This really tasty, humble curry was an accident. My mother was preparing the recipe from one of her cooks books and added the ingredients while looking at another!
Fortunately, it actually ended up being really nice and needless to say, I devoured it with great joy. Here in Assam, we rarely get the king prawns found in the coastal regions of our country. Its mainly the river prawn, a distant smaller cousin. Prawns are expensive here; they are hard to find and tricky to catch. But our local fish monger was kind enough to find about 350 grams when he got to know I was visiting home. He is one of the regular people visiting our house very weekend or so, bringing large catches for our family and smaller, less bony fishes for our dog, Tissu.
- Prawns – 350 grams
- 5-6 green cardamoms
- 1 and half inch cinnamon stick
- 1 medium onion chopped
- About 5 grams of ginger
- 5-6 garlic cloves
- Chilli powder – half teaspoon, a little more if you like it spicy
- Tumeric powder – half teaspoon
- 2 medium sized tomatoes
- 2 green chillies
- About 10 curry leaves
- Coconut milk – 100 – 150 ml (pending on the thickness)
- Tamarind paste – half teaspoon
- Sugar – one teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Coconut oil – 2 tablespoons
- Heat the oil and first add the cardamoms and cinnamon stick to flavour it. Next add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry till they turn a little brown. Add some salt to help the onions release water. Once they are done, blitz them in blender to make a paste.
- Add a touch of coconut oil back in the pan, followed by the blended paste. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and add it to the pan. Let them shrivel down and turn soft on a low heat. You can add a little more salt to help release the water here. Add the green chillies whole, followed by the chilli powder and turmeric powder. Fry till it turns a little dry.
- Now add the curry leaves, coconut milk and a cup of warm water. Stir to form a curry and let it come to a boil. Simmer for a while, and add the tamarind and sugar. Taste-check it and then only add salt as required. Otherwise, the curry will be too salty and we don’t want that.
- Add the prawns now. They should be nicely cleaned and the spine removed. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and cover for about 3 minutes. After that, remove the pan from the heat and let it rest for about 5 more minutes.
Serve the prawn curry with rice. I pressured cooked some basmati with a little mace or javitri flower, just to elevate the taste. Garnish with a little coriander.
It was simple and really easy to make. The cardamom and cinnamon will shine through in the curry’s taste. But the prawn will still provide all the theatre in the dish. All you coastal folks, please do try it and let me know if it works!
Till next time, Happy Cooking!