I am either very brave or rather reckless. The other night, I invited folks over for dinner to try out a whole new randomly chosen recipe, one I had never made before. Granted, they were mostly college students and two of them were my daughters so it wasn’t a tough crowd. But time was getting short (again!) for participating in +belleau kitchen's Random Recipe Challenge where, according to this month’s rules, we were supposed to make a recipe we had clipped and saved from a magazine or newspaper and this was the clipping I had chosen for this month.
It has been among my recipe clippings for a very long time but I had yet to try it. I have no idea of its provenance so I can’t give credit where due. But I looked up Prawn Patia on the ever-helpful internet to discover that it is originally a Persian dish that made its way to India with the Parsees. Who knew? All I can tell you is that it was roundly acclaimed delicious and I am sorry it took me so long to get around to cooking it. If you have cookbooks you are under-using or clippings that have been neglected, you might want to start accepting the Random Recipe Challenge as well!
1 1/2 lbs or 600g raw prawns or shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon turmeric (I screwed up and used ground cumin instead – didn’t miss it, still delicious. If you are a fan of cumin, you might want to do the same.)
1 teaspoon cayenne
3 large tomatoes or 5 Roma tomatoes
1 large bunch cilantro or fresh coriander
1-2 green chilies or jalapeños
3 cloves garlic
2 inches or 5cm piece fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (As you can see, the original recipe called for tamarind but I couldn’t find any here in Providence.)
Put your prawns in a large bowl and sprinkle on the salt, cayenne and turmeric (or cumin - see note above in Ingredients.) Give the whole thing a good stir and set aside.
Slice your onions finely then chop your tomatoes.
Sauté the onions, with a good couple of glugs of olive oil, in a large pot that is big enough for all of your ingredients.
Meanwhile, peel and mince the ginger and garlic. Finely chop your fresh pepper/s.
Wash the cilantro and chop the stem end of the bunch. Add the chopped stems to the prawns and stir. Chop the rest of the cilantro roughly and set aside.
|Yeah, there are some leaves in there too. Don't sweat the small stuff.|
Cook the onions down until they are completely soft and possibly a little golden in color. Add the garlic, ginger and peppers to the pot and cook briefly before adding in the tomatoes.
Cook until the onions and tomatoes have melted into a sauce. Add in the cumin and stir well.
Add the prawns and half of the chopped cilantro. and cook until the prawns are done, which shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes. Taste for salt and add a little more, if necessary.
Add in your fresh lime juice and brown sugar. Stir well and serve.
Use the balance of the chopped cilantro for garnish. I served this on top of coconut rice that my younger daughter made with this recipe except we skipped the extra grated coconut. The coconut flavor made a lovely addition to the dish. In fact next time, I might just add the coconut milk to the prawns and serve this over normal white rice.
Head on over to Dom’s blog and have a look at all the lovely Random Recipes my fellow bloggers have posted this month.