Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Prawn Curry - The Source Code Recipe

Prawn Curry - Recipes Galore

One of my cousins, Jag, living in Australia wanted me to post in my blog recipes for curries in addition to pickles. He has specified the curries he wanted too. He said that both he and his wife have forgotten the recipes of these curries as they were too busy all these years cooking software code. His mother, my mother’s youngest sister, who was also my school mate will certainly be livid, if she comes to know that her beloved son has asked me recipes, while she is considered in our family circle as a very innovative cook.

While I may take small pleasure for such requests coming to me thereby acknowledging me as a cook of repute, if not par excellence, there is a flip side to all this labeling. Now-a-days, my wife gladly gives up her position in the kitchen to me in contrast to her earlier stand of yielding it very reluctantly. She must be bragging to her friends that she has one of those truly amazing creatures in her home ...... an Indian husband who loves to cook!

Cooking comes very naturally to me and I do it with great gusto, whenever I get into the mood. There is a great advantage in cooking when you don’t have to worry about cleaning dishes and the mess afterwards. When I try something new, I prefer not to use a fixed recipe and cook almost entirely according to the whim and taste. Usually it turns out to be tasty and exotic but occasionally a disaster. Then it will take all my ingenuity to repair the dish and make it edible.
Source Code:
So here is the code for a prawn curry. All measurements given here are approximate. As long as one sticks to moderation in adding ingredients, any curry will come out tasty. So consider this recipe as source code. As long as you don't corrupt the source code, you can develop N number of variations.

If you can get only whole prawns, don’t get disheartened. Removing head and shell is easy if the prawns are frozen for some time. Remember that Prawns have to be de-vined at home if de-vined prawns are not available in the market. Vine is nothing but the black thread like intestine of the prawn. At the junction point of the head and torso, one can see the black thread like intestine inside, which needs to be gently pulled out. If you find it difficult to remove, make a small slit at the back of the prawn and pull out the vein.


1 kg prawns ( after head, shell are removed weight will be approx.600 gms.)
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
2 tsp powdered spices ( masala )
1 tsp salt to taste
1 tsp chilly powder to taste
3 to 4 green chillies- sliced vertically

Thaw the prawns at room temperature for an hour if they are straight from the fridge. Wash them thoroughly in water 3 to 4 times. Mix the prawns with a couple of tbsp curds and wash. This will remove any unpleasant odours the prawns might be emitting. Toss a big pinch of turmeric powder, mix well with prawns and wash for the last time. Drain the water thoroughly.
Mix salt and chilly powder with the prawns and keep aside.

Heat a saucepan. Add 2 tbsp oil. When oil is heated, toss in the sliced green chillies. After a few seconds, toss in the onions and fry until slightly brownish. Add garlic and ginger paste mix and fry together in a low flame for a minute till the garlic and ginger paste loses the pungent odour. Add the prawns and stir well so that onions and garlic ginger paste gets mixed well with the prawns. As you begin to fry, the prawns ooze water. Keep the lid and let them simmer for 10 minutes.
Water gets evaporated and a thick gravy is formed. If you want the curry to be completely dry, fry for some more time stirring well.

Put off the heat and sprinkle the powdered spices ( ready-made masala ) on the curry and stir once.

Garnish with fresh coriander if desired.

Serves for 4 to 5 persons in steamed rice or roti.

There are umpteen ways of adding colour and spice to the same curry by adding something that gives a distinct taste. Depending on the added ingredient, adjust salt and chilly powder. Remember that the added ingredient should never be more than half of the prawns volume for best results.

Tomato prawns:
After the garlic and ginger paste is fried along with onions, add 4 medium sized tomatoes cut into pieces and let them simmer in their own juices for a few minutes before prawns are added. Add the juice of a lemon to the curry just before masala is added. Tastes better in a gravy curry.

Cucumber prawns:
Chop a cucumber to fine pieces, add to the saucepan when prawns begin to simmer and let them cook along with prawns. It turns into a fine gravy and tastes excellent. Those who want to retain the taste of cucumber can cut it to ¼ inch pieces and follow the same process. Tastes better in a gravy curry.
Snakegourd prawns:
Scrape off the thin outer filmy layer of the snake gourd with the blunt edge of a knife or a steel spoon. Slit it vertically and remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut into small pieces. Boil the pieces in a little bit of water ( pieces themselves ooze lot of water ) for five minutes. Put the pieces in a thin cloth and squeeze hard once or twice to squish out the juice. If the juice is not squished out, curry might have pungent odour but some like the odour. Add to the curry when prawns begin to simmer. Tastes better in a gravy curry.
Coconut prawns:
Grate half a medium sized coconut. Add when prawns begin to simmer. Fry the thick gravy till it is dry. Grated coconut can also be added after the gravy is fried to near dryness. Fry for a couple of more minutes. Tastes better in a fry curry.
If you want the coconut taste but wants gravy too, then put the grated coconut in a mixie and strain the coconut milk. When prawns begin to simmer, coconut milk can be added. Once the gravy becomes thick, curry is ready.

Chilly prawns:
Add 6 to 8 sliced green chillies after the curry is fried. Continue frying for a couple of minutes till the pungent smell of the chillies reaches you. Tastes better as a dry snack. It will be hot.

You can make a mixed prawn curry with ay vegetable you like.


Rajesh Kumar said...

Awesome description.

Amit said...

Hi Ramana, this is Amit. I am a non-veg but never tasted prawns but after reading your recipe, i am sure i m going to try it in my kitchen in coming weekend. you have given full details of the recipe in simple words. These prawn recipes look ssso delicious that my mouth watering. Great!!! I lil\ke the recipe a lot.

Amit said...

Hi Ramana, this is Anoosha. I am a non-veg but never tasted prawns but after reading your recipe, i am sure i m going to try it in my kitchen in coming weekend. you have given full details of the recipe in simple words. These prawn recipes look ssso delicious that my mouth watering. Great!!! I lil\ke the recipe a lot.

Ramana said...

Thanks Amit and Anoosha. i will soon blog on prawn pickle.


kavita said...

Actually, i am a book lover. I was looking for reveiews on books. So, thats how i came to see your blogs for books, then i find the receipes. Then, I went through your recipes, they are just awesome. I have never tried hands on cooking prawn but now after reading your recipes, i think its not a tough task to make a delicious prawn curry. I will try it and give my feedback to you. i definitely look forward to some new recipes on your blog. keep writing so that net surfers can get something new to find out. Great job

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