Thursday, January 18, 2018

Kerala Spiced Prawn Fry

A couple of weeks ago I made a spicy, coconut-y Kerala Pork Fry for a pop up. It was delicious and I was lucky to have found a good recipe and friends to approve and confirm that it would give me good results and authentic flavours. For that pork fry I'd made a batch of fresh Kerala Garam Masala and there was plenty left over.

I also had some of the toasted coconut that I'd made for the same fry.

Since I didn't have any pork in the freezer but wanted to enjoy those flavours again I thought of trying the same recipe adapted for prawns.

Oh my, did that work out well or what?!

Kerala Spiced Prawn Fry

500 gms prawns, cleaned
chilli powder
pepper powder

2 large onions, chopped
5-6 sprigs curry leaves
2-3 green chillies, more if you're okay with a lot of heat
1 pod garlic, peeled and chopped
3 inch piece ginger, peeled and pounded roughly
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tbsp Kerala Garam masala*
1 cup toasted grated fresh coconut

Wash the prawns and marinate in salt, turmeric, chilli powder and some freshly ground, slightly coarse black pepper. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok, be generous, and once the oil is hot chuck in the curry leaves along with the green chillies. You can roughly break up the chillies, or chop them into small pieces. Add the garlic and fry for a minute and then throw in the pounded fresh ginger. Mix and fry for another minute or two. Now add the onions.

Fry the mix till the onions start to brown. Now add the dry spices and a little salt and mix well so it all cooks evenly. Add oil if required or the spices will burn and stick to the bottom of your cooking pot. Stir in the toasted coconut and mix properly. Cook on a low flame till the whole mix is fragrant and cooked. Adjust salt keeping in mind that the prawns have salt in the marinade.

In a separate pan heat some oil and fry the prawns in batches for around 30 seconds, just till they turn opaque. Add them to the cooked masala, stir well and cook covered for just a few minutes till the prawns are done. Remove the lid, ramp up the heat and dry off any moisture in the pot. You can add some more fried curry leaves for added flavour at the end.

Serve hot as an accompaniment with evening drinks, or make a meal of it paired with pav, rice, or rotis.

* Kerala Garam Masala

2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp pepper corns
2 star anise
4 inches cassia bark (desi cinnamon)
10 green cardamom pods
1 tsp cloves

Broil all the spices till fragrant, cool a bit and then whizz in a spice grinder.
There are variations of this with the fennel, pepper, cardamom, cloves being common and mace, nutmeg, star anise  or cinnamon adding to the flavours. You can add the combination that you like.
Store in an air-tight bottle. 

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