Malabar prawn curry

Malabar curry is a south Indian dish particularly associated with the Keralan region, where the coastlines, climate and cultural history make spicy fish curries popular. Peter Joseph adds superb depth of flavour to his prawn curry recipe by adding the spices in stages, allowing the flavour of each to come through. Deggi Mirch powder is a blend of Indian red chillies which is used both for its mild-hot flavour and the vibrant colour it can bring to a curry base; if you are unable to track any down, the chef recommends substituting half a teaspoon of chilli powder and half a teaspoon of paprika instead.

First published in 2016




Malabar prawn curry


Heat the coconut oil in a wide, deep pan and add the fenugreek seeds, ginger, garlic, chilli and curry leaves. Sauté well over a medium heat, stirring regularly to ensure nothing catches on the pan
Add the shallots to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes, then stir in the turmeric, coriander and degi mirch powders. Cook for 2–3 minutes
Blitz the tinned tomatoes to form a purée and add this to the pan along with the fresh tomato slices. Mix well to combine, then allow the curry mixture to simmer until boiling
In a small dish, mix together the coconut powder and water to form a watery paste, adding more water if required. Gradually add this paste to the pan until fully incorporated, then reduce the heat a little and simmer for 5–10 minutes
Once the sauce has a smooth and velvety texture, add the prawns to the pan (along with a little extra water to loosen the consistency if required). Place a lid on the pan and leave to cook for a further 2–3 minutes
  • 12 prawns, peeled and deveined
Once the prawns are cooked through stir in the coconut milk and bring the curry up to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning to taste
To serve, divide the prawns between serving dishes and spoon any leftover sauce over the top. Garnish with curry leaves and serve immediately with steamed rice

By moving away from the stereotypical view of Indian cuisine and embracing modern plating styles, Peter Joseph has taken the food he grew up with to dizzying new heights.

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