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Coastal Style Prawn Curry

Coastal Style Prawn Curry

Anjali Venugopal July 31, 2017 2 COMMENTS

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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:

  1. Make a smooth paste out of the coconut, turmeric, chilli powder, onion, ginger and water enough to make it a loose paste.
  2. 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)
  3. 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.
  4. Your prawn curry is ready to be served with steamed white rice, or idiyappams (string hoppers) 🙂
My Unassuming Spicy Fried Prawns

My Unassuming Spicy Fried Prawns

Anjali Venugopal June 20, 2016 NO COMMENTS

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My mum reminds me at least once every second day, about how I was the last person she expected to turn to anything homey, let alone cooking. Honestly, even I didn’t realize when my love for cooking got under my skin. I started cooking only as a means to sustenance, to keep poverty at bay, by the time the boy and I reached the end of the month at law school. No, unfortunately we didn’t succeed in the latter, and this may be attributed to our eternal obsession for exotic food and drink. Our love for gastronomy certainly lays at least two of the founding stones in our relationship and I think that’s wonderful. 😛

So, now here I am, delighted to have found for myself something that I genuinely love doing. I have come to realise that apart from developing and improvising on recipes, one thing thing that makes me just as happy, if not happier, is being given an opportunity to stuff other faces. 😀 And I am positive that two of our closest friends from law school (now happily married and would rather be treated as a single entity :P) would most certainly stand testament to that.

Okay, enough of pointless blabber. Moving on to food. In a hypothetical scenario, where two daunting delinquents have me at gun point and I am asked to pick an ingredient which I would swear by, I would certainly pick onions and then tell them that they didn’t need no guns for such a simple task. I think onions are a gift to all food Indian. The only trick you need to master is the art of sautéing (to be read as the art of staying patient.) So, here goes. This recipe of mine is very onion centric and as always, super easy.

Things you will need:

  • Prawns- 500 gms (Any size, cleaned and deveined)

For marination:

  • Onions- 2 large
  • Chilly powder- 1 ½ tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Fine ground black pepper- 1 tbsp

For sautéing:

  • Onions- 2 Large thinly sliced
  • Curry leaves- 1 swig
  • Cooking oil

 

How to go about it:

Step 1: The first step would be to make the paste for marination. Take 2 large onions and make a fine paste of it by using the mixer. To the onion paste, add the powders and salt to taste. Mix well and the paste is ready. Marinate the prawns in the paste and keep it aside for half an hour.

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Step 2: Heat some oil in a pan and temper it with the curry leaves. The authentic aroma of Kerala food that the curry leaves provide you with, is undeniable. Next sauté the other onions that are thinly sliced. Add a bit of salt to hasten the process by a bit. You need to be patient enough to sauté the onions till they are a golden brown. This step needs to be followed to the T for the desired result. No fidgeting.

Step 3: Once the onions turn a golden brown, add the marinated prawns. Mix it well in the onions and oil and keep the covered on medium heat.

Step 4: Seafood tends to cook very fast and I am not a fan of overcooking seafood. So in a matter of ten mins, the prawns would have been cooked and the water content in the prawns would have oozed out. Remove the lid and get all the water to evaporate by keep the pan on high heat.

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Step 5: Once all the water has evaporated, add a spoon more of oil and fry the prawns till you achieve the desired consistency. I like my prawns 90% dry, which means I don’t let them fry till they are absolutely stiff. With this, your spicy fried prawn is ready to be pounced on.

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How easy was that? Let me know in your comments! 😀