Kerala prawn curry


First published in 2016
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Chilly evenings call for wholesome curries like these which take less than 30 minutes to prepare, but are filling to your heart’s content.

This is a very authentic South Indian curry and some of the ingredients like gambooge for example, may not be familiar to all and for that matter easily available at local stores. It’s used as a souring agent and can be easily replaced with the much more common tamarind paste.

Fresh curry leaves do lend a fabulous taste to the dish, but since they are not widely available, omitting them is fine. Whatever you do, please don’t use the dried version, which don't do anything for the flavour.

My grandmother used to say this curry tastes even better the next day because all the spices, gravy and masalas would have caught on to the prawns really well. So if you can resist the urge to finish off the whole thing in one go, keep some aside for the next day and you’ll enjoy it even more.




Keralan prawn curry

Grind together the coriander, chilli, turmeric and pepper powders along with the English shallots to a coarse paste. Keep aside
Heat the oil in a wok, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter
Add the fenugreek seeds followed by green chilli, curry leaves and onions. Sauté until the onions turn a light brown
Throw in the ginger and garlic and continue cooking until the raw smell disappears, say about 2–3 minutes
In goes the ground masala paste. Keep cooking on medium-low heat until the heady aroma of the paste rises. Be careful not to burn the mix, and if you feel it’s charring, then add a teaspoon or so of water and keep stirring at intervals
Stir in the tamarind paste and coconut milk. Season with salt and bring to a gentle boil
Finally, add the prawns, mix them into the gravy, top with a lid and cook on low heat for about 7–8 minutes, or until the prawns are well cooked. It’s very tricky with prawns, because if you over cook them, then they will become rubbery and very unpleasant
Once the gravy becomes thick, remove the curry from the heat and serve hot with some rice and a side of stir-fried vegetables
First published in 2016
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