Friday, June 1, 2012

Fish Fridays: Prawn in butter tomato sauce - Indian Prawn Curry



Keeping with the theme of comfort food, this week I cooked another of Madhur Jaffrey’s curries from her cookbook Simple Indian Cookery. Jaffrey explains that the sauce can be made ahead of time but the stir-frying of prawns and other ingredients must be done immediately before serving – a perfect dish when entertaining!

I suggest that you read through the ingredients list carefully and make sure that you have the correct herbs and spices. A great source of spices, both online and in store, can be found at Herbie’s Spices. This is where I buy all my speciality spices because they have such a massive variety, they always have what I need or want and the staff are super helpful and polite. Visit Herbie's Spices online or their store at 745 Darling St Rozelle NSW for more information.

Unless you have a fantastic local supermarket or speciality grocery store, don’t rely on purchasing some of the speciality spices from Coles and/or Woolworths. This is one major reason why Indian cooking needs to be planned out in advance, missing out on some of the key spices can completely change the flavour of the dish.

Ingredients:
For the Sauce
1 Tbsp Tomato puree
¾ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Sugar
1 tsp Garam Masala*
½ tsp Ground Cumin
½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
200ml Single (Pouring) cream
4 Tbsp Water

For the Stir-fry
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
25g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 Tbsp Shallots, finely chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
550g medium sized raw Green Prawns, shelled, deveined, washed and patted dry
¼ tsp Ground Tumeric
1 tsp Ground Coriander
¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp Salt

* Garam Masala literally means a mix of spices, and adds flavour to a range of Indian dishes


Herbie's Spices




Breville Rice Cooker
 First step for me was to put my steamed rice on, when I made the Beef Madras here I had all the plans in the world to put my rice on when the beef was simmering away for over an hour, but I completely forgot. I use a Breville Rice Cooker for simplicity and ease. My rice can cook without hassle while I get the rest of my meal ready. It’s the perfect solution for busy people.

My prawns (de-tailed on the left, tailed on the right)
Depending on how much time you have, you may not want to peel and devein 550g of green prawns. I certainly didn’t so I purchased my prawns already shelled and deveined, with the tails on. If you prefer, you can de-tail the prawns as well but it looks a lot prettier if you keep them on, or in my case, I kept some prawns with tails and the majority without. Another tip – get all your ingredients measured out and readily available as the stir-fry part of this recipe moves very quickly.


Sauce ingredients
Moving on to the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk with a hand whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until required. This is why this dish is the prefect entertaining or mid week choice. You can prepare the sauce ahead of time and then there is one less step when you’re in a hurry. As I was making everything in the one night, I didn’t cover or refrigerate my sauce because I didn’t want it to be too cold before it went back in the pan.


Completed sauce

Stir-fry ingredients
For the stir-fry you will understand what I said earlier about having all the ingredients ready and waiting. Heat a medium sized saucepan over high heat until hot and add the butter and olive oil. Once melted, add the cumin seeds and cook for 10 seconds, or until slightly fragrant. Toss in the finely chopped garlic and shallots and cook, stirring regularly to avoid over browning.

Garlic, Shallots & Cumin Seeds
When lightly browned, add the tumeric, coriander, cayenne pepper, salt and prawns. Stir and fry until the prawns are almost cooked. Pour in the sauce and cook until the prawns are opaque and the sauce is heated through. I tossed my sauce in before my prawns were entirely cooked so I didn’t over cook them*. There is nothing worse than an overcooked, chewy prawn. By now the rice should ready, or close it to. Serve your prawn curry immediately. Serves between 4 and 5 people.


Pouring in the sauce
I tossed my sauce in before my prawns were entirely cooked so I didn’t over cook them*. There is nothing worse than an overcooked, chewy prawn. By now the rice should ready, or close it to.

Heating the sauce
Serve your prawn curry immediately. Serves between 4 and 5 people. 
 
The completed meal
A few things to note:
Your sauce will not thicken up like some other Indian curry sauces. It is actually more on the runny side. Also, for those not accustomed to spicy food, for me, it was very spicy, but still delicious, so if you’re feeding your children with this one, just be aware of the spice factor (to combat this you could add less cayenne pepper).

Do you have a favourite curry you love to cook or eat? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

The completed meal

* For information about prawns including species, cooking, storage and buying tips visit Sydney Fish Markets 


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