Call it what you want, this curry is simple but delicious, light yet flavorful and will leave you wanting more. Promise.
I was brought up on seafood..and meat and poultry. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was a rather stubborn child who didn't like her greens, and the fact that we lived in a city encased by two mighty rivers on both sides. If there was Kathajodi on the right, the great Mahanadi gurgled by on the left. Seafood, there simply was no getting away from it really. Not that I wanted to anyway. :P
I remember going to the market with my mom on Saturdays..sometimes on Sundays. The markets seemed foreign to me at first. Going to the market was a scary proposition, a test I would rather fail ..a big jigsaw puzzle that I simply couldn't finish. But over time, I started looking forward to these trips. The sight of the vegetable market laden with fresh produce, glittering vegetables, gleaming shining juicy fruits, the splash of green from the herbs, the crowd, the buttered /grilled corn vendor at the corner, the chuski wala (ice-candy/snow cone vendor), the mounds of fresh flowers,it all drew me in. Everyone knew my mom well as the English speaking professor and it used to be fun to tag along with her, helping her pick out tomatoes, and okra, gets pumpkins and green papaya one day, plantain and aubergines the next! My mind used to rush headlong into what mom would make for lunch the minute we started shopping..and it used to SALIVATE the day she bought seafood!!!
Yes, I am using Caps. There is no other way to say it :)
I got my love for the seafood from her. No doubt of it. I also inherited her knack for making delicious curries!!
Spices... what would life be without them!!
Whenever I am upset, my hands reach for the beloved spice jars of their own accord..and I feel at peace with the world again, and at peace with myself. (Much more important)!
The day I made this curry, a familiar feeling of having my mom with me in the kitchen washed over me...Lost in the fond memories of my amazingly loved childhood, I found myself treading familiar territories..and indulging yet again in nostalgic cooking.
But instead of making it my mom's version of prawn curry in coconut milk, I made it the way I remembered having it in God's own country Kerela. We took a trip down memory lane yesterday..all the way to God's own country, Kerela, and lost ourselves in the aromas arising from this bowl of deliciousness.
Reminiscent of the early carefree days of our marriage and my love for seafood, this curry hits all the right notes.
I could literally visualise the backwaters, the green fields, the coconut studded countryside and of course seafood of all kinds when I was making this curry. The raw mangoes will take you back to those summer afternoons spent with cousins, playing in granny's orchards and picking raw mangoes ...and you will, of course, remember the tang as you took a bite of it with red chilli and rock salt! My mouth is salivating just at the memory of it..The hiss and crackle of the tadka will make your home smell like your darling chechi's kitchen and the coconut milk will make everything seem better.
Its light and flavorful, the prawns big and juicy with just the right hint of tang from the raw mangoes and the creaminess of coconut milk. As for the tadka (tempering), now THAT can lift up even a mundane dal, and here we are talking Big Fat Prawns/Shrimps!!
Make this Pronto!! Pretty please.
- Jumbo Prawns/Shrimps - 250 gms or 12-15 pieces.
- Coconut Milk- 200ml
- Raw Mango -1 ,sliced long and thin.
- Tamarind paste - 2 tsp
- Ginger- a small piece- thinly sliced
- Green chili- 2 slit
- Chili powder- 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
- Curry leaves- a few
- Salt to taste
- Coconut grated - 3/4 cup
- Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
- Garlic - 1
- Shallot - 1
- Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
- Green chili- 1-2
- Mustard seeds (sarson) - 1/2 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds (methi) - 1/2 tsp
- Whole red chili- 2 -3
- Shallots (sambar onion)- 3-4
- Curry leaves- a few
- Coconut oil- 3-4 tsp or Vegetable oil.
Grind all the ingredients listed under "for gringing" to a fine paste adding some water.
Take a kadhai or deep wok and pour some oil in it. Once hot, add the prawns (pre marinated with salt, turmeric and Kashmiri red chili powder for 10 minutes). Let it cook on each side for 3-4 minutes. When cooked, remove and keep aside.
In the same kadhai, add a little more oil.
Now add ginger, green chillies, curry leaves, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt. Once that starts to crackle and brown , add the ground paste. Add a dash of water and saute the masala well. It takes about 5-7 minutes till you see oil coming in at the sides. Add some water if it starts sticking while frying the masala.
Add the tamarind and the sliced raw mangoes and cook for further 3-4 minutes till the mangoes soften a bit but are still holding their shape.
Add the shrimps and cover for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the coconut milk at the very end (make sure the flame is on low) and whisk immediately ensuring it gets mixed up completely. Make sure it does not split.
Let it come to one boil and then cook on low flame for 2 minutes. Turn it off. Ensure the curry is not too watery so adjust adding water accordingly.
For the tempering or Tadka:
- Heat coconut oil in a small pan or chetti.
- When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Then add fenugreek and whole red chili, then shallot and curry leaves.
- Saute until the shallots are golden brown.
- Now pour this tadka on top of the curry along with the oil. Close with a lid immediately. Keep it 90% closed until served.
- Let the curry rest for at least an hour for the flavors to merge, fall in love and marry each other... ;)
- Serve along with steamed rice, vegetable stir fry and Konkani Pomfret fries (coming up!!!)
- You may cook until the mango is mashed if u like that. I prefer it to have some structure, so I don't overcook it.
- Fenugreek powder (1/3 tsp )also can be used instead of whole seeds.Just add the powder directly to the curry towards the last as the curry might taste bitter if it boils for too long.
- You will know the shrimps are cooked when it turns pink and curls! and Oh.. it will smell right sweet!
- You can press your coconut milk (use the thick pressed one ).I, however, use regular canned ones I have in the pantry. Saves time and makes for a quicker dinner. Always a plus in my books!
- Adjust chilli as per taste. Obviously.
- You can omit the tamarind if you don't like it too tangy. Or reduce it. Up to you.
- You can also add drumsticks to the curry. People in Kerela do both versions, but P doesn't like them, so I omitted the drumsticks. Feel free to go with your heart...err..or belly ;)