Prawns. have always been my first love…truly madly deeply. Seriously!
Fried, sautéed, curried,steamed… I can wolf them down in just about any form. Of late however, the battle of the bulge has taken over and these crustaceans have not made it to my plate in a really long time. So this weekend,when my domestic help offered to get me the freshest catch from atop a ferry that comes from Madh Island,I jumped like a child in a candy store. I mean, it was an offer I just couldn’t refuse. No way.
Next morning a bag full of prawns arrived. Pink and plump, they were a crustacean connoisseur’s dream come true. While I sat on the kitchen floor de veining them, I was thinking of tasty ways to devour them. When I couldn’t make up my mind, I did what all girls do – I called my mum. Very deftly as always, she rattled off a recipe that she learnt from one of her cousins during her visits to Hyderabad. A concoction that boasted of cloves, pepper and cinnamon-the three musketeers of Andhra cuisine. Mum’s the word and the decision was made.
This is what I did. The curry is fiery, so if you cant handle too much spice,you can tone down the chillies and the spices. But then that’s what Andhra is all about -Fire on the plate & the palette!
- 500 gms prawns – medium size, deshelled, deveined
- Tbsp oil (Vegetable/Canola/Sunflower)
- 2 large tomatoes or 1 cup tomato puree
- 2 large onions finely chopped
- 5 -6 green chillies slit
- 12-15 curry leaves
- 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
- 2 tsp kashmiri red chilly powder
- 1 tsp turmeric power
- 1 tsp finely crushed cinnamon + cloves+pepper
- 1/2 tsp garam masala powder1/2 cup finely chopped coriander leaves.Salt to taste
- Marinate the prawns with the salt and turmeric and let them sit for around 30 minutes.
- In a kadhai, heat some oil.
- Once the oil is hot enough ,add the seasoned prawns and sauté them till they are just about done. Make sure you don’t sauté them for way too long, or else they will get rubbery when you add them to the curry. At this point they need to be just about semi cooked.
- Remove the prawns and set them aside.
- Add some more oil to the same kadai.
- Once the oil begins to splutter, add the crushed cinnamon, pepper and clove powder.
- Add the onions, green chillies, curry leaves next till and sauté till the onions are nicely browned
- The ginger garlic paste goes in next and sauté away for a bit.
- Pop in the crushed tomatoes.
- Add the red chilly powder, salt and cook till the oil separates.
- Add the sautéed prawns and make sure all that they are evenly coated with the lovely masala.
- For the final touch add a dash of garam masala.
- You can add some water at this point depending on the kind of consistency you desire.We added just a splash, since we wanted a nice thick gravy.
Since we were looking for a comforting meal,we had the prawns with some steamed rice,but I can tell you this will taste fabulous with hot phulkas slathered with dollops of desi ghee. Yum!
God bless my maid, now and forever! 🙂