Have you ever made something so delicious that you are completely taken by surprise that you made that dish? My gorgeous Prawns curry is one such dish that completely blew me away.
Seafood and I were not friends when I was growing up as we had more of meat. My mom did not cook any Seafood at home so I never knew how to make it. On the other hand my mom in law can make some gorgeous Seafood dishes. Her Prawns curry, Crab Masala, Fish fry and Fish Biryani are to die for. This means that “D” has grown up eating some really tasty Seafood and has high expectations from me when I cook it. And unfortunately I have never done justice to it no matter how much I have tried.
Also Seafood is super expensive here in Perth. One cannot eat fish everyday like we could easily do in India. So whenever I do buy any sort of Fish I am very careful about how I make it. I usually stick to tried and tested recipes which call for little creativity and less chances of errors.
So when I brought some juicy big Prawns from the local fish market I fully intended to make the same old gravy. But in a moment of sheer madness I thought I will make something different and then promptly I was lost because I had no other recipes.
I browsed a few blogs to get some recipes but I did not have the right ingredients to try. I remembered how my mother in law made her Prawns curry with Coconut and a special masala, which I did not have. So I decided to use the same recipe and add Tomatoes instead to give the dish the tanginess it needed.
As the dish started to take shape in front of my eyes I knew I was doing something right. And then when the final dish was ready and I took the first bite I literally jumped with joy at this gorgeous recipe I had ended up creating on my own. So it is right that I blog about it and share it with others.
Recipe (Cooking time 30 minutes, serves 4)
500 gms Prawns (You can use chopped boneless Chicken breasts if you do not like Sea food)
1 ½ cup freshly desiccated Coconut (I used frozen coconut)
4 – 5 Green chillies (you can reduce or increase the quantity depending on how hot you like it)
2 medium sized Tomatoes
1 medium sized Onion finely chopped
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 tsp Vegetable oil
1 ½ tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
4 Black Peppers
4 Garlic Cloves
Salt to taste
5 – 6 Curry leaves
Juice of 1 Lemon
Clean and devein the prawns. After washing them drain the water and pat them dry. Now add some Salt and ½ tsp Turmeric to the prawns and keep them to marinate while you get the gravy ready.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a Pan and add the Cumin seeds, Pepper, Garlic and Green chillies, once they start to Splutter add the Coconut and sauté on a medium flame for 7 – 8 minutes. You have to be careful as Coconut has a tendency to stick to the pan and burn easily. Now add the Tomatoes which are blanched in hot water and sauté for another 7 – 8 minutes.
Turn the heat off and add this mixture in a grinder, adding the remaining Turmeric powder, Coriander powder and Red Chilli powder. Top it up with ½ cup water and grind to a fine paste.
In the same pan add the remaining oil and the curry leaves. Once they splutter add the finely chopped Onions and saute till translucent. Now add the Coconut mixture and let it cook till the oil starts to separate. Add 1 cup water and once it boils add the Prawns and some Salt to taste (Remember we have added some Salt earlier while marinating the prawns too, so be careful). Cook for 7 – 8 minutes till the prawns are done. The key here is to ensure you do not overcook the Prawns, there has to be a bite to them, only then will you taste the full extent of the curry. Obviously if you are using Chicken instead of the Prawns the cooking time will increase.
Turn the heat off and sprinkle some Lemon juice before serving the prawns with hot Rice.
PS: Do add the Lemon juice sparingly, I usually taste the gravy a little to adjust according to my taste. As you do not want the tanginess of the Lemon to overpower everything else. Happy Cooking.