Sri Lankan Seafood Curry
This curry reminded me of my favourite Dahi ni Kudhi (only with coconut milk instead.) The very subtle flavours magically come to life when the balance is impeccable. It has the wonderful Sri Lankan flavours enhanced with the Pandan leaf. Its a quick and simple curry perfect for any family meal.
|Prawn Curry with coconut sambol, rice, poppadum and mango chutney|
1 tbsp oil
4 small finely chopped shallots or 3/4 cup crushed fried onions
1 tsp mustard seed
24 curry leaves
6 large cloves thinly sliced garlic
4 finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp turmeric
2 cans coconut milk
2 cups coconut water
12 whole dry kokums
2 whole green cardamom
4 inch sq pandan leaf
1 tsp crushed flakes of dry chillies
juice of 1 lime
1 kg shelled prawns, medium size is best
optionally 1/2 tsp mustard powder
In a wok or deep skillet heat the oil, add the shallots and lightly saute until translucent, soft and have a slight tinge of caramelisation. Add the mustard sees, curry leaves, garlic and green chillies and continue stirring for a minute or two and add the turmeric. Mixing constantly on a medium high flame, until the turmeric is well blended and there is a slight bubbling in the pan, to ensure the turmeric is cooked through. It will take up to 5 minutes at most.
Add the coconut milk one can at a time, mixing it all and continuing to add the coconut water. Bring it all to a rapid boil and add the rest of the ingredients. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil, leave the pan open and allow it to cook for 30 minutes until the liquid has halved, the curry is thicker, enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Add the prawns at this time. Leaving the heat high and cooking the prawns for 5 minutes until just done.
Cover the pan, turn of the heat. Wait for 3 minutes and serve with your favourite kind of rice.Choosing from any of these like plain boiled rice, ginger rice, lemon rice or coconut rice.
Substitute the shallots for 3/4 of a cup of crushed fried onion from your pantry.
Light coconut milk can be used and coconut water halved, this will cut the cooking time by 10 minutes.
Kokum is a dried fruit from the mangosteen family. It is dark red in colour and will be tart to the taste. It will be moist and tasty enough to eat once its cooked in the curry and re-hydrated.
This curry has a pleasant pale yellow colour. This may change and enhance if you decide to add the mustard powder to make the curry more pungent.
Chillie powder is not a substitute for the chillie flakes. Its better to add whole dry red chillies or fresh red chillies rather then the powder.
For more curry recipes
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.
Photo courtesy Niloufer Mavalvala