Thursday, 9 October 2008
Prawns – What can I say…..except that I love them! I can eat them any day and any way. I have never known a prawn that I never loved and I sympathise with everyone out there that are allergic to prawns. You poor things!
Anyway, yesterday I made prawn curry. There are many different ways that I make my prawn curry and this time I made it using plenty of coriander (fresh, seeds and ground) as my base. The ground ingredients will look very green but don’t worry; once you add your masala (curry powder in Hindi/Punjabi), it will be looking very much like a curry! Here’s how I made CORIANDER PRAWN CURRY WITH EGGPLANT, OKRA AND POTATOES.
1 kg green prawns – peeled but heads and tail left intact
2 large potatoes – cut into large cubes (normally I quarter the potatoes and then half each quarter)
1 large eggplant/aubergine or 2 to 3 Lebanese eggplants – cut into large cubes the same size as the potatoes.
Large handful of okra/ladies fingers – if using large okras, slice into half, cross ways
2 spring onions and 1 coriander plant – chopped for garnishing
2 to 3 tbsp veg oil
2 tsp coriander seeds
Sufficient water for cooking
3 to 4 heaped tbsp ‘seafood’ curry powder/masala – see HINT below
1 heaped tsp coriander powder
2 to 3 tamarind pieces
½ to 1 tin coconut milk – according to your taste
Salt to taste
Spice paste: Grind TOGETHER the following with one cup of water
8 to 10 shallots or 3 medium red/brown onions
½ head of garlic
Thumb size fresh ginger
3 large coriander plants
2 spring onions
In a large pot, heat oil and add in the coriander seeds. Sauté for 30 secs then add in the ground ingredients. Cook and stir continuously (you don’t want your paste to burn) until most of the water has evaporated and the paste has a slight golden tinge to it.
Add in the curry paste and coriander powder and about 1 cup of water for starters. Mix the paste well. If it is too dry, add another cup of water. Cook on medium low heat until the paste is slightly dry and you can see oil seeping through the surface.
Now add in the tamarind pieces and the potatoes and just enough water to cover the potatoes. You don’t want too much water as it will make your curry too runny. It is better to add more water if needed than to cook the curry for longer to ‘evaporate’ the water. On medium heat, cover and cook for 5 to 8 mins or until the potatoes are half cooked.
Next add in the eggplant and cook for another 3 to 5 mins. Your curry may be slightly dry at this stage but try not to add much water at this stage. Now add in the coconut milk (start with just half the tin – the prawns and vegetables are ‘sweet’ so you may not need that much coconut milk), prawns, okras, about ½ a cup of water and salt. Gently stir the curry (you don’t want your vegetables and prawn to ‘crumble’). Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Check the seasoning. Lift, garnish with the chopped spring onions/coriander and serve with bread or rice and a side dish of vegetables such as STIR FRIED OKRA WITH TAMARIND.
However, when you are checking the seasoning and feel that the curry is too ‘hot’, add in more coconut milk to tone it down. Don’t forget that when you eat it with rice or bread, you will lose some of the heat. Bring the curry to a boil again, lift, add garnish and serve.
HINT: If you can’t find a Malaysian brand ‘seafood’ curry powder, use normal Malaysian curry powder (such as Yeos or Ayam Brand) or any good Indian curry powder. Do not use a western style curry powder (Keen’s or Clive of India); this will totally ruin your curry!
FYI: I use either Baba or Parrot brand seafood and meat (yes there are specific curry powders for seafood and meat) curry powder. You can find these brands at most Asian grocers in Canberra.
NB: This is another one of those dishes that taste better the next day. I always make extra to have with any type of bread (yes, sliced white bread or any stick bread) or roti canai the day after.