Today’s Cooking Around the World recipe is from Goa, India
Avalon Inn‘s Goan Prawn Curry
A gem in India’s sparkling crown of fish and seafood dishes, this coconut-enriched curry is an Indo-Portuguese specialty that will thrill Travel Belles with its velvety texture and tantalizing flavor.
This lip-smacking recipe comes from the village kitchens of Goa where the coastline is scalloped in an endless succession of pearly beaches dotted with swaying coconut palms. Yielding everything from timber to twine, these versatile trees also produce a cooking staple whose milk is fattened by an eight-month-long caress of the sun.
At Goan markets, large or small, the fish-monger’s cry advertising the daily catch is never far. Arranged in neat arcs on wooden boards, very fresh prawns of different colors and sizes are displayed for sale. The glistening opaque Doi, or “white” variety, is a sought-after favorite. Experiment with your local seafood market to find yours.
When it comes to feasts, of which there are many in Goa, prawn curry is often found sitting in splendor on the table. But a day need not be auspicious to enjoy this classic, satisfying dish in which the sweetness of coconut milk is pleasantly balanced by the tang of tamarind and a spicy flicker of red chilies.
Prawn curry is traditionally eaten with rice but may also be served with Indian flatbread. I love it most that way.
Goan Prawn Curry
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 2 medium red onions, 1 chopped fine, 1 diced
- 2 plum tomatoes, 1 chopped fine, 1 diced
- 1 lime-sized ball of dried tamarind
- 6 dried mango pieces
- 6 dried binna pieces (binna resembles a sour plum)
Ingredients for masala
- 1 fresh garlic, peeled
- 5 dried red Kashmiri chilies
- 1 tbsp tumeric powder
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 fresh coconut, grated
Put the grated coconut into a blender, add 3 cups of water and grind on medium setting for 20 seconds. Transfer the coconut paste to a strainer and squeeze the paste, collecting the thick milk in a bowl. Put the coconut back into the blender, add 2 cups of water and grind again for 20 seconds. Strain and collect the thinner juice in a separate bowl.
Put the masala ingredients into the blender along with 1 diced red onion, 1 diced tomato and most of the thinner juice. Grind on smoothie setting for 3 minutes.
Dissolve the ball of dried tamarind in the remaining coconut juice and soak. After 5 minutes, strain to remove the husks and pits.
Heat 3 tbsp of cooking oil in a deep pot, add the chopped onion and stir. After 2 minutes, add the chopped tomato. Add the tamarind-coconut juice and the mango and binna pieces, and stir briefly. Then add the masala mixture from the blender and the thick coconut milk to the pot. Add 1 tsp of salt or to taste.
Cover the pot three-quarters of the way with a lid and bring the curry to a boil.
Add fresh prawns (cleaned and lightly salted) and leave them to cook in the simmering curry for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, close the lid all the way and allow the curry to continue simmering.
Serve with steamed white rice and your choice of salad, vegetable, and chutney or pickle.
Photo © Avalon Inn
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