Goan Prawn Curry

Everyone has atleast one meal that takes them right back to their childhood. For me its this 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.

Goan Prawn Curry


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
For the masala – 
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. 

Enjoy!

Goan Prawn Curry with Okra

Like some of you already know, my mother’s family originally is from Goa. Growing up, we spent almost every summer in our ancestral home in Goa. It was a sprawling old Portuguese styled house with large grounds surrounding it. In our garden grew a variety of mango trees. We also had a great big coconut tree. Our garden also housed some custard apple, pomegranate, chickoos / Sapota, jackfruit, cashews, guavas, bananas and so much more. Some of my fondest memories have got to be me tagging along with my aunt harvesting all the lovely organic produce right through our holidays and enjoying all the yummy food my mum and aunt would whip up for us.

This prawn curry made a regular appearance on the table along with some Goan red rice and whatever vegetable was in season. Our Goa house had 2 kitchens, one was a traditional old wood fired one and the other was a modern one with a gas stove-top. However, almost all the cooking was done in earthenware pots in the old kitchen. While everything took a lot longer to cook, the taste was unbeatable. 
I would give anything to experience something like that again. While that might still be a pipe dream, for now, I just make do replicating some of the good old recipes. This prawn curry is a coconut based curry, known for its vibrant orange color and its spicy and tangy flavors. I hope you try it out and enjoy it as much as we do. 
Goan Prawn Curry with Okra

500g prawns, shelled, de-veined and washed a couple of times
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 chillies, split lengthwise
A couple of pieces of Kokum / Aamsol (dried souring agents)
6-8 okra pods, trim off the stalk and cut into approx. 1 inch pieces
Salt, to taste
1-2 tbsp oil
A small ball of tamarind (about half a walnut in size)
For the masala / spice paste – 
1/2 cup grated coconut
6 Kashmiri chillies
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp black pepper corns
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
Sprinkle a little salt on the prepped prawns and set aside. 
Soak the tamarind in a little warm water in a small bowl and set aside. 
Grind all the ingredients for the masala into a fine paste using a little water, as needed
Heat the oil in a large vessel. 
Add the onions and saute till they soften. Add the kokum / aamsol.
Add the ground masala / spice paste to the pan and let it fry for a couple of minutes. 
Add a cup of water to the mixer and swirl around to pick up any of the remaining spice mix and add to the pan. Add more water as needed to achieve the desired consistency.
Add the chillies and bring to a boil. Season lightly with a little salt (The prawns also have some salt on them so add salt accordingly).  Lower the heat to a simmer and add the okra. 
Cook gently till the okra is almost cooked. Check for seasoning.

Mash the tamarind up and discard any pieces of fibre or shell and add some of the tamarind paste, to taste. 

Add the prawns. Continue cooking just till the prawns have cooked through. (This usually just takes a couple of minutes depending on the size of the prawns.) Do not overcook the prawns. 
Check for seasoning and adjust, if needed. 
Serve hot.

Goan Dried Prawn Kismur – A Goan dried prawn salad

Guys, I finally got down to trying this recipe out myself. I have wanted to make Kismur (pronounced Kis – moor) for months. The only thing holding me back was the availability of dried prawns in Sydney. Most (if not all) Indian stores I’ve been to, don’t stock dried prawns and fish. I had once bought a packet from a Chinese store and I wasn’t too happy with it. I was researching Sri Lankan cuisine a few days ago and I read that they use dried prawns too. So yesterday I popped into my local Sri Lankan grocery store, and lo and behold, sitting proud on its shelves were so many varieties of dried fish and prawns. I grabbed a bag and knew exactly what I was going to try with it.

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.)

Enjoy!!!

Prawn Pulao

One whiff of this prawn pulao takes me back years, or is it a couple of decades back to when I was growing up (yikes, I feel old now). My mum used to make this pulao for us. I grew up in a house of prawn lovers. Yes, you heard that right. Mum has a few go to recipes for prawns – this Prawn Chilly fry with Coriander speckled rice (my absolute favorite), a Goan prawn curry (I still cannot get mine to taste like hers so I will get her to make me some for the blog) and this prawn pulao.

This prawn pulao is pretty amazing. It is a meal in itself served with a nice, light, fresh salad alongside. It comes together fast and easy and if you love prawns like us, you’ll be glad to have this recipe to fall back on. Throw in a few drinks and you could make this to serve a crowd too. The recipe below makes 2 generous portions if served as a meal. If you intend making a larger quantity, you just need to keep in mind the rice to water ratio. As long as you use 1 portion of rice to 2 portions of water, you’ll be fine. All the other ingredients can be multiplied and adjusted to suit your taste. As long as the rice and water ratio is right, you will be left with a perfect rice dish. It wont be mushy, the grains will be whole, the rice will be fluffy and all will be well.
Prawn Pulao
Serves 2
For the prawns:
10-12 medium to large prawns, shelled and deveined (5-6 per person) (I used the local Aussie Banana Prawns, but you could use King Prawns or any other type you can get your hands on)
Salt, to taste
Lime / lemon juice to taste
A pinch of turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1 tbsp olive oil
For the rice:
2/3 cups Basmati rice
5 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 cardamom pods
5 pepper corns
2 pieces of cinnamon, about an inch each 
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 green / red chilly, finely sliced (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, to taste
1 1/3 cup water
1-1 1/2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves and stems, finely chopped, to garnish
Marinade the prawns with some salt, a little lime juice, turmeric and chilly powder and keep it aside for 15-30 minutes.
Wash the rice and drain the water. You will need to do this about 2-3 times, till the water runs clear. 
Place a tablespoon of oil in a frying and and when it is hot, carefully place the prawns in the pan without over crowding the pan. Fry the prawns till they turn opaque with a little char and flip them over and let them char on the other side too. This takes just a couple of minutes, don’t leave them unattended. You just want some color on the outside. They don’t need to cook all the way because they will continue to cook with the rice. Take the prawns out of the pan and keep aside.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the pot that you want to cook the rice in. Add the cloves, bay leaves, cardamom pods, pepper corns and cinnamon. In a few seconds, the spices will smell fragrant. Add the onions to the pot.
Saute the onions till they have softened. 
Add the ginger garlic paste and let it cook of for a minute. 
Add the turmeric powder and the sliced chilly and stir it up.
Add the tomato and stir well. 
Drain the rice and run some fresh cold water through and drain it again. 
Add the rice and the fried prawns to the pot and stir gently till the rice and prawns are coated with the spices. Season with some salt and add the water.
Stir a little and check the seasoning. I taste a little of the stock and see if more salt is needed.
When the water comes to a boil, cover the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Let it cook till all the water is absorbed. As soon as all the water is absorbed, take the pot of the heat and leave aside covered for a couple of minutes. Loosen the rice gently with a fork.
Serve hot and sprinkle the chopped coriander over the rice just before serving.
Enjoy!!!

SRC: Chilli Lime Shrimp

Here we are with the 2nd SRC reveal for 2013. We have some new folks joining our group this month and I’d like to say “Welcome” to each and  every one of you. I hope you have as much fun here as we do.

This month I was assigned Shelby’s blog The Life & Loves of Grumpy’s Honeybunch. To say I was spoiled for choice would be an understatement. Shelby has so much yumminess going on over there. You should, you really should, hop on over and say “Hi” and maybe spend a few moments drooling over all the wonderful recipes she has there. “Shelby, I had the loveliest time going through your blog.” When you spend a little time there, what will become evident is that family is very important to her. And I think the love she puts into her food expresses this beautifully.

If you take a look at my previous SRC posts (You can check them out here), a lot of them are usually sweet. After the indulgence of the holiday season, we’ve been trying to watch our diet a little. So when I saw this Chili Lime Shrimp recipe that Shelby had made as part of her “Cooking Light Supper Club”, I knew I was going to try it out. We don’t use any cooking spray, but I tried to keep true to the “Light” aspect of this recipe and used a touch of olive oil instead. I didn’t make too many changes to the recipe apart from using red onions instead of spring onions because that’s what I had on hand. I also made a small portion; just enough for the two of us to nibble on and I upped the chili factor a little – we like our food hot. This little dish is an absolute cracker. I loved that the onion got a little caramelized and that just added such lovely depth of flavor. It was simple and quick to put together. Just the kind of stuff I’m constantly on the look out for 🙂 This dish is going to make an appearance on our table every once in a while for sure.

Chilli Lime Shrimp

A handful of fresh large shrimp, peeled and de-veined (I used about 8-10 of them)
3/4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large red onion
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 – 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, to taste
1/2 tbsp butter
Salt, to taste

Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat.

Pour in the olive oil and add the onions and saute till translucent and slightly pink in color.

Add the chilli powder and stir well.

Add the shrimp and stir gently to coat with the spices and cook till done, stirring as needed.

Remove from the heat and add the butter, lime and salt. Stir till the butter melts.

I topped these with some finely cut green chilly. But you can garnish it with some chopped green onions or chopped coriander would be nice to.

Don’t forget to check out what the others have made this month.

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Prawn Chilly Fry with Coriander Speckled Rice

Folks, one of my fondest childhood food memories is when my Mommy used to whip up this Prawn Chilly Fry with Coriander Speckled Rice for us. I ♥ prawns in any form and in the days to come, I will share a few more of my prawn recipes with you. I have wanted to try making this dish forever, but did not get around to it till a couple of days ago. I picked up some gorgeous, fresh prawns and I knew that I just had to finally whip this up. There was just one little problem, I didn’t have my mother’s recipe and my parents were on holiday and I really didn’t want to bother her by calling. So I decided to put it together from memory, trying really hard to remember what the flavors were like. And boy,oh boy! I was thrilled with the result. This meal is going to make many more appearances in my home, for sure.

Prawn Chilly Fry with Coriander Speckled Rice
(Serves 3-4)

For the Rice  – 
1 cup basmati rice
1-2 bay leaves
4 cloves
2 cardamom pods
6 peppercorns
1″ cinnamon
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.

Serve hot.

Enjoy!

This recipe is linked to –

Fun with Food Friday
Decidedly Healthy or Horridly Decadent

Herbs and Flowers in my Platter” – Coriander leaves/Cilantro