Recipes >> Prawn Curry with Coconut

This curry comes from the Malabar coast of India and has a distinctly southern flavor, using coconut and tamarind in its ingredients. 

25g (1 oz) block tamarind, 500 g (1lb) peeled raw prawns, 50g (2oz) desiccated coconut, 500 ml (17 fl oz) water, 25 g (1 oz) creamed coconut, 125 g (4 oz) frozen peas, 4-5 curry leaves, 1 green chili, deseeded and cut in half, 40 g (1 ½ oz) piece of fresh root ginger- peeled and finely chopped,  2 tomatoes, skinned and diced, 25g (1oz) ghee or 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoons ground coriander or coriander seeds, 2 small whole red chilies (optional), 1 large onion -  chopped, salt
Break the tamarind block and soak in 175 ml (6 fl oz) boiling water for 10-15 minutes then press through a sieve to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the pulp. 
Meanwhile, rinse the prawns and drain them well. Put the desiccated coconut into a bowl with 300 ml  (½   pint) of the water and leave for 10 minutes.  
Blend the desiccated coconut with its soaking liquid and strain to get a creamy milk. Reserve the leftover pulp. Put the creamy milk in a pan, add the creamed coconut, peas, curry leaves, green chili, ginger, tomatoes and tamarind water, cover and leave to simmer. 
Heat 1 teaspoon of the ghee or oil in a separate pan and gently fry the fenugreek seeds, coriander and red chilies until the fenugreek turns light brown. Do not let the mixture burn. Remove the pan from the heat, leave to cool, and then blend this mixture with the reserved coconut pulp and the remaining water to make a fine paste. 
Heat a further 1 tablespoon of the ghee or oil and fry the prawns until dry. Add the blended paste and gently fry for 5-6 minutes. Then stir into the simmering coconut milk mixture and season with salt to taste. Simmer the paste, covered, for 15-20 minutes. 
To serve, fry the onion in the remaining ghee or oil then spoon it over the prawn curry. Serve with boiled rice.
Serves 4
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