A rich, creamy, coconut-y prawn curry that can be made in less than 30 minutes. you will make it and congratulate yourself on being so clever!
I travelled to India, with a friend, when I left University and trekked around the country for 4 weeks. One of the main drivers for going to India was the food. Yes, I freely admit that I am that much of a glutton that I actually make my travel choices based on what food I am going to like there. Fortunately, I haven’t met a type of cuisine that I didn’t like (OK, I wasn’t that enamoured with the food in Lisbon, sorry Portugal!), but India is a vegetarian’s dream and Indian food happens to be one of my all time favourites!
So off I trekked. The food markets were unbelievable, just the colours for a start. Indian spices on mass are something to behold, reds, oranges, greens all seem to spring out at you in technicolour, it certainly is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.
We were lucky enough to make friends with one of the market stall owners, who insisted that we allow him to cook for us a traditional Indian feast made from the spices that he was selling. How could we refuse! Most of the spices we had no clue as to what they even were, so it really was a wonderful offer, and to taste Indian food made by the local spice expert is something we were very lucky to experience.
I ate so much wonderful food in India, I was seriously in food heaven! I made a little deal with myself that I would learn to cook the very best Indian food that I could and try and keep the flavours as authentic as I could. Since then, I have taken many Indian cooking courses and I have read as many Indian cookbooks as I can. I’ll be posting a number of my favourite Indian dishes on this post and would be thrilled if you share some of yours too!
Just an aside, if you love Indian food and if you are in Auckland or coming to Auckland, then I highly recommend you booking in to Cassia in Fort Lane. It is expensive but it is one of the best Indian restaurants that I have ever been to . . . and if you are in London, England and want a crazy, busy experience with very authentic Indian food then head to Tayyabs behind Whitechapel hospital.
This dish is inspired by the regional food of Goa located in the South West of India. Located in a tropical area it is known for its intense spices and flavours. This dish is one of my favourite Indian dishes to whip up when I am time poor and really hungry. It’s a perfect dish for sharing as its creaminess means that it can be enjoyed by people who may not like food that is too spicy.
When I shop for my spices I head straight to Sandringham, Auckland and when I was living in London I headed straight to Brick Lane. I find the shops in these areas the best as the shop keepers tend to be Indian and therefore know their craft and are always keen to explain what certain spices are used for.
I hope you love this dish as much as I do. Enjoy!
- 20 king prawns (if using frozen then make sure they are defrosted)
- ¼ tsp salt
- juice from ½ a lime
- 1 Tbsp oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 10 fresh curry leaves
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 large, ripe tomatoes, chopped small
- 2 green chillies, chopped small (optional)
- For the Paste:
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp tumeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (or 3 dried chilis chopped)
- 1 handful fresh coriander
- 1 heaped tsp tamarind paste
- ½ tsp salt
- 200 ml coconut cream (or very creamy coconut milk)
- Put the prawns into a bowl and cover with ¼ teaspoon salt and juice from ½ a lime. Leave in the fridge until required.
- In a mortar and pestle or a kitchen blender add all of the paste ingredients (except the coconut cream/milk). Grind/blend until a paste forms.
- Add 100ml coconut cream/milk to the paste and stir until completely mixed.
- Heat a pan and add the oil then the mustard seeds. Cover with a lid and allow the mustard seeds to pop.
- When the mustard seeds have finished popping add the curry leaves, onions, tomatoes and cook until the onions are soft.
- Add the paste to the pan and the rest of the coconut milk. If you like your curry spicy/hot then add the green chillies now, if not then leave the green chillies out completely.
- Bring pan to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the king prawns to the pan and cook until prawns are cooked through (approx. 10 mins).
- Serve with my coconut & cashew rice and fresh coriander on top.