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.
Kismur is a Goan prawn and coconut salad of sorts. It’s not your typical salad with dressing, but its more like a stir fry that is served at room temperature. And I use the term stir fry very loosely here as the ingredients are all sauteed before tossing together. In Goa, sun dried fish is very commonly found and used. In the summer, when fresh fish is abundant, they are prepped, salted and sun dried and this fish can then be stored for months at room temperature. You can find big mounds of dried fish and prawns at any Goan market. This dried fish is best purchased in the summer when everything is nice and dry. The fish is then stored for use during the monsoon, when fresh fish is not easily available. A lot of Goan homes serve this dried fish (also called salt fish because of the way it is cured) along with a Sorak (plain Goan curry) or a dal or a vegetable curry as a condiment. You can’t really eat as much of the salt fish as you would fresh fish but it makes for a very tasty accompaniment to a vegetarian meal. Dried prawns on the other hand, are used to make warm chilly fries / stir fries, salads and this Kismur. Now that I’ve found good dried prawns, I see a chilly fry coming up in the near future.
But today, I’m going to share with you a quick and simple version of Kismur. It is ridiculously simple to make and if you’re anything like me, you will absolutely love it. Please note, that since this is almost like a salad, the quantities listed below are approximates of what I used.
Goan Dried Prawn Kismur
1/3 cup dried prawns
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated coconut
1 red / green chilly, split in quarters lengthwise
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt, to taste
Lemon wedges, to serve
Wash the prawns under cold running water and drain.
Dry roast them on a pan till crispy again, stirring frequently, so that it doesn’t burn.
Tip the prawns onto a plate and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat in a pan.
Add the chopped onion and saute for a minute or so till the onions have only slightly warmed through.
Add the roasted prawns and stir.
Now add the chilly, coconut, turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt. Mix well.
Place into a serving bowl and serve with some wedges of lime for those who might want to squeeze some lime over.
Serve at room temperature with some steaming hot rice and curry. (Fish curry recipe to follow. Watch this space.)
Prawn Chilly Fry with Coriander Speckled Rice
For the Rice –
1 cup basmati rice
1-2 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
1-2 tbsp. Ghee or clarified butter
Salt, to taste
A bunch of fresh coriander leaves, chopped (This will be used while assembling the meal.)
Heat the ghee in a vessel and add the whole spices.
When the ghee had released the aroma of the spices, add the washed rice. Stir gently just until the rice is coated with the ghee.
Add 2 cups of water, salt to taste and stir a little. Make sure you don’t stir it too much as the grains of rice will breakdown.
Cover and bring to a boil on medium heat. On low heat cook till all the water has been absorbed. Make sure you don’t stir the rice during the cooking process.
Once all the water has been absorbed, use a fork and loosen the grains of rice and make sure that all the water has evaporated. Keep covered.
For the Prawn Chilly Fry –
250 gms. fresh prawns, shelled and de-veined
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 curry leaves
1 large tomato, chopped
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 green chillies, cut into 1/2″ pieces (Please adjust this to taste. We like our food spicy.)
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
3/4 tsp. red chilly powder
Salt, to taste
A dash of lime juice
2-3 tbsp. fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Marinade the prawns with a little salt and a dash of lime juice and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add the curry leaves and when they release their flavor, add the onions and green chilly. Saute till the onions are light golden brown.
Add the turmeric powder and chilly powder. Stir well.
Once its mixed well, add the tomato and stir well.
When the ingredients in the pan have been sauteed well and you see the oil starting to separate, add the prawns and cook on medium heat. Still well and cook uncovered till the prawns are done.
Sprinkle the chopped coriander leaves and stir till combined.
To Assemble –
Layer about half the rice on the serving platter on in individual plates.
Spoon the prawn chilly fry over it.
Add another layer of the remaining rice.
Sprinkle generously with the chopped coriander leaves. Don’t be shy while topping the rice with coriander leaves. Its a generous sprinkling of the coriander leaves that brings the elements of this dish together and makes it one finger-licking meal.
This recipe is linked to –
Fun with Food Friday
Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent