Category Archives: Seafood

Prawn Curry with Fresh Coconut

Prawn Curry with Fresh Coconut
Prawn Curry with Fresh Coconut

In continuation of this months Goan Special seafood curry, I am posting my Prawn Curry recipe that uses fresh coconut.

For a seafood lover, the local fish market here is a delight, with an array of local and from abroad varieties of all types of seafood available for purchase in a single market. The display is so clean with all different fishes stacked neatly in the rows of shops/stalls that are numbered. The visit is always mind-boggling, difficult  to decide on what variety to purchase, and most visits end up in huge amount of seafood purchases. The family has no complains as long as they are getting to eat different dishes with interesting recipes.

For this recipe I always use either the small or big-sized prawns. The size of the prawns decides the ingredients added to the gravy, hence the preference. The small prawns are more sweetish in taste, hence the choice. It is a simple gravy, addition of just few ingredients makes it so delicious, a perfect blend of all the different flavors.The prawns and fresh coconut add the sweet taste, the Kokum adds the sour taste to the dish, and the chilies add the spice.

INGREDIENTS:

Small Prawns: 500 Gm

Fresh Coconut: 1/2 coconut (1 Katori grated coconut)

Onion: 1 Small

Red Kashmiri Chili: 3-4

Kokum: 3 pieces

Garlic: 4-5 cloves

Cumin: 1 Tsp

Red Chili Powder: 2 Tsp

Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp

Garam Masala: 1 Tsp

Salt: To taste.

Cooking Oil: 2 Tbsp

Ingredients for Prawn Curry with Fresh Coconut
Ingredients for Prawn Curry with Fresh Coconut

METHOD:

Soak the Kokum and Kashmiri red chilies in hot water for 10 min.

Wash, clean, peel and devein the prawns. Apply pinch of turmeric and salt to the clean and towel dried prawns and keep them in the fridge.

Kokum and Red Chilli soaked in water.
Kokum and Red Chilli soaked in water.

Grind the soaked chilies, fresh coconut, onion, garlic, cumin to a fine paste, add water if required to get a fine paste of the masala.

Heat a kadai or pan on the gas stove and add the cooking oil. Then add the paste of the masala and fry till it is cooked. The add the turmeric, red chili powder, and salt and cook till the oil is seen at the edge of the kadai.

Fry the masala till the oil is seen on the edges and then add the prawns to the pan.
Fry the masala till the oil is seen on the edges and then add the prawns to the pan.

Add the prawns and mix with the masala and cook with a lid covering the pan for 5-7 minutes. Then add the soaked Kokum and little water, the quantity added depends on the thickness of the gravy that is desired. Half a glass water would be sufficient to get a thick gravy. Use your judgment to add the required amount of water.

If more water is added to the masala then let the water in gravy boil so the masala gets mixed properly and the gravy consistency is not too thin. Do not keep the gravy boiling on the stove for too long as the prawns tend to become hard and rubbery if cooked for long.

Sprinkle the Garam masala on the gravy and then empty the contents in a serving bowl. Garnish with finely chopped green coriander.

Serving Options: The Prawn Curry can be served with roti/fulkas, hot steamed white rice, or Malvani vade.

Prawn Curry with Fresh Coconut served with hot fulkas/roti and Kokum Kadi and roasted papad, with helpings of steamed rice, my Malvani special weekend Lunch menu.
Prawn Curry with Fresh Coconut served with hot fulkas/roti and Kokum Kadi and roasted papad, with helpings of steamed rice, my Malvani special weekend Lunch menu.

Ashu’s Malvani Special Weekend Lunch menu, the picture above, also includes fried fish either Surmai (click for-Kingfish Fry) or any other variety.

Click here for finding out how to roll roasted papad.

Click here for other prawn recipe on this blog.

I always enjoy meals that include this Prawn curry, sharing here gives me the opportunity to give you all the same experience. Happy cooking and enjoying your hand cooked meals, friends.

Wishing you all a pleasant day.

ashu.

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Prawn Balchao, a spicy Goan Temptation

Monsoon in India bring forth pictures of a Goan trip to the mind. The vacation that is reminiscent of fresh salty sea breeze that awaken the nostrils the moment your foot touches this mesmerizing place. The tall, lean swaying coconut trees lining the roads, lush greenery, with the heavy monsoon rains transforming the landscape and the freshly grilled seafood on your platter, what more could a foodie ask? It definitely is the place to be in for a relaxing time away from the bustling cities, and if you have never visited than it is high time you include that in your bucket list. The other attraction that I simply love about the place is the bikes and two wheelers that one can rent out and zoom off on the roads with no set destination in mind, just soaking in the view of the tall coconut trees, rice fields on both sides of the road, farm workers busy in their fields, just breathing the fresh air and being lost in the moment.

The small villages that one can stop over while zooming off on the road trip gives us an exposure to experience the local life at close quarters. The friendly Goan people, the fishing folks, the smartly dressed fisherwoman selling the fresh catch at the local markets, the down-to-earth and merrier nature of the local life can be best experienced thus, not to forget the music. The local dressing of these fisher woman with fresh flowers adorning the neatly done hair leaves us with awe, the whole attire including the beautiful gold jewellery. The numerous different beaches lining the Goan sea-coast are worth the visit. I have visited this wonderful land only twice in the span of a decade, but both the trips were very dear and have given me the opportunity to taste some authentic Goan style cooking that have become part of my cooking style. Anything new is always fascinating and worth trying out. The Goan Kokum (Garcinia Indica, the English name as per Wikipedia) is a must have in my kitchen cabinet/fridge, cooking seafood becomes incomplete without addition of this ingredient. Fresh coconut is another which I cannot do without for cooking Prawns or Crabs. These two ingredients brings out the best and compliments the sweetish delicate flesh of these food variety.

The best food memory of my first Goan visit was of the food eaten at my husbands uncle’s house, folks who are dear to me. Driving through the Goan roads on a motorbike, our unforgettable journey almost a decade back, we had stopped for lunch at Martin’s Corner, a famous restaurant. Going over the menu card I had ordered a dish named Prawn Balchao, I had never heard nor tasted this dish ever before. It was such a fiery spicy gravy that I could not enjoy it even though I loved the taste. I can never forget that lunch meal. The dish got registered in my mind from that moment, and I always carried the thought of making it someday. Fast forward to end of last month, me and my girlfriends visited a restaurant here and the menu card listed this dish and this was the second time I ate this fiery prawn dish, though this time requested the chef for a little mild preparation. And finally the day dawned and my thought of preparing this was realised  with the first attempt in my kitchen this week. I do wish that every prawn lover should give this dish at least one attempt to make and taste this. Let the dish tickle your taste buds at least once!!😂

INGREDIENTS:

Prawns: 600 gms (cleaned, deveined)

Onion: 2 Big (250-300 gm)

Kashmiri Red Chillies: 10-12 (Add couple more if you like it very hot and spicy)

Ginger: 2” piece

Garlic: 6 cloves

Cumin: 2 Tsp

Green Chillies: 3

Curry Leaves: few springs

Cooking Oil: 75 ml (a more would also do, depends on preference)

Vinegar: 1 &1/2 Tbsp

Turmeric: 1 Tsp

Salt: To taste.

METHOD:

Soak the red Kashmiri chillies in hot water for 10-15 min. This makes them soft and hence easy to grind.

Wash, clean, peel and devein the prawns.

Grind the red and green chillies with ginger, garlic and cumin in a grinder to get a fine paste. Use vinegar or little water if required to get the fine paste.This is our red masala that gives the fiery red colour to the dish. The number of red chillies can be increased if one prefers a very hot gravy.

Grind together soaked red chillies, ginger, garlic, cumin.
Grind together soaked red chillies, ginger, garlic, cumin.
The red chilli paste
The red chilli paste

Chop the onions very finely. Slit the green chillies thin. Finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Cut fine Julienne of a 1/2” ginger piece.

Heat a Kadai on the gas stove and add cooking oil to it. Add the green chillies, ginger, garlic, curry leaves to it. Then add the finely chopped onions and sauté on slow flame till the onions are golden brown in colour and nicely done.

Fry the ginger, garlic, curry leaves, onion in the oil.
Fry the ginger, garlic, curry leaves, onion in the oil.

While the onions are getting done, heat a frying pan with little oil and saute the prawns for couple of minutes till they turn reddish orange in colour and then remove in a plate.

Sauté the prawns till they change colour
Sauté the prawns till they change colour

Then add the red chilli paste, salt and turmeric to the onions and let the masala cook evenly till the sides leave oil.

Onion and red chilli masala
Onion and red chilli masala

Then add the lightly sautéed prawns to this gravy and let it simmer for 10-15 min so the prawns are evenly coated with the gravy.

Then add 1 Tbsp of vinegar to the gravy, mix and cook for another 5 min on slow flame and then remove from the stove into a serving bowl and garnish with finely chopped green chillies and fresh green coriander.

SERVING OPTIONS: This dish can be served with a bowl of steaming white rice and/or choicest Indian breads that you make at home. In my house we eat with piping hot fulkas (a type of Indian flat bread, recipe soon on the blog), and not to forget glasses of water for me😉!

Prawn Balchao from ashu's
Prawn Balchao from ashu’s

Note: This is the recipe I tried making that best resembled to what I had tasted last month in the restaurant.

Trust you all enjoyed going through the post as much as I enjoyed sharing my experience here. Keeping working out and enjoy all foods that tickle your taste buds. Happy Cooking.

ashu.

Shrimps Stir Fry In Schezwan Sauce

Hello to my dear friends, family, and all the readers of this post. Starting this month’s blog post using Shrimps as the main ingredient of the dish, a favourite food at my place. Most of the non-vegetarian eaters would agree with me that shrimps are one of the very tasty seafood varieties. They are smaller in size and taste sweet and this stir fry recipe brings out the best of the sweetness of the shrimps and fiery taste of the chillies in the sauce. My household, as well as many others in my family have a typical cooking style for seafood, mine is mostly influenced by the curry that I have grown-up eating since childhood. After marriage, the time when I started cooking, I have developed a favouritism to the Goanese style of making seafood curry, something that is relished a lot with plain, hot steamed rice.

Different culinary experiences have influenced change in the choices and taste buds of the family, something that I find is good but sometimes equally challenging, especially on days when this chef has no mood of cooking. Yes friends, you have read it correct, I too have moments when I shut down my kitchen as the chef in me wants a break 😉. But with the abundance of variety of junk food around to woo and tempt, and spoil the eating habits of the young generation, the mother in me has to dish out dishes that can appeal to the kids and make them come back for more. My cooking is my way of ensuring to the young minds that home cooked food can be innovative, appealing, restaurant style and at the same time tasty too!

This weekend was a seafood special in my kitchen, so Thursday evening I was at the Fish Market buying the choicest of fish from the fish vendor, I have always done my seafood purchasing from this one person since living in this place. The best part of buying from the same vendor is that he knows what type of fish we buy and always gives the best stock, and as you would all agree that fresh food always tastes yum. As I was driving home with my load of the three varieties of seafood I was making plans to cook something different from the shrimps. My kids are fond of shrimp fritters that I make, my modified version of the recipe I ate at my Aunt’s house first time. I had planned to make and it would have been posted here now, but something else got cooked and now that fritter recipe would be shared as a future post. (Do keep visiting the blog for the other recipes mentioned that would be posted sometime soon)

This easy stir fry recipe was super hit with my Jr. who could not stop coming back for more of it. It could be served as an appetizer or side dish with noodles, or enjoyed as the main dish of the meal like my Jr. did.

SHRIMPS STIR FRY IN SCHEZWAN SAUCE

IMG_6059

INGREDIENTS:

Shrimps: 400 g

Onion: 1 Medium

Bell Pepper: 1 nu.

Ching’s secret Schezwan Sauce: 1 Tbsp IMG_6111

Oil: 1 Tbsp

Salt: To taste.

METHOD:

  1. Peel, devein, and wash the shrimps clean. Pat them dry and keep in the refrigerator till we prepare other vegetables.
  2. Slice the onion and bell pepper.
  3. Heat the cooking oil of choice, I used extra virgin Olive oil. Add the sliced onion and bell pepper and sauté. Then add the shrimps. Sprinkle salt as per taste.
  4. Add the Ching’s secret stir fry Schezwan sauce to the pan and toss all the ingredients so that it gets evenly coated. Cook for a couple of minutes keeping the pan on high flame so that the sauce is coated well and the shrimps look cooked and bit grilled.IMG_6057
  5. Remove the pan from fire and empty the contents on to a serving plate and serve hot with a tangy spiced salad using chat masala or ketchup if you prefer a more sweeter taste.

The sauce added can be adjusted to ones preference depending on the chilli taste required in the dish. The shrimps or prawns do not require long cooking as this makes the flesh tough and that alters the taste and eating experience. Stir frying of food  by mixing it with spices, or herbs, or sauces of choice adds a different dimension to the same old regular ingredient. Adding vegetables to the meat adds the crunch in the bite and also one could play around with varied tastes using different vegetables. Adding the onion and bell pepper gives out a more sweeter taste to the sweet shrimps and the chillies in the sauce make it hot at the same time.

Happy cooking and tasting this simple, yet satiating recipe. See you all soon with a new post.