Everyone has atleast one meal that takes them right back to their childhood. For me its this Goan prawn curry. This curry with some rice, for me, is the ultimate soul food. And I must say, my mother makes the best prawn curry in the world. Atleast I think so. This is her prawn curry recipe that I’m sharing with you today.
For a recipe like this, fresh prawns are the best. Check out my video on how to clean and de-vein prawns here. I recommend using small to medium sized prawns for the curry. Save your larger prawns (like your king prawns and tiger prawns) to crumb fry or grill.
Now, to take this prawn curry to the next level, add some okra to the curry. Don’t kick it till you try it. It is really something else. I have shared a version of that curry here. This is just how my family makes this curry. And almost every Goan family has their own version of it.
This prawn curry is best served pipping hot with some boiled rice, Goan red rice is even better, if you can get your hands on some. This also goes down a real treat with some crusty bread.
The concept of Kalchi Kodi
While all this is quite common, something you may have not come across before is the concept of “kalchi Kodi” which simply translates to “yesterdays curry”. This is literally what it is. Any leftovers are reheated the next morning. This makes the curry really thick and it is then enjoyed with either chapatis or bread for breakfast. For me this curry for breakfast is a little too savoury. So instead, we just have any leftovers for lunch the next day.
Onto the recipe.
Goan Prawn CurryCourse: MainsDifficulty: Easy
A delectable coconut based curry, slightly tart, perfectly spiced and loaded with succulent prawns, this Goan Prawn curry is an absolute winner.
1/2 kg prawns, peeled and deveined
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 chillies, slit in half
1 piece of amsol (dried mango)
3-4 pieces of kokum
A walnut sized ball of tamarind
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt, to taste
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vinegar, optional
- For the Masala (spice paste) –
1/2 cup grated coconut
6 Kashmiri chillies
2 large cloves garlic
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp black pepper corns
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- Sprinkle salt, squeeze some lemon juice and drizzle the vinegar over the prawns and set aside
- Pour a little warm water over the tamarind and set aside (I use about 1/4 cup of water).
- Grind all the ingredients for the masala to a fine paste, using a little water as needed.
- Heat some oil in a pot. Saute the onions till they have softened and turn translucent.
- Add the masala and let it saute for a few minutes.
- Add some water to thin out your masala and get it to the consistency you like. Remember the curry will thicken as it cooks. So add a touch more water. Add the chillies and bring it to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the amsol and the kokum and let the curry simmer for 6-8 minutes. Halfway through, stir the curry through and add water to adjust the consistency, if needed.
- When the curry is almost ready, add the prawns. Add some of the tamarind extract and cook for another 2 minutes or till the prawns are just cooked. Don’t overcook the prawns.
- Check for seasoning and adjust as required.
Serve hot with rice.
Mash the tamarind up and discard any pieces of fibre or shell and add some of the tamarind paste, to taste.
So, a while ago, when I saw this episode of Poh & Co, where Poh (one of my favorite TV chefs) whipped up a Nonya (a type of Malaysian) Chicken Curry, both, my husband and I knew we had to try the recipe out. The recipe does call for a few specialty ingredients, but the first time I made this curry, I didn’t have them and so I left them out. Even then the curry was a great one. But I knew I wanted to try the recipe with all of the ingredients. So I picked up the Pandan leaves and the Shrimp Belachan at a local Asian grocery store and made the curry again. This time with all the ingredients. The result was a mind-blowing curry. Now I don’t often refer to a curry as mind-blowing. A cake, maybe, but never a curry. But this curry is all that, and then some. It is one of my favorite chicken curries. And today I’m going to show you how I make mine. I have altered the method a tiny bit, to make the recipe more convenient and I hope you try this out the next time you want to make a chicken curry.
If you’ve never made a curry before, don’t let the idea scare you. It is easier than you think. I’ve put together a video to walk you through the process.
Let’s move on the the detailed recipe for this Nonya Chicken Curry.
Nonya Chicken Curry
Recipe from: Poh Ling Yeow
3 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp Fennel seeds
15 dried red chillies
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic
20g toasted Belachan
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
8-10 curry leaves
2 tbsp oil (I use olive oil for all my cooking. You can use whatever oil you normally cook with.)
1 star anise
1 inch cinnamon
1 1/2 kilo chicken pieces
2 potatoes, cut into large cubes
2 birdseye chillies, slit lengthways
1 can coconut cream (400 ml can)
2 pandan leaves
Take the skin off the chicken, cut into pieces, trim the fat off and set aside.
Deseed the dried chillies and soak them in hot water till they’ve rehydrated and softened.
In a dry pan, on medium heat, roast the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds till fragrant. Take them off the pan and set aside to cool.
Using a blender or food processor (you can also use a mortar and pestle if you dont have one), grind the roasted coriander-fennel-cumin seeds mix, drained red chillies, onion, garlic, belachan and turmeric to a fine paste, adding a little water as needed.
Heat oil in a large pot / pan over medium heat. Add the star anise, cinnamon and cloves and let them fry till fragrant about 20-30 seconds.
Add the spice paste (rempah) to the pan and saute for 6-8 minutes till the sauce is very fragrant.
Tear the pandan leaves into 3 strips lengthways and knot them together. Add the pandan and curry leaves to the spice mix.
Add the chicken to the pan and stir to coat with the spice paste. Saute for 1-2 minutes or till the chicken pieces start to look opaque.
Add the coconut cream and stir well.
Add the potatoes, salt and sugar. Add a little water to thin down the sauce a little to reach the desired consistency. Let it come to a boil.
Add the slit birdseye chillies, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer till tender. Check after 5-7 minutes, add more water if needed, stir to make sure the curry doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pot and continue cooking till the chicken and potatoes are cooked.
Serve hot with rice. I tried to serve it up like a Nasi Lemak, but with plain rice instead of coconut rice. I added some fried baby anchovies, peanuts, boiled egg and some cucumber slices.
This curry also goes really well with roti or even bread. If you can get on hands on some Roti Canai, even better.