Ever thought of having a fantastic meal and/ or impressing people with your culinary skills in 10 minutes without sacrificing authenticity of a dish ? It is not simple..but sometimes you can find them. And the best ingredient for that I find is prawn or mushroom. They cook so fast and are so full of flavors that almost any dish, which has so far has met with the above 'constraints', just always had either of these two. Now, I had a little bit of prawn left over from my previous
post that I had to o something with them--or they would go bad in the refrigerator. Pity. I had the kitchen to myself for 10 minutes before R, who was cooking this lovely gourmet chicken ( needs ~ 1 hour) was in charge of the kitchen.
This recipe is not mine. I am not even sure how it made its way to India. For to me it looks like red thai curry--much better tasting-- and sounds like it originated in Malaysia. But who cares as long as It tastes great. Its a delicacy in Bengal. And there are strict rules of making it. Till of course you start bending the rules around and get the same taste or even better. That is what I do with this one. Yesterday was one of the best imitations in 10 minutes-FLAT.
Check it out!
20-30 prawn. Deveined and cleaned. You can also use lobsters or Crabs. Or even mussels, scallops. Vegetarian option is mushrooms (cleaned). But Traditionally its done with prawns.
Unsweetened coconut- half a cup. Traditionally coconut mil is used. If you are going to use coconut milk, use half a cup--for light variety, and mix 2-3 tbsf with half a cup pf water for the thicker coconut milk.
good quality yoghurt- 1 cup
Half tbsf of grated ginger. Freshly grated is better.
half a tsp of cayenne pepper
2 tsp of sugar
A pinch of turmeric-optional
1 small bit of cinnamon stick
2 -3 clove- take off their heads to prevent bursting in hot oil
1 cardamom (optional)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of oil-regular
Half a cup of water-- only when using coconut powder
It takes 10 minutes--but easy to screw up :)
Heat oil in a non stick skillet. When oil is hot, drop the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves and bay leaf and wait till they release aroma. Lower heat to lowest. Wait a few seconds. Slowly drop the yoghurt, cayenne pepper turmeric, ginger and sugar. NEVER ADD YOGHOURT AT HIGH HEAT. The yoghurt gets burnt very quickly. Saute for a few seconds and increase the heat to medium and wait till yoghurt bubbles. Takes 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut powder (or the milk of coconut), water (if you are using coconut powder) and let it bubble. Add the prawn and continue cooking till prawn is red (indication that it is done). Season with salt. Remember that the dish is supposed to be slightly sweet.
Serve with jasmine rice. And a wedge of lime and/or a spring of Basil.