Malabar Prawn Curry

Malabar Prawn Curry

This mild, tangy, creamy curry suits many meats but especially seafood. If you have a well stocked spice cupboard you can make this curry from scratch without having to use any curry sauces or pastes. All in 30 minutes or less!

The word Malabar comes from the coastal area in Kerala, Southern India (rather than the Sydney suburb, obviously ;)) and makes use of the area's abundance of seafood. I love tangy flavours as well as mild sours. I like a touch of sourness to make things interesting. But this recipe also has a hint of sweetness.

I encountered someone a bit on the sour side lately that wasn't quite as palatable as this curry. I met her one cold morning and she was supposed to show me around an event. We said hello and I made some small talk about the weather. It was something a bit innocuous like "chilly day today" sort of like what you would say if it were sunny and said "nice day today".

She paused and gave me a look. "It's WINTER. That's how it works," she said condascendingly and rolled her eyes. It took me a couple of seconds to realise that she was saying that in reponse to something I had just said in passing. But I guess lesson learnt: some people will even interpret weather small talk.

Malabar Prawn Curry

I don't think we were each other's type of person and we both decided that we didn't need to spend any more time together and we parted ways never to see each other again. I didn't need that sort of sourness in my day. But sourness is curries? I'm totally happy to have that element in food!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you like sour or tangy foods? Do you ever meet someone and decide that you just don'tn want to be around them?

Malabar Prawn Curry

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • 1kg/2.2lbs prawns, shelled
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind
  • 1-3 large red chillies (to taste)
  • 1 cup pureed tomatoes
  • 200ml/7flozs. coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Step 1 - Mix the fenugreek, turmeric, coriander, cumin and black mustard seeds in a bowl. Heat a pot on medium to high heat and dry fry the spices until fragrant. Add oil and then saute the onions, garlic and ginger until soft. Add tamarind, chillies and tomato and simmer for a few minutes until the oil separates from the tomato.

Step 2 - Add the prawns and turn gently until just cooked (do not overcook). Then add the coconut cream and water and stir. Season to taste. Serve with rice.

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