g and 2g of fibre per 100g. This is a dish which provides very high quantity and very good quality protein and some fibre also.
- 80-100g Dried Chenna Kunni (Shrimp)
- 500g Avarai (Broad Beans)
- 2 Onions, sliced
- 2 Tomatoes, pulsed
- 2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- ½ tsp Cumin Powder
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 T Vegetable Oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1 ½ C Water, approximately
- Wash the chenna kunni. Remove and squeeze dry as it floats.
- String the broad beans to remove the fibre. Cut into 3 cm squares.
- Boil the beans in water with 1 tsp salt. Simmer till the beans become tender.
- Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai or wok.
- Add the onion. Fry till translucent.
- Add the pulsed tomatoes. Fry till the volume is reduced to half. Add the chilli, cumin, and turmeric powders and stir on low heat.
- Add the chenna kunni, and fry till the mixture becomes dry.
- Add the broad beans with the cooking water. Stir. Adjust salt.
- Cook till the mixture is almost dry. Remove from heat.
- All dry fish have sand and dirt particles adhering to them (however clean they are promised to be). When the prawns float in water when you clean them, all the dirt and sand sinks to the bottom.
- Dry fish in sealed packets is available online and in some supermarkets.
- I use Kashmiri chilli powder for its glorious red colour and mild flavour.