I love curry. I love it, love it, love it. I particularly love Malaysian and Thai curries probably because I have a special weakness for coconut milk. However, I’d never made a curry using fresh coconut. In fact, I had never even opened a coconut before. That was until Friday.
The challenge with using fresh coconut is actually opening it and I really was not sure how to go about it. I had an idea of how not to do it after witnessing the debacle on The Restaurant (BBC2 show) last year. Mother and daughter duo demonstrated their knife skills in the opening episode and were promptly kicked off the show because they were endangering lives: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVMDLsTifdM. Interesting!!
Actually it really wasn’t difficult. You just hold the coconut in your palm with the three holes near your thumb and then using the back of a heavy knife (i.e. not the sharp blade) whack the coconut around the diameter. Keep whacking it and eventually it will crack. Then whack it some more until it’s broken into lots of little bits. Easy as pie.
So here is my take on a Rick Stein recipe. Yummy king prawns in an Indian interpretation of a Malaysian curry. Convoluted, but delicious!
- 200g shallots or onions
- 40g garlic, roughly chopped
- 40g peeled ginger, roughly chopped
- 400g large raw peeled prawns
- 1 tsp tumeric powder
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp mild paprika
- 2 green chillies, cut into quarters lengthways
- 300ml coconut milk
- 30g fresh coconut, finely grated
- 1 tbsp Garam marsala
- 1 tsp palm sugar
- 1 tbsp lime juice.
Put the ginger, shallots, and garlic into a mini food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Put the prawns in a bowl and toss them with the tumeric and 1 teaspoon of salt. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan (I used a wok), add the prawns and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until they take on some colour. Spoon onto a plate using a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add the remaining oil along with the cumin seeds and bay leaves and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds. Add the onion paste, chilli powder and paprika and fry gently for 10 minutes or so, stirring, until the paste is rice and aromatic. Add 150ml water, cover and simmer for 6 minutes, stirring now and then. Stir in the green chillies and simmer for a further 4 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Add the prawns, grated coconut, garam masala and sugar and simmer for 1-2 minutes until the prawns are cooked through. Stir in the lime juice and serve.