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Friday, 6 April 2012

A good thing

Here is what I am currently eating for breakfast:


And ruddy delicious it is too.

What that is is last night's prawn curry.  Two of my dearest friends came round for supper yesterday.  The menu was: prawn curry, okra, vegetable pakoras, rice and chutney, followed by tiramisu.  Whilst I was making all of that I thought "Ha, this would be a terrible menu if any of us were pregnant!"  My first friend arrived.  She confirmed that she was not pregnant.  Second friend then arrived.  She immediately declined a glass of champagne and informed us that she is five weeks gone.  (She then did a brilliant impersonation of her husband's shell-shocked face.)

The upshot of this is that there's A LOT of prawn curry and tiramisu left over today.  But that is not, in my opinion, a bad thing or any reflection at all on the deliciousness of those two particular dishes.

Here is the prawn curry recipe.  It is my own invention, which explains the slightly unorthodox inclusion of  the tomato sauce.  The first time I did this I threw in some left-over spaghetti sauce, and it turned out so well that I have been too superstitious to stop adding it.

Serves 4 (non-pregnant) people.

Two packets of raw king prawns
2 tspns of turmeric
1 tspn of ground ginger

For the sauce
2 medium-sized onions, sliced into half moons
A two-inch sized piece of ginger, grated
4 cloves of garlic, grated
2 green chillies, finely diced (and de-seeded if you like)
2 tspns black mustard seeds
2 big pinches of curry leaves
150g of a tomato or marinara sauce (thinking on it, I think you could also use tomato puree or reduce down some tinned chopped tomatoes until they are a sticky, saucy consistency)
Tin of coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, skinned and diced (seeds and pulp removed)
2 tspns tamarind paste
2 tspns coriander seeds
1 tspn fennel seeds
1 tspn cumin seeds

Start off by toasting the coriander, fennel and cumin in a dry pan until golden and fragrant.  Grind to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar or other grinding device.

Fry the onions in vegetable oil over a medium heat until they are floppy and translucent, but not browned.  Turn up the heat and add the chillies, garlic and ginger pastes, the curry leaves and mustard seeds.  Fry hard for about a minute.  Add the the tomato sauce and fry for a further minute.  Tip in the coconut milk, and add the ground spices, tamarind paste and diced tomatoes (I also added the finely sliced stalks of some fresh coriander here).  Season and then top up with water - about four empty-coconut-milk-cans-worth.  Bring up to the boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for about an hour or an hour-and-a-half.

Whilst the sauce is bubbling away, de-vein the prawns.  Put them in a bowl with the turmeric and ground ginger, cover and refrigerate until the sauce is done.

When the is sauce thickened and tasting wonderful, add the prawns and poach them gently over a low heat until they are pink and cooked - about three minutes.

Serve with rice and chutney, and eat whilst congratulating yourself on your culinary ingeniousness.

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