Today has been a lovely day – first attending 6 year old Monty’s carol service – a church full of 4-11 year olds singing their hearts out. And then taking Monty and his 3 year old brother Otto to see Santa in his grotto. Magical.
So what better way to end the day than to share prawn curry recipes with you?
Sandip gave me a pot of this Tadka after our last pop-up supper, instinctively knowing that the following night we would be completely flakers and want to cook something simple. It was a life-saver of intense yet soothing flavours. And such a generous thought, typical of such a sweet guy.
Tadka, roughly translated, means tempering spices in hot oil to release their flavours. To make this deeply flavoured paste that you can use with chicken, chick peas, prawns – practically anything in fact – chop 3 medium sized onions into fine dice and fry them gently till soft. Then add 5 cloves of minced garlic (use a Microplane and grate it over the pan) and cook for a further two minutes, stirring all the time. Add a little more oil. Then add a dessert spoon of cumin seed, half a desert spoon of coriander seed and 2 black cardamom pods and a small cup of water. Stir quickly to combine the ingredients then cook with the lid on for about an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent it sticking. Then add tomato puree and cook again with the lid off until the mixture ‘splits’. Then add half a tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 inches of grated fresh ginger and six finely chopped green chillis and cook for a further 30 minutes. Add salt to taste, and half a desert spoon of garam masala and the same of ground coriander seed.
This forms the basis of a fulsome curry paste that you can add to any meat or fish you like, adding fresh plain yogurt to lighten it. Use to marinade the meat or fish (equivalent of 1kg in weight – so use half of the Tadka for smaller quantities) overnight, then cook in the usual way – in a saucepan or wok for about 15 minutes. Then you can add some coconut milk and chopped fresh coriander if you wish. If you are using frozen prawns, make sure they are completely defrosted and dried before you mix with the marinade.
Believe me this curry is divine. Serve with freshly made flatbreads. Thank you Sandip for sharing the recipe with me.
An alternative is to use a quick and easy Rick Stein recipe adapted by Lynne and eaten more times than we can count at Lynne and Andy’s house whilst putting the world to rights over a couple of bottles of wine. Thanks to Lynne for sharing the recipe again by text and from memory whilst collecting her dad from Dorset.
Fry garlic paste and freshly grated ginger in some oil then add a good tablespoon of Fern’s Green Masala paste and when it splits in the pan, add 500g prawns, frying until they are pink. Then add a tin of coconut milk and cook for a couple more minutes. Then add a big handful of chopped coriander leaf, spring onions and a couple of chopped red chillis. Cook with the lid off for a further two minutes.
To be honest, both these curries are simply delicious. Making the Tadka means you will probably have some left over to use another night. In fact if you made double the quantity you could store it in an airtight jar for at least a week. It takes more time, but it completely authentic. The Rick Stein version is quick and very delicious too. It’s for you to use.
There are recipes for flatbreads on this blog if you want to make some.