by Alison Stuart
My family’s favourite ‘get together’ food are curry lunches with everyone contributing their favourite dish to the table. I lived the early part of my life in Kenya where there was a large Indian population and one of my earliest memories is the smell of spices in the Indian ‘bazaar’. In more recent years I lived for 3 years in Singapore where I expanded my repertoire of curry recipes through the teaching of a genial Indian lady, Kirti. This is one of Kirti’s recipes and now a firm family favourite.
While it is not exactly ‘seasonal’, I think it would do very nicely on a Christmas table. Apart from the essential ingredient being prawns, its tomato base gives it a gorgeous colour.
KIRTI’S CHILI PRAWN MASALA
(for 3-4 people – I always make double quantities)
- 500g unshelled green prawns
- 2 large onions (cut lengthwise)
- 2 medium tomatoes (cut into wedges)
- 1 tsp of tomato paste
- ½ tsp ginger paste
- ½ tsp garlic paste
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- ¾ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ to 1 tsp red chilli powder
- ¾ tsp garam masala powder
- Salt to taste
- lime or lemon juice to taste
- 1-2 tblsps coriander leaves (chopped)
- 3 tblsps vegetable oil
- Deshell and clean prawns, leaving tails intact (I buy the frozen packets of green prawns and defrost them). Wash and pat dry. Marinate with salt and ¼ tsp of turmeric powder.
- In a heavy based pan, fry the onions in oil until they change colour. Add the garlic and ginger paste, crushed garlic and the chilli powder.
- Add in the salt, turmeric powder, tomatoes and tomato paste and fry well. You may cover the pan and cook on a low flame for 5 mins so that the tomatoes will get soft.
- When the masala is aromatic and richly coloured, add in the prawns. Keep on stirring until the prawns are well coated with the onion and tomato mixture.
- If mixture is too dry, add water. Stir and then allow the dish to simmer by covering and cooking on a low heat. Cook for around 10 minutes. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE PRAWNS.
- Lastly stir in the garam masala powder and turn off flame. Sprinkle with lemon/lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve with rice or Indian bread.
The second in a tantalising trilogy from award-winning author Alison Stuart, about warriors, the wounds they carry and the women that help them heal.