Thursday, March 28, 2013

Prawn Patia for #RandomRecipeChallenge

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 onions
3 large tomatoes or 5 Roma tomatoes
Olive oil
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.


Random Recipes #26 - March

Head on over to Dom’s blog and have a look at all the lovely Random Recipes my fellow bloggers have posted this month.  


  1. Thanks, Dom. It was delicious and I will definitely be making this again. Thanks, as always, for the challenge. It's always a pleasure to take part.

  2. Thank you, Shu-Han! I don't make it every month either but I do try because i have had great luck finding recipes i like and would make again by taking the challenges.

  3. I am a real geek but love how food - and curries in particular - tie in to anthropology and the migration of people all over the world. I recently did a similar dish but it comes from the Caribbean. This is a bit different though, and looks gorgeous!

  4. You are my kind of geek, Suzanne, because I love that too! It bothered me that I didn't know where the recipe had come from so I HAD to research. Curry is one of those dishes that has spread almost everywhere in the world and I have yet to meet a curry I didn't like!


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