Thursday, 3 March 2011

Recipe: Coconut Prawns with Basmati Rice

This dish has two of the boxes ticked on my "Is it a Good Curry" checklist

1: Lisa, who doesn’t really like the majority of Indian curries (i.e. earthy flavours) will eat it and I think she actually quite enjoys it, although she does pick out the curry leaves

2: Chris, who is a connoisseur of balti house offerings, also rates it

It also requires quite a diverse store cupboard so you may have to hunt around for some of the seeds, leaves etc … I usually get mine online from the Asian Cookshop

As for the dish itself, it is wonderfully fragrant, the fennel seeds and cardamom give it a constant background note rather than a full on flavour, I’d have this every week if I could

 4 tbsp Ground Nut Oil
 2 tsp mustard seeds
 2 tsp black onion seeds
 4 green cardamom pods, seeds only
 1 tsp fennel seeds
 2 Red Birds eye chillies, chopped seeds removed
 1 cloves garlic, chopped
 1 cm ginger, chopped
 10 curry leaves
 2 shallots, chopped
 2 tsp turmeric
 4 tbsp water
 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
 Packet of Prawns either cooked or uncooked
 Steamed or boiled rice, to serve
 Coriander leaves, to garnish
1lb of rice

Heat a wok and add the ground nut oil. Throw in the mustard and onion seeds and let them splutter before adding the cardamom and fennel seeds. Add the green chilies, garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, stirring.

Add the curry leaves and sauté for a minute. Add the chopped shallots and cook for a further minute, before adding the turmeric. Stir well and add then add the water.

Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 -10 minutes or until to thicken. Taste for seasoning and if its not seasoned enough for you

Now, you’re supposed to cook the raw prawns for about 2 Mins, I cook a little longer but on as lower heat as you can get. This, I think, helps the prawns take on more of the flavour of the sauce and at its best, try and use the raw prawns as they seem to have a greater capacity for taking on flavour. So in essence, the time for cooking is a guideline and you should use your own preference for thickness of sauce and texture of the prawns.

Serve with rice and garnish with a little coriander

I’ve not described the rice method here, everyone has there own preferred method for boiling or steaming rice and I have mine


  1. Sounds lovely and your 'bowl' of rice really sets off the curry sauce.

  2. This almost leaps off the plate. Great photography. I think I need some tips

  3. Sounds delicious, must have been quite spicy with two birds eye chillis!