Wednesday, 15 July 2009

prawn curry

there is no way of making a curry look good on a picture taken with a goddam rubbish sony ericsson phone.

some weeks, it just doesn’t come together, this cooking thing. you try and you make stuff but one look at your plate when you dish out is enough to stop you from taking a photo (i really do need a better camera) or giving it any more thought beyond the last mouthful.

there was an attempt at crumble, which was no more than a waste of good cherries. there was roast salmon which was just...nice. there was a grass-fed feather steak which was good but nothing like the sirloin with wild mushrooms that is making my mouth water even now.

but then one dish will come along and redeem days of mediocrity, and this was most definitely it. it’s not a dinner party special but a nice midweek supper, when you haven’t really got time to cook but fancy something more than meat and two boiled veg.

i spotted the recipe on eatlikeagirl blog (http://eatlikeagirl.com/) and stole it shamelessly. i did make a few minor modifications– one green chilli is nowhere near enough so i used two red ones, one with seeds still in (laziness - and yes, it was reasonably hot). i added an extra garlic clove. i excluded the sugar, which did make the whole thing a bit too acidic and tomatoey, so i used maybe 2/3 of the tin of coconut milk and some extra coconut cream for sweetness. the rest of the tin of milk i whizzed up with some strawberries, blueberries and dessicated coconut for breakfast the next morning. it was disgusting. had to have a boiled egg as well as it was like eating air.

this recipe could be easily adapted for vegetarians once you’ve made the tomato-coconut sauce as a base – just chuck in some quorn or tofu (though maybe at an earlier stage so it absorbs some of the flavours).

PRAWN CURRY
for two

250 raw prawns (though cooked will do)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk, plus some coconut cream if you wish
2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped and grated
1 onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
2 tsp ground tumeric
12 black peppercorns
3 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
a squeeze of lemon juice

fry the onion, ginger and ginger until the onion is soft and translucent. add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.

grind the spices in a pestle and mortar and add to the pan. continue frying for a couple of more minutes. add the tomatoes, and let them boil down a little, probably five or more minutes, then add the coconut milk. you most likely won't need the whole tin - just see how runny the sauce is when you add about a half. taste and then see if you need to add a bit of coconut cream to sweeten.

boil for another 5-6 minutes, then add the prawns and cook till they turn pink. finally, add the coriander and a little squeeze of lemon juice.

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