Karwari seafood tikki

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Karwar, a city on the west coast of southern India, is responsible for the spices and flavours in these little fish and seafood tikki ('patties'). The prawns, crab and tilapia in the cakes are blitzed into a coarse paste, before being shaped and fried until crisp. With a pepper and garlic-marinated king prawn on top for extra wow-factor, they're an interesting and delicious snack to whip up at the weekend.

First published in 2020






Begin by making the marinade and sauce for the grilled prawns. Add a dash of oil to a pan and add the chopped garlic. Once beginning to turn golden, add the diced red pepper and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the chilli powder and a pinch of salt and cook for a further 2 minutes, then leave to cool
Once cool, transfer the mixture to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Reserve half the sauce in the fridge for later, and use the remaining sauce to coat the prawns. Place the prawns in the fridge to marinate while you make the tikki cakes
To make the tikki, pour a little vegetable oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds – once they begin to crackle, add the curry leaves and garlic. Cook for a minute or so until the garlic turns golden, then add the green mango, turmeric, chilli powder and a pinch of salt. Cook for a further 2 minutes
Add the prawns, tilapia and crab meat, then cook and stir for 5 minutes or until all the fish and seafood is just cooked. Remove from the heat, add the coconut milk powder and breadcrumbs, then leave to cool
Transfer the cooled mixture to a food processor and pulse until a coarse paste forms (be careful not to overwork, as you want a bit of texture in the cake). Once you have a workable texture, form the mixture into 8 patties
To finish cooking the dish, preheat the oven to its highest setting and place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add a generous glug of oil to the pan, then fry the tikki cakes on both sides for a few minutes until golden and crisp. Meanwhile, place the marinated prawns in the oven and bake for a few minutes until cooked through
To serve, place the tikki cakes on each plate and use a wooden toothpick to skewer a prawn on top. Add a spoonful of the red pepper sauce and garnish with coriander

A master of subtle, balanced spicing and with plenty of experience in Michelin-starred restaurants under his belt, Dayashankar Sharma cooks regional Indian dishes with panache at Heritage in Dulwich.

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