Monday, 21 September 2015

Coconut Prawn Curry

This is a favourite dish from my village in Goa, one of those finger licking dishes that taste best eaten by hand. This simple dish is best had with white rice. You can add ladyfingers (okra) or green mango as a variation to this basic recipe. Both lend their unique taste to the dish, taking it to another dimension. If you eat this curry the next day, the spices get more time to mature, giving the dish some more depth of flavour.

This coconut prawn curry is best made in the local earthen pots, and nothing tastes better, than having the remaining bits and bobs of the curry that's stuck to the pot, scooped up with a little rice! Heaven in every bite!

goan prawns in a coconut curry
Prawns in a coconut curry

500gms prawns, shelled and deveined
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder

Other ingredients:
2 onions
10 dry red kashmiri  chillies
1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
3-4 pieces of kokum (dried berry used as a souring agent)
2 tomatoes
3 green chillies roughly chopped
1 1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of chilli powder
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp of tamarind paste ( I use the ready Priya's tamarind paste)
9 tbsps of coconut milk powder
2 cups of water

Marinate the prawns with salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Cling wrap and set aside for an hour. 

In a mixer, grind the kashmiri chillies. When reduced to a powder, add in the onions and grind to a fine paste. Then add in the tomatoes, ginger garlic paste and spices such as cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and chilli powder. (note: you can use cumin seeds and coriander seeds instead of the powder version). You should get a really nice thick red masala paste.

Heat oil in a casserole. Add in the roughly chopped green chillies and also the masala paste. Add the kokum and cook for about 5 mins. Add in the tamarind paste and give it another 5 mins.

Reconstitute the coconut milk powder by adding 2 cups of water. Add the water slowly to the powder, so you can remove any lumps that form. I prefer to use lukewarm water. 

Keep the heat on a medium and let the coconut milk cook a further 10 mins, taking care not to let the curry boil or it could cause the coconut to split. 

Once the curry is ready, add in the marinated prawns and cook for no more than 7 mins.

Note: for any fish/prawns that are added to a curry, do not cook for more than 7 mins for that perfect texture. 

Serve hot with white rice. 

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