November 04, 2008

Shrimp or Prawns Curry...Goan Style

No, I haven't changed the profile of my blog.. Just hopping over to Goa for a visit thru my cooking...I haven't been blog hopping and visiting all my blogger friends and trying out new recipes as I used to.... "simbly" because there is hardly any time now amidst all the responsibilities.

Meanwhile, the bathroom work I had mentioned earlier is over and after 3-4 weeks of disruption, we finally have two brand new baths and the contractors and workers out of our house. Everything is spanking new and sparkling...when there is a new addition to the family, you feel unsure and possessive...with the new bathroom, I feel protective yet awkward.

Unlike in India, where the building supplies are tucked away in wholesale areas, not very accessible to everyone, here everything is available to the common man at the one stop Home Depot. Materials are relatively cheap here but the labor costs are too high.... the direct opposite of Asian construction. So when I was describing custom changes to my desi contractor, he was all heads shaking in agreement(in the desi style of side to a pendulum)"yeah yeah no problem...." since there was not much additional material cost. Then at the end, when we were settling accounts, all the small changes turned into expensive man hours!! No wonder most people here try their hand at doing everything themselves from plumbing to electrical work to painting! You would see a handyman to a contractor to a homeowner here at the shop at the same time buying the same stuff.

You have to get involved in every small decision here if you want the bathroom customized which was a fun learning experience for both of us, but was also very time consuming. It did take some urgent paint color changes, last minute runs to Home Depot to change non-compatible faucets and tiles and a hazaar other small things to look into but we are finally there...

Now everything has been cleaned but still there is the dust that's slowly settling down that is still being cleaned from every nook and corner of the house.
Anyway, it was in one of these cleaning sessions that I found a Goan Cookbook tucked away in my bookshelf bought eons ago but never used. It was a sign to try cooking in a different way from the standard Yellow curry /pacha aracha and Red Curry/ molaku chaar for fish and in the span of 2 weeks, I have already tried out 3 recipes from it successfully.. all fish.. Just like the coastal state of Kerala, Goa hugs the coastline of the Arabian Sea, and has similar weather and vegetation and Goan Cuisine is very easy on the palate and immensely enjoyable if you like fish, chicken and coconut.

I could go on and on about Goa, a place that I have very fond memories of starting with a college tour, a case study tour for thesis, a family tour but I have to get back to my work so a quick note on this quick shrimp recipe which has a long list of ingredients but is really just blending it all together and cooking at one go.

You Will Need:
Prawns/Shrimp -1cup
Potatoes-1 cut into cubes
Coconut Milk- 2-3 cup(1 cup thick and 1 1/2 cup thin milk)
Vegetable/coconut oil-2 tbsp
Green chilies-3 slit vertically
Onion- 1 small one chopped fine
Curry leaves 5
Tamarind- a walnut sized ball soaked in 1/4 cup water and extracted.(or 1 tsp extract)
Rice flour- 1 tsp
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For the Spice Paste:
Dried Kashmiri Chilies-8 (They are less spicy and add lots of flavor and color)
Coriander Seeds-1 1/2 tsp (or roasted coriander powder 1 1/2tsp)
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Rice powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp
Garlic-6 cloves


Soak the red chilies in warm water for 5-10 minutes and then grind all the ingredients for the spice paste with 2 tbsp of water. You could substitute the red chilies with Kashmiri chili powder and regular chili powder but blend it with the other spices to let the spices soak. I use slightly roasted coriander seeds or powder as I don't like the raw taste. Also I use half Kashmiri chilies and half spicy South Indian dried chilies for added kick. If you can, do grind the spices with as little water as possible for a better flavor.
Place the potatoes in a microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup water and microwave it for 4-5 minutes or until cooked. Drain the excess water and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a clay pot, (chatti) or heavy pan, and saute the onions for 4 minutes. Just until it starts turning brown at the edges and then add the spice paste. Saute this mix very well for 2-3 minutes on medium heat taking care not to burn it. It's done when the fragrance of garlic and chilies spreads everywhere and you have to turn on the exhaust. Add more oil if you feel its sticking to the pan.

Then add the thin coconut milk, green chilies, boiled potatoes and curry leaves. Cover and cook for 6 minutes and then add the tamarind pulp. When the mix comes to a boil, add the salt and sugar, and then add prawns. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the rice flour mixed with 3-4 tbsp of water. Let it boil for a minute, and then lower the heat and add the thick coconut milk. Do not let it boil too much after adding the thick milk. The rice flour thickens the gravy without needing too much coconut milk and is optional.
Do try this with Ann's Chitiaps(Rice Pancakes). I had served it with Jeera Rice and fish fry.


Kalai said...

This looks beautiful, Shaheen! Love Goan seafood dishes. This is a new preparation to me with the addition of potatoes. A great one to try out! :)

Anonymous said...

So,there you are !! we both are on Goa Coasts this time though..
Lovely..and awesome presentation.
And the post construction days are real headache for me..will be insearch of those troublesome dust pcls.Hope you really "enjoy"..(btw,discovery of the book turned advantageous ?..ha ha)

Kitchen Flavours said...

Ima drooling over. Looks awesome and tempting. Will try this version soon.

Nags said...

lovely! I have only tried Goan fish curry and that too just once.

Priya said...

Mouthwatering..amazing prawns as anything..sure its a fingerlicking curry..

Happy cook said...

Here we do the painting ourselve, well plumong i woudn't know where to start :-)
Love the prawn curry. I have not bought prawns for a while, when i buy them will try this.

indosungod said...

Luxuriate Shaheen. The Shrimp curry looks great. I too keep going back to the same onion/tomato based curries for the shrimp.

Anita said...

You sure you won;t share a pic of your labour of love? Your new bathroom... :-) Of course, we wouldn't mind a glimpse of your little angel as well.

Mallugirl said...

kalai, I just added the potatoes as i like the flavor of potatoes in fish or meat just absorbs all the taste!

ann, saw ur goan roti.. that looks awesome too. can i link it up here so we can have a feast together?

kitchen flavors.. don't drool too much.. try it and tell me if u like it. u could fine tune it to your taste.

nags, if u like fish, u would like most of their curries. It's milder and has a smoother gravy than Kerala curries.

Priya, saw ur olive pickle, which is such an unusual idea!!

Happy cook, i haven't done anything other than gardening on my own as yet!! painting seems simple to start with but lets see. i have friends who do even plumbing!!

Bervin said...

AssalamuAlaikum Shaheen,

Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.Should have added some pictures of your new bathroom too.

Anonymous said...

Sure shaheen..I love to have a link with you..delicious prawns with those small beauties will be a feast..

Divya Vikram said...

Looks delicious.I just love prawns.But havent cooked them myself.Thanks for the recipe..

deepu said...

Growing in Goa, Prawn Curry has been my staple, I have to try it your way and your photos are very nice. I wonder with coconut being the staple how different is malabar cuisine from Goan, is it the use of curry leaves ?
Nice site !!

veena said...

Hi ...
Great presentation ..Yummy prawns curry ..I love prawns ....thanks for sharing the recipe ..In my place we never use coriander in any fish recipes ..will try this for sure

u have a lovely blog ..great work ..i am adding u in my blog roll

Anonymous said...

Yumm.... Now I need to have prawn curry Goan style!!
Hats off to you for putting on so many hats so well!


Saraansh said...

You know what- the curry looks so yummy and I am sitting at work now so starved that I am going to try and use your recipe this weekend to see what I can make of it. Hurrah!

Rachel said...

I love goan food..and during my stay there...our sunday lunch was mostly white rice and this prawn curry.

Soma said...

One of my favorites. I am from bengal and we do a very similar thing there.. shrimp with coconut milk & its called "malaikari" ... I always wondered where the name came from. probably from the malabars??

BTW u have a GREAT blog.

Anonymous said...

shahee,i have already given a link from my post..

Mandira said...

wow Shaheen, this looks absolutely delicious!

sra said...

I am so irritated - haven't been able to find coconut milk packs anywhere and am beginning to wonder if the company has stopped production - I'm praying for it to be resumed.
How are you, Mallugirl?

Nat said...

wow - been sometime since i was here....the recipes look blissfully appetising as usual.
was hoping for some snaps of the newly done loos lol!

Bharathy said...

Love Goan Fish curries as they taste more like the Kerala authentics..
Couldnt stop smiling reading abt the renovated home! :)

Honestly,I have lots to catch up with your recent posts,Shaheen :)

No words to Thank you for taking an extra step(amidst your busy schedule) for placing those wonderful words in Kiran's blog..:)..

Tight Hugs :)

syeda said...

the prawn curry looks really good! its been a long time since I had prawns, will try it with ur recipe, thanx for sharing

Shifa Firoz said...

love ur recipes Shaheen.. :) i find a lot of malabari recipes in ur blog too.. seeing ur blog i feel like i need to diversify my recipes and not only stick to malabar reicpes!

and yup.. im very much from Calicut :)

Jyothsna said...

After reading this, I do like the gulf - both materials and labour are affordable, so long as I stop converting into rupees!!

Anonymous said...

Shaheen,why are you silent ? come up with something yaa.

syeda said...

u have been tagged!

Anonymous said...

in my 1 yr stay there..i don't remembr this version of prawns..
ur book, does it hav recipe's for fish ..the fish is stuffed,then dipped in bread crumbs/rava and fried??


Anonymous said...

i think u owe us a couple of brand new bathroom snaps;)

Anonymous said...

All the best for exams Shaheen..

minu said...

Well Shaheen I assure you no recipe blog must have got this much request for bathroom snaps!!!! So it's time you treat all of us with some delicious pics of ur new bathrooms....

Mallugirl said...

ki, i got it out of a Goan cookbook.. Who knows how authentic it is!!:)when were u in Goa?

Mallugirl said...

Bervin, bathroom photos?:)

Mallugirl said...

jyo, are u saying u prefer the gulf!!!! me, no way, i like the openness here..even tho its much more expensive.

Mallugirl said...

soma, the name malaikari probably means, curry with malai..cream of coconut or regular cream. no connection to malabar.:)

shifa, have to catch up with u.:)

syeda, u had to go and tag me!

Gabriel said...

Very nice. I have also a site for recipes for cooking. See. I love your recipes. I am from the Slovak Republic. Be translated through Google translate

starry nights said...

looks delicious.I love your blog and all the recipes you post.Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just tried the Shrimp curry yesterday..twas awesome!!! Thank u so much!! Keep up the good work! -Anon

Shobha said...

The Goan style prawn curry looks yummy.
I love prawns...will try it out this week.
Good collection of recipes.