Tuesday, 8 July 2014


Malabar cuisine is the native cuisine of Kerala that is situated in the south western part of India. The speciality of this cuisine is the use of milder spices where meat, seafood (that includes fish), chicken or even vegetables are cooked in creamy and light coconut gravy.

This curry is quite a versatile one as you can cook this with chicken or seafood, preferably prawns. The tempering of mustard and fenugreek seeds along with curry leaves add a beautiful aroma to this dish. This is a very popular curry that is sold in many restaurants in Adelaide, the place where we live. This time I decided to try my hands on it. The result was just brilliant. Home cooked curries are any time better than the ones you get in the restaurant, especially in a foreign land. For our money's worth, we always prefer to cook Indian meals at home. The recipe is very simple and easy to follow.

You will need:
300 grams headless fresh banana prawns tail on (deveined and rinsed)
Fresh Curry leaves 6-7
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek (Methi) seeds
2 dried red chillies
1 medium size onion finely sliced
11/2 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
3/4 tablespoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2-1 teaspoon red chilli powder (I used kashmiri red chilli)- use more if you like
5-6 cashew nuts
3/4 teaspoon of tamarind paste
1 good size tomato grated/or pureed with little coconut milk
1(400ml) can coconut milk (I used only 3/4 of the can)
1/4 cup warm water
2-3 tablespoon of cooking oil (I used canola oil)

Step1: Heat oil in a pan and fry the onion slices.
Once they start to soften and turn light brown add the cashew nuts and keep sautéing. Turn off heat, remove it in a bowl and allow to cool.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in the same pan, heat some more oil, smear the prawns with little turmeric powder and salt and fry until the prawns have just changed colour. Remove from the pan and set aside. 
Step 3: In a blender blend the onion and cashew nuts into a smooth paste.
Step 4: Reheat the same pan once again with 1-2 tablespoon of cooking oil, add tempering of mustard seeds, dry red chillies and fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
Step 5: Add the onion and cashew nut paste from the blender. Sauté  for 2 minutes. Add ginger, garlic paste, red chilli, turmeric and coriander powder, add very little warm water and keep sautéing till spices separate and oil is separated on the side.
The flame should be medium through out!
Step 6: Add the tomato puree and rinse the blender you had used to make the onion paste with lil (less than 1/4 cup) warm water and pour in the water into the pan.
Mix everything well and bring it to boil.
Step 7: Now add the coconut milk. Depending on how much gravy you want. You may not want to use the full can.
Step 8: Now add the tamarind paste. Cover and let it cook. Once the gravy has thickened and reached the desired creaminess, add the prawns. Simmer for 3-4 mins. Turn off heat. Do not cook any further as the prawns will get overcooked and turn stiff.  
Step 9: You may now serve, garnished with coriander leaves or fried curry leaves.

NOTES: While cleaning the prawns rinse them under very thin stream of water. Seafood, like prawns do not need too much cleaning. Just a gentle rinse is good enough or else they loose their tenderness. 
Use only fresh curry leaves and not preferably the dried or frozen ones (if you are living overseas you will find curry leaves in any Indian or Asian grocery store)

For variation to Prawn Malabar Curry you may replace prawns with chicken or egg to make Chicken or Egg Malabar curry
Enjoy this classic dish with some steaming hot rice or Pilaf.
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With deep care

EAT as you LIKE..

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