Tag Archives: curry

Shevandi Kada…King Prawn and Baby Onion

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SAM_3457Two of my most favourite things in the world prawn and onion and this “nearly” traditional recipe which features both in a symphony of taste. Although you really will have to love onion to fully appreciate this recipe the sauce is unctuous  and full of the sweet and sour flavours of the Jaggery and the tamarind with chopped onion making the basis of the sauce and if that’s not enough onion for you, whole baby onions or shallots bringing a final hint of sweetness, truly delicious, and all held together with some juicy large king Prawns to bring that extra texture and taste that make for a fantastic seafood curry!

I have “demonised” the recipe as the original I was gifted essentially had no seasoning or spice and a very large glass of Goan fire water “Feni”, made from coconut or cashew nuts and in Goa & kerala where this recipe originates and available everywhere in those two provinces, however in downtown Nottingham I have to admit I couldn’t find it anywhere. The recipe also demands baby pearl onions, these may be a bit tricky to lay your hands on too but shallots will do just as good a job using the smallest you can get.

So there is no alcohol, is that a loss…. Nah don’t think so!

The What’s in it (2 persons)

5 or 6 baby onions or shallots per person

Salt to season

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3 Tablespoons Mustard oil

8 Curry leaves

1 large Onion finely chopped

1inch Ginger

1heaped teaspoon garlic paste

2 green chillies de-seeded and finely chopped

1tsp fenugreek

1tsp turmeric

1tsp Garam Masala

25oml Fish stock

2tsp Tamarind paste

1 flat tbsp Jaggery/brown sugar

1 fine chopped Tomato

1tbsp Plain yoghurt

36 pearl onions(Shallots as many as you think for 3 persons) peeled and kept whole

350 gm  RAW prawns as large as you can find, peeled and deveined

Salt to taste…..

The How To……

Peel the baby onions or shallots and boil in salted water for about fifteen minutes until soft set aside until required

Bring your mustard oil up to heat add the curry leaves, and fry for no longer than a minute or two or until the curry leaves change colour, add  the onions and fry until golden brown, take your time with this as this is the base of the sauce. Then add the green chillies, the ginger and the garlic pastes and fry for a minute or two longer until the garlic smell has dropped away. Add the Fenugreek , Turmeric and Garam masala cook for a further couple of minutes, then add 250ml fish stock, and the jaggery and Tamarind paste, the chopped tomato and reduce to a thick sauce. Finally adding the baby onions and yoghurt for the last five minutes.SAM_3455

Now you can add the prawns and cook them  through this shouldn’t take more than five minutes, serve with whatever you like to eat your Indian food with!

Bhare Baghare Tamate (Stuffed Tomatoes)

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SAM_3450 I have been very quiet lately principally I believe if you have nothing to say then do that….. quiet is something that it is very difficult to find in the world that surrounds us all and as such one of the few things that can always one hope be done quietly is eating good food. Todays dish is a traditional one  that is not something you can bring together in ten minutes it will take you at least 90 minutes in the initial preparation and perhaps 30 to 4o minutes in the cooking so don’t undertake this recipe if you are looking for something quick. Its vegetarian all the way and one of those dishes that needs little else to help it along , but if you must have some more protein a fillet of white fish would compliment it for sure

The Whats in it

4 Beefsteak Tomatoes

Salt

For the Filling

Unsalted butter, for frying

150g/5oz (2 cups) chopped mushrooms

250g/9 oz Paneer, grated or crumbled

1 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

4 green chillies, slit in half lengthways and de-seeded

24 cashew nut halves

1 teaspoon black cumin seeds

For the Paste

4 tablespoons peanuts, roasted

2 tablespoons desiccated (dried flaked) coconut

4.5 tablespoons sesame seeds

250g/9 oz (2 small) onions

4 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

For the Sauce

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1.5 teaspoons chilli powder

125ml/4.5 fl oz (0.5 cup) vegetable oil

0.5 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

16 curry leaves

150g/5oz (1 medium) onion, sliced

3 tablespoons Ginger Paste

1 teaspoon Garlic Paste

100g/3.5 oz Fried Onion Paste

0.25 teaspoon Tamarind Extract

The How To do It

Blanch the tomatoes by putting then in a large heatproof bowl of boiling water for 30 seconds, then plunging them in cold water.  Remove the skin and slice off the top neatly with a sharp knife, then remove the core, taking care not to pierce the flesh.

To Make the Filling

Melt the butter in a large, heavy based pan over medium heat.

Add the mushrooms and lightly fry for about 2-3 minutes, or until the moisture has evaporated.

Transfer to a bowl, then add all the other ingredients for the filling, season with salt and mix together.

Put a portion of the filling in each of the blanched tomatoes and set aside, until 20 minutes before you wish to serve

Place in an oven at 180 degrees for as you begin to make the sauce if you prefer your tomatoes cooked through, then add to the sauce and follow the “sauce” part of the recipe

To Make the Paste

Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor, with a little water if necessary, and process to make a paste.  Set aside.

To Make the Sauce

Put the turmeric and chilli power in a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons water and stir together.

Heat the oil in another large, heavy-based pan over medium heat

Add the mustard and cumin seeds and stir-fry for about 1 minute or until they start to splutter

Add the curry leaves, stir

Add the onions and lightly fry for about 2 minutes or until they are translucent.

Add the ginger and garlic pastes and stir fry for about 5-10 minutes or until the onions are golden.

Add the ground spice mixture to the pan and stir fry for about 2-3 minutes or until the moisture has evaporated

Add the pastes and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes or until the oil has separated out.

Pour in 750ml/1.25 pints (3.25 cups) water and season with salt.

Bring to the boil then stir in the tamarind extract.

Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is a thin sauce consistency

Place the stuffed tomatoes in the sauce, cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Uncover and simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce is thick.

Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve and enjoy, fantastic with a Naan!

Lamb Pasanda the REAL Moghul McCoy!

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SAM_3432Walk into any high street Curry House and one of the stock bulk standard Daag dishes you will find on the menu is a popular North Indian and Pakistani Pasanda, originating from a dish served in the Courts of the Moghul Emperors. The word is derived from  Urdu word “pasande,” or “the favorite one,” which refers to the prime cut of meat traditionally used within, and the fact that everyone loves this dish it is a catch all so this is a true no risk curry creamy that is  low’ish on the chilli heat front, so if your looking for the hot and the dangerous I suggest you go elsewhere, as this is a dish of subtleties and flavour variations and is truly delicious, and does not require the fiery heat of chilli to make it memorable….

Pasanda was originally made with the steaks cut from the  leg of lamb, then beaten to tenderise it  flattened into strips and marinated before  cooking. In the present day, in most restaurants the Pasanda comes as fish, chicken, prawn or any other protein that can make the restaurant a shilling or two; make no mistake though this is a princely dish and one that traditionally uses the finest cut of lamb so being the lover of tradition that I am if it was good enough for the moghuls its good enough for me.

There’s a fair few ingredients but the essence of this dish is the marinade once that is assembled and together its all easy from there

The first and most important element is of course the marinade and this can really be anything that is the essence of what you like to taste in my particular example I like the sweet and the sour so my marinade reflects that. I have also used Coconut cream but you can just as easily use yoghurt or sour cream, feel free to flex you creative muscle here as the end result is really about the Lamb that if you follow the cookout will be soft melt in the mouth succulent surrounded by an unctuous sauce that you will want to cook time and time again.

1 Tomato

6 dried apricots

1 small onion

3 cloves garlic

2 green chilli inc seeds

1inch fresh ginger

150ml coconut cream

1 tbsp. white vinegar

1tsp turmeric

1 tsp amchoor

2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder…..

Assemble that little lot in a blender and blitz to a smooth paste…..this will make enough marinade for at least 2 persons

Now for the meat you should have some nice leg steaks here to place them between some sheets of clingfilm and flatten to about 10 mmm thickness using a steak mallet or a rolling pin.

when that’s done coat the steaks in the marinade, then cover and refrigerate for no less that a couple of hours, overnight is probably best!

the only other Ingredients your going to need is

1 heaped tablespoon of Ghee

2 inch cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom

1 tsp whole Coriander

1 tsp garam masala

Now for the cooking, you have a couple of options but essentially you need a pan that you can seal, traditionally a karahi with a lid that you seal with a dough paste made of flour and water…. too much hassle/

then use a large heavy based saucepan with a tight fitting lid that you can further seal with a tin foil cover over the pan before you put the lid on……..

melt the ghee in the pan and add the Cinnamon, Cardamoms, Coriander and fry for a few moments before adding the meat and all the marinade spread the meat out over the base of the pan cover as tightly as you can and cook on a very low heat for One hour. Five minutes before you serve sprinkle in the teaspoon of Garam Masala then all that’s left to do is dish it up, and gobble it down! SAM_3433SAM_3434

Chicken & Drumstick curry…..Korioora Munakkai

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      One of the things I really like to do is get an ingredient that I have never tasted and never prepared before,bingo this recipe has one “drumstick“…. that’s right I said drumstick, or to give it its correct name…..Sahjan Ki Phalli this being a core ingredient and most poplar vegetable  in southern india cuisine and is often found in sambhar.Sahjan Ki Phalli Sahjan is in fact the immature long green pods of the Moringa tree another species that you will not find throughout Europe, you can also eat the flowers and leaves of this tree so a vital ingredient and crop to the food of the villages I suspect In this particular case we are using it in…..

Korioora Munakkai

 

A spicy delight of chicken and tamarind not too mention the aforementioned drumstick vegetable that with only one look you can SAM_3425understand how it gets its name.SAM_3423

I am so lucky to have a large Asian community in the city I live in and even more lucky to be able to access the raw ingredients that appear so unusual and are really at the end of the day just fruit and veg that is yet to reach the supermarkets that determine what we all eat … that being an argument for another day.

so a visit to the Indian supermarket was the order of the day and yes success they of course had it although it doesn’t come cheap but why should it it has come halfway round the world and everyone involved needs to get paid … ouch my food miles are totting up I can always plant yet another tree though that seems to do the trick and salve the conscience….

The following recipe is easy enough although there are a lot of ingredients and I didn’t use a whole chicken I just used the crown as it was only for two….

this recipe is for four persons

The Whats in it

 

180gm Ghee

2 bay leaves

3 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

1 tsp Kalonj(Nigella)Seeds

3 onions Sliced

1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric

1/2 tsp Ginger pasteSAM_3419

1/2 tsp Garlic paste

1 tblsp Ground coriander roasted

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 large chicken cut into chunks on the bone

1 small tomato

1 tablespoon ideally fresh coconut but soaked desiccated will do!

2 tsp chopped red chilli

15 Curry leaves

4 tablespoons of Toddy, beer will do if you can’t get Toddy

6 drumsticks (Sahjan Ki Phalli) peeled and cut into 6 cm pieces

12-15 black peppercorns

250ml Tamarind extract

1 Tablespoon Gram Flour….

1 Pint of water or chicken stock

Salt

To garnish

6 green chillies

1 Bunch coriander

6 sprigs Mint….

The How to

Heat the ghee in a karahi or large frying pan over a medium heat, add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves and fenugreek and kalonji seeds and stir fry for about 1 minute.

Then  add the onions and stir fry for about  until golden brown frying for ten to fifteen minutes usually does the trick.

Add the turmeric, ginger and garlic pastes, and stir fry for a couple of minutes more, before adding the ground coriander and sesame seeds and giving it all a good stir.

When the oil rises to the surface, add the chicken and continue to stir fry until it releases its juices, then continue to fry for about 8-10 minutes, or until the liquids have evaporated and the chicken is brown.SAM_3422

Add the tomatoes, coconut, red chilli and curry leaves and cook for a further 3 minutes.  Add the toddy or beer and cook for a few minutes until the liquid is absorbed.

now you can add the drumsticks, black peppercorns, 750 ml/1.25 pints (3.25 cups) water or chicken stock and the tamarind extract.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the chicken and drumsticks are cooked.

Dry roast the gram flour on a tawa, or griddle or in a small frying pan (skillet) for about 1 minute to remove the raw smell, then transfer to a bowl.  Add 250 ml/8 fl oz (1 cup) water and mix well.  Add to the curry to thicken the sauce, then mix well and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.  Add more water if it is too thick.  Garnish with green chillies, coriander and mint leaves.

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Fish curry of the sitting Patiently kind!

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SAM_3414  SAM_3416This recipe springs from all of those hung over individuals who tell me that take away curries taste better the morning after.

Hey if cold curry is your thing for breakfast who am I to argue! Personally I never have left overs and I guess that says more about me than anything else, I only mention this as this sauce is left to sit around for “as long as it takes” well four or five hours or longer if you like… overnight is good too. Apart from that little similarity the comparison with take away food ends there!

The dish I offer up here is a fish curry for which I used a firm white fish, Cod in this case but any fish or sea food will thrive in this sauce, which I do have to say is robust and spicy enough for most, you could cut back on the chilli if that is your want, as in this particular case this curry is not and I say again is not traditional other than the spices that are added that are common to the cuisine that is Indian. However this is one very tasty curry that if you take the time with and leave it to stand for hours avoiding the temptation to gobble it down, will result in a taste spectacular try it once and you will be hooked. I am suggesting that preparation and cooking time together with the patient bit in the middle is ok at five hours but brilliant at eight to twelve hours

The sauce should always be made first and allowed to cool to room temperature and left for at least five hours, but use it at two or three if you really must!

My advice is make the sauce then do the marinade then bring the two together in something around five hours, the time invested will I assure you reflect in the taste that is a sweet and sour curry experience for which I make no apologies, so go on head down and cook, I hope you enjoy it!

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The LONG LONG Sauce

1tsp brown mustard seeds

1tsp Fennell seeds

.5 tsp  peppercorns

3 green cardamom pods

.5 tsp cumin seeds

6 Curry Leaves

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1 large Onion chopped

2 Green Chillies deseeded and chopped

2 cloves Garlic Finely chopped

2.5 cm sq Ginger, finely chopped

1tsp Turmeric

.5tsp Asafoetida

6 Medium Tomatoes  rough chopped

300ml Vegetable Stock

2 tsp Tomato Puree

2 tsp Tamarind puree

2 tsp Jaggery

Salt to taste

3 tsp ground Cashew Nuts

Getting saucey

Skin the tomatoes by placing them in  boiling water for a few moments, then roughly chop.

To a tablespoon of Coconut oil bought up to temperature in your karahi or heavy based pan you can use ghee if you prefer, add the whole spices, the brown mustard, Fennell seeds, peppercorns, green cardamoms and cumin seeds and fry until the mustard seeds are all a splutter.

Then add the onion and fry until golden brown but not caramelised.

Add the garlic and the ginger and the chillies and cook for a couple of minutes more before adding the turmeric and asafoetida, with a splash of the stock if required to ensure that the spices don’t stick!.

Add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook until they soften and have passed that raw uncooked stage.

Add as much of the stock as you need to cover all the ingredients bring to the boil and then reduce  the heat to a simmer, adding the tomato puree and the Tamarind paste, taste and adjust the seasoning of salt and pepper before finally adding the jaggery, and the cashew nut paste.

I also added a little extra chilli powder here too but the choice is yours when you taste judge it to the as you like it and then leave it alone, all that’s left then is to continue cooking at a simmer for about fifteen minutes whilst ensuring that everything is well mixed before setting aside to cool for as long as you like, but at least until the sauce is at room temperature.

                                                               Now  to make the marinade

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1tbsp level Ghee or coconut oil

75 g diced shallots

1 tsp clove garlic paste

1 teaspoon ground aniseed

1 Dried Red chilli crumbled

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground turmeric

.5 tsp garam masala

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and pepper

3 tbsb yoghurt

500gm white fish cut into large bite sized chunks

Marinade Patiently

To a level tbsp. of ghee or coconut oil add the shallots and fry until translucent adding the garlic and frying for  a few minute more…..set aside to cool

Add the powdered  spices and crumble in the dried red chilli add the lemon juice to the yoghurt and stir well. Add a little salt and pepper to taste, stir in the fried shallots mix well and add to the fish ensuring all the surfaces of the fish are covered in the marinade, refrigerate for a minimum of three hours…..

After you have sat patiently doing the things that patent people do now is the time to bring the two things together

The Final Straight

Pour the sauce into a heavy based pan and heat gently until just below boiling, and then add a large tablespoon of the fish marinade to the sauce do not add the fish yet and continue to heat until the sauce reaches a thick gravy consistency then introduce the fish and ensure that the fillets are completely covered in the sauce increase the heat slightly and bring the sauce up to a gentle simmer cover and cook until the fish is cooked through … serve with whatever you like to eat with a fish curry….SAM_3415

Getting in with the TINDA

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Punjabi Tinda Gravy Curry.

Back to dishes of the strictly vegetarian kind, a pond that I have not dipped my toe in for quite some time. I am tempted back by this beautiful recipe that features a vegetable that is not perhaps one you will find on any of the main stream supermarket shelves but will at your better than average Indian supermarket of which mine is one of the best, check this fruit and vegetable counter……..Jpeg

If you can get this particular delicious example of vegetable delight it’s a Satsuma sized apple looking veg which is citrusy in taste, and is very much part of the gourd family. You can get it in tins too but again you’re going to need the Indian supermarket to pick those up as well.

Give it time they will get to the standard supermarket sometime soon just not right now, probably because they’re not familiar in the West and without that familiarity and demand,  well you can work that out for yourself.

If you can’t get hold of the real deal you could of course use courgettes or young marrows and will offer pretty much the same result, that said I’m lucky I can get all that I recognise and a lot that I can’t but I’m working on that one. This was not a cheap vegetable though coming in at just under £2.00 per Kilo, some proteins come in cheaper than that, so veggie is not always the cheap alternative….SAM_3401

This recipe also features a TALIMPU or a  bagar, a vital step that gives the dish a perfect punch, in the most traditional of ways it features three vital ingredients onions, green chillies and curry leaves that can make almost any dish taste the part. Dealing with the ingredients of the Talimpu is also not without tradition, in that the  chillies are cut in rings or slit in 4 and thrown in a well of hot oil that’s been spluttering with a tablespoon of TALIMPU GINJALU (mixture of mustard seeds, split urad dal, and cumin). The chillies have to be fried well before you add the onions and curry leaves easy enough but important to the end result. The other element is a wet masala again a traditional element featuring onion and spices cooked and then ground, so all in all lots to keep you interested although this is not a complex dish the two elements of the Bagar and the  wet Masala combine to make a very tasty dish indeed

Now you have all the vital info lets cook!tinda_masala_rvsd (2)

The Whats in it

Punjabi Tinda three or four to feed 2 persons

Onion 1

Tomato 1

Yogurt 1 Tbsp

Red Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp

Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp

Green Chillies 1

Salt to taste

Masala:

Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp

Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp

Urad Dal 1/2 tsp

Whole Dried Red Chillies 3 – 4

Coriander Seeds 1/2 Tbsp

Oil 1 tsp

Talimpu:

Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp

Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp

Urad Dal 1/4 tsp

Curry Leaves 5

Oil 1 tsp

300ml approx. of water or Vegetable stock

The How to

First thing there is a little preparation – wash, remove ends peel and chop the Punjabi Tinda.

Then peel and dice the onion. Remove stems, wash and slice and de seed the green chillies. Finally prep the yoghurt by whisking then set aside.

Now we can get down to the cooking thing…..

Masala first by heating  a tsp of oil in your Karahi or heavy based pan, add all masala ingredients in order.

When  the mustard seeds start spluttering and the mixture is aromatic, add the onion and salt. Fry till onion turns golden brown and remove from heat.

Cool the mixture to room temperature and grind it into smooth paste with little water, in your pestle and mortar or food processor if you like things done in a hurry:)

next we move on to the Talimpu…….

Heat a teaspoon of oil in your now nicely clean Karahi or heavy based pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order and again  when the mustard seeds start spluttering, add chopped punjabi tinda, green chilli, tomato, turmeric powder and salt.

Now cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until the Tinda has softened

Then stir in the  ground masala paste and about quarter cup of vegetable stock, cover gain!

Lower the heat to a simmer and allow to gently bubble away for at least  10 -15 minutes or until tinda is soft and kind of transparent, you may need to add a little more stock or water to keep things moist so don’t be scared to add as much as you think it needs.

This is important so if you need more than 15 minutes, do so as undercooked tinda is……….  well not the greatest!

Now uncover and  stir in the  red chilli powder, whisked yogurt and season with salt if necessary.

Garnish with some fresh Coriander and let the eating commence…..

You can serve this with either Rice or Chapatis, or Rotis  a little meat or fish would also not do it any harm either so enjoy….

CHEMEEN MANGA….. Man go make curry

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   SAM_3395Fruit in curry , you know it I can’t resist it, and on this occasion I have a fantastic fruit for curry, Mango sweet and juicy that will add that little extra texture and fruity sweetness that is barely a hint on the palate yet acts upon the senses encouraging you to believe that the mango is a vegetable rather than a sweet fruit, a true sweet deception!

Don’t you just love seafood the filter feeders that are so wrong for some, yet taste so damn good, I used cooked prawn as that was all I could get my hands on at the local supermarkets on a Sunday. The cooked version worked just fine, but the raw variety would I think have been that little bit better, as Prawn requires so little cooking time and is the final addition to a sauce that can be  finished off in the moment. This recipe  is also fantastic for any other fish type that you think might benefit from a fruity addition.

The What’s in it!

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp. to fry the paste

1/2 tsp Aniseed

2 tbsp. Coconut(grated)

3 Shallots  or enough to fill 2 large tablespoons medium chopped

1 Red Onion thinly sliced

1 inch piece Ginger finely chopped

4 Cloves Garlic 

2 Green chillies – deseeded and chopped

1/2 tsp Chilly powder

1 tbsp. Coriander powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1 Mango sliced

150 gms of Prawns

 1/2 tsp Fenugreek

1/4 tsp Mustard seeds

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Ghee half Tbsp

Salt – As req’d

The how to

First things first if you have fresh prawn, lucky person is that you are ensure the prawns are deveined washed and dried.

Then take the coconut and roast it in a small amount of oil a half to one teaspoon should be enough

when the coconut is beginning to look less than raw add the shallots and the aniseed and continue to roast until golden brown in colourSAM_3393

Place in your pestle and mortar and grind to a smooth paste  and set aside yep it takes a few minutes and you could use a processor if you must, but the pleasure of the moment for me is in the effort involved and the purity of the result… if you get me!

Set aside until required

Heat your karahi to a nice even heat and fry the onions (using the rest of the oil)  until golden brown, add the green chillies garlic and ginger and fry for a minute or two longer

add the chilli coriander turmeric powders and the mango pieces…..

stir in 200 ml of fish stock or water, and salt to taste……

Add the coconut paste bring to the boil and set aside until ready to serve…….

Add the prawns five minutes or so before you’re serving and cook the prawns thoroughly

Finally just before serving make the Tempering by heating ghee then add the mustard seeds, adding the fenugreek and the curry leaves when the mustard seeds are all a splutter, then add the whole lot to your curry…… job done…… enjoy!

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