Thursday, January 11, 2018

Prawn Coconut Curry with Green Garlic and Lemon Zest

It was one of those days when breakfast outside has been a sore disappointment and I was feeling irritable and in dire need of comfort. The hubby had a rare day off from work and wanted a nice lunch to wipe away the memories of a truly bad breakfast experience. As much as I wanted the comfort of a home cooked meal, confident that whatever I cooked would be a balm on our abraded minds, I wasn't up to cooking a complicated time consuming dish. Yet I didn't want the 'same old thing'.

My first thought was prawns - delicious, easy to cook, and most importantly - done with minimum hassle. The fact that my local fish shop stocks excellent produce and a kilo of cleaned, shelled, and deveined prawns was just a phone call away only made the prospect of prawns more attractive. I decided to make a simple prawn curry to be paired with plain white rice.

I follow a basic easy recipe and make this light curry quite often but as I mentioned earlier, I wasn't in the mood for the same old thing. A trip to the veggie shop earlier that day meant that I'd come home with a bunch of fresh green garlic and a couple of green limes among the other vegetables I'd bought. We've been enjoying the green garlic in plenty of breakfast omelettes and scrambles and I thought it's high time I used them in something else. And that's how they landed up in the curry.

I replaced the coconut cream with coconut milk and ended up with a thin broth like curry which I liked so much I had a bowlful as soup while the rice cooked.

Coincidentally the theme for the week for a food photography challenge I'm doing with a small bunch of friends was soup, and since I suddenly had a lovely soup at hand I proceeded to dig out some pretty props and put together a photograph for the week. Instead of going the predictable soup bowl and spoon route I pulled out fancy tea ware and made an effort to style the photo instead of simply plonking a bowl of soup on my windowsill and taking a quick pic. I'm quite pleased with the result of my efforts :)

Well anyway, here's the recipe for the soup/curry-

Prawn Coconut Curry with Green Garlic and Lemon Zest

I cup prawns, shelled and deveined
2 inch stick, cassia bark
a sprig or two, curry leaves
a small bundle of green garlic, washed and chopped fine
1 tbsp, chopped fresh coriander
1 small onion, chopped fine
1-2 green chillies
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 cup coconut milk
1 green lime

Marinate the prawns in salt and turmeric and set aside while you prep the curry ingredients.

Heat oil in a wok and lightly fry the prawns till they turn just opaque. This should take a couple of minutes at the most. Do it in batches so all the prawns are cooked evenly. Remove from the wok and set aside.

In the same wok add a little more oil and heat it well. Chuck in the green chillies, roughly snapped into two or three pieces along with the curry leaves and the cassia bark. Fry for 30 seconds and then add the chopped onion. Fry till translucent (don't allow the onions to brown) and then add the chopped green garlic (shoots, garlic bulbs, and roots) and stir fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the chilli powder, a little turmeric, and salt, stir well and fry for another few minutes.

Now pour in the coconut milk and bring the curry to a boil. Add a little water so you have a proportionate amount of curry for the amount of prawns going in. Once the curry comes to a boil chuck in the prawns and cook for just a few minutes till they are nearly cooked, just a minute or so shy of being completely cooked. Put off the flame and grate in the zest from the green lime. Give it a stir, add the fresh coriander leaves, cover the wok and let it infuse for a minute.

Serve hot with plain rice and wedges of lime. Or enjoy it as a soup before main course.

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