This is a very south Indian dish, with its use of coconut and tomatoes, and actually very simple to make
If you only have cooked prawns, add them right at the end of cooking, just to heat through. Try to get raw prawns though, as the flavour will be exquisite. Once the sauce has been passed through the sieve and returned to the pan, make sure it is only cooked over a gentle heat, so the coconut milk doesn’t split.
• 500g raw prawns, peeled and deveined, retaining the tail shells
• 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
• 1 lime or lemon, juiced
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• a few curry leaves
• 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped root ginger
• 1 green chilli, finely chopped
• 4 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
• 1 shallot, thinly sliced
• 200ml fish stock
• 100ml tomato passata
• 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
• pinch caster sugar
• 400ml coconut milk
• 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, plus more to serve
1 Peel, devein and rinse the prawns. Mix them with salt to taste, ¼ tsp of the turmeric and half the lime or lemon juice, and leave to marinate for 10–15 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan until hot and add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once they begin to pop and splutter, add the curry leaves, garlic, ginger, chilli, lime leaves and shallot.
3 Reduce the heat slightly and cook until the shallot becomes translucent. Now add the remaining turmeric and stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the stock, bring to the boil and cook for three to four minutes, until it has reduced.
4 Now add the passata, chilli powder and sugar. Reduce further until it has a consistency you like, then add the coconut milk and coriander, taste, adjust the seasoning and simmer for five minutes or so.
5 Remove the sauce from the heat and pass through a fine sieve, then return it to the pan. Bring to a simmer over a gentle heat, then add the prawns.
6 Cook on a low heat for five to seven minutes, until the prawns turn pink and are just cooked.
7 Finish off with the remaining lemon or lime juice and sprinkle with coriander to serve.
Recipe courtesy of Reza Mahammad, extracted from Reza’s Indian Spice © Quadrille