My undying love for coastal flavours and cuisine is not the best kept secret. On the days I am not whipping up flavours from the seaside in the kitchen, take it for granted that my mind will be wandering far away, somewhere on pristine, white sands with a cool sea breeze on my face, salt on my lips, watching the waves wash against the shore, tirelessly. There is indeed something so comforting, so soothing about the ocean; especially in the dead of the night, under the moonlight.
Although it’d be criminal to whine, sitting in the beautiful city of Vienna, I cannot help but admit that I do sometimes miss the close proximity of the ocean and the fresh sea food that comes with the package of living by the coast. Anyway, today being one of my fidgety days when I can’t seem to find enough patience to put pen to paper, I am going to get down to business sooner than usual. This recipe is as easy as coastal cuisine gets. It is an authentic Kerala delicacy and may be prepared using prawns or fish. Another fact that may garner your interest is that you can fix on a south Kerala style or a north Kerala style depending on the variety of tamarind you use. Read on for more.
Things you will need:
- Prawns- 500 gms
- Grated coconut- ½ cup (even full fat desiccated coconut works fine)
- Fenugreek seeds- ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
- Chilli powder- 1 tbsp (vary according to spice tolerance)
- Tomatoes- 1 chopped roughly
- Onion- 1 small
- Green chillies- 3 slit
- Ginger- a half inch stick
- Malabar Tamarind/Cocum- 4-5 pieces soaked in water for 15 minutes. (If you would like to make this a south Kerala delicacy, instead of the cocum, take a gooseberry sized tamarind ball, soak it in water and take the juice)
- Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
- Cooking oil (I prefer to use coconut oil for the authentic flavour
How to go about it:
- Make a smooth paste out of the coconut, turmeric, chilli powder, onion, ginger and water enough to make it a loose paste.
- Heat 2 tbsp cooking oil in a wok, and allow the fenugreek seeds to splutter. Add the coconut paste to the wok with sufficient water to make a thick gravy. Add the chopped tomatoes, curry leaves, salt and slit green chillies. Add the soaked cocum pieces (or if you are using ordinary tamarind, add the juice to the gravy but make sure you reduce the water used to make the gravy, lest the gravy should be too watery)
- Add the cleaned prawns to the gravy, mix well, bring to a boil and leave the gravy to simmer for about 20 minutes keeping the wok closed.
- Your prawn curry is ready to be served with steamed white rice, or idiyappams (string hoppers) 🙂