Thursday 22 October 2020

Prawns - Thick Curry Sauce

Prawns in a thick curry sauce.

Panang Phanang Phanaeng Curry.

There are as many types of curry as there are clouds in our skies. Curry variations are named after the geography that inspired them.

Panang curry is also called Phanang and Phanaeng. It is a thick curry prepared from the basic red curry paste and has added layers of flavour. Primarily  it must be sweet and salty while having a bold nutty flavour with the addition of toasted, roasted peanuts or peanut butter. Generally from the central and southern regions of Thailand, it is delicious. Served with boiled rice or even a roti or paratha, it can be a soul-warming comfort food.

Not to be confused with Penang in Malaysia or its cuisine.

This curry is meant to be thick.

Serves 6

2 lb prawns - keep the shells aside.
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric

Oil to cook in. 

Grind together

10 dry red chillies
2 to 6 fresh birds eye or red chillies - spice heat can be intense
6 cloves of garlic
1 thumb size galangal, grated or a paste
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp palm sugar
4 white hearts of the lemon grass 
1 tsp fish sauce
Zest of 1 makrut lime 

4 shallots-ground to a pulp

Juice of the lime
2 tbsp finely crushed peanuts or fresh peanut butter
400 ml / 14 oz thick coconut cream
3 cardamom pods
Handful of Thai Basil leaves

Optionally add either 
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp white pepper

Heat a little oil and pan fry the prawns on a high flame, just flash frying them. Remove it and set it aside. In the same pan, add the shallots, sauté until golden brown, and add the ground chilli and rest of the spices. Keep stirring until all the aromas are fragrant. Add water as needed(coconut water or coconut milk can be substituted). Add the lime juice, peanuts, coconut cream and cardamom. Stir well bringing it to a boil until the desired thickness is achieved. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add the prawns, and let it simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the fresh basil and give it a toss. Serve immediately.
Add an eggplant and a red bell pepper if you wish.

My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.

The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022. 

The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.

Photo credit Niloufer Mavalvala

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