Churaykka Chemeen (Prawns with Bottle Gourd in Coconut Milk)

Bottle Gourd (Lauki/Dhoodhi in hindi and churaykka in Malayalam) is a type of squash with light green skin and white flesh. Interestingly, as the name suggests, it is one of the first cultivated plants in the world that was grown not for food but as a container.

This is my mother-in-law’s recipe which all who have tasted it, loved it. Normally, if you put a vegetable and seafood/meat in front of any non-vegetarian lover, it’s for sure they’ll choose the non-veg. But this is one dish where people want more of the lauki than the prawns. I’m not kidding. Ask my husband or my cousin TJ. They’ll vouch for me!



  • Prawns – 250 grams, shelled and de-veined
  • Dhoodhi – 500 grams, peeled, cored and then cubed
  • Onions – 3, chopped
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Green chilly – 2-3 nos.
  • Chilli powder – 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Ginger garlic paste –  1 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Oil -3 tablespoons (enough oil to saute the onions)
  • Water
  • Thin coconut milk – 1 glass
  • Thick coconut milk – 1/2 glass
  • Salt to taste

For Tadka / Garnish

  • Shallots (baby onions) – 3, sliced
  • Curry leaves


In a kadai or wok, heat the oil. Add the big onions and saute till it’s golden brown.

To this add ginger garlic paste, tomato, and curry leaves. Saute for another 2-3 minutes till the tomato gets soft.

Now, add chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Saute again for another 5 mins till it’s all well mixed and soft.

To this add the prawns and the bottle gourd. Mix it well in the spice mixture and let it remain as is for another couple of minutes.

Then add a little water and let the prawns and bottle gourd cook on medium flame (keep adding water as required).

When it’s almost ready (about 80%), add the thin coconut milk and let it cook again.

When the prawns and dhoodhi are at a perfect-to-eat stage, reduce the flame to minimum and then add the thick coconut milk. (remember to put it on low flame, else it’ll curdle).  Now let it be on the fire for a minute or two and then switch off the flame.

Garnish with a tadka of small onions and curry leaves (i.e. heat oil in another small wok, add the sliced small onions and saute till it’s light brown. And then add the curry leaves to it. Switch off the flame and pour this mixture over your prepared curry!)

Serve hot with rice or bread!!


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6 Responses to Churaykka Chemeen (Prawns with Bottle Gourd in Coconut Milk)

  1. Biny Anoop says:

    Renee dearloved the stay here….u have a good collection.I was readg the abt me section and loved it as well…u have an amazing talent to write as well….it wud have been great if you put in a followers button where we can follow you in a matter of seconds….and get ur updates as well…u r too gud to be new….
    Welcome to blogging and keep tantalising our taste buds.
    Biny Anoop

    • Renee says:

      thankyou so much biny for your really kind words. It has really motivated me to keep going. As for the followers button, I think there’s a subscribe to me link that I’ve put up. I think that should keep you updated. Thanks again and please keep coming back

  2. Ruku says:

    Rin, This sounds delish. I might try it since I have so much squash (donated by my neighbor). One question : What are big and little onions? Did you mean shallots or pearl for the little and the large ones are the everyday red or yellow?
    Keep up the great work! Your pictures are making me drool:-D

    • Renee says:

      hey ruks…thankyou so much. Yes, the big ones are the normal ones (red,white, purple) and the small ones are the shallots or pearl onions (even I was a little surprised to see in the food blogosphere many call it small onions, so even I took on the trend 😛 ). Do try it n let me know and I’ll dutifully let my MIL know 😉

  3. Lima says:

    Yum! I just made this dish using coconut oil and the house smells divine! However, It’s a lot of curry for one person. Can the leftovers be stored in the freezer? Never freezed anything with coconut milk before. Thanks for sharing!

    • Renée says:

      Hi Lima I just got ur msg. Sorry. But just for the future, even I normally never freeze anything to do with coconut milk. It stays well in the fridge for 2 days. That’s the max I keep a dish with milk or coconut milk in it.

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