Light & Spicy Prawn Curry

Light & Spicy Prawn Curry

I have a serious weakness for foodie mags, a serious weakness.  I’ll read them first, usually curled up on the sofa with a nice cup of tea, and hold up every other page to Hubby making “oooh!” noises (bless him for humouring me every time!).  If there’s anything that grabs my attention right away I’ll tear it straight out and try it sooner rather than later. Then I’ll leave the magazine lying around for a couple of months before going through it again and tearing out every recipe I like.  It’s one of the reasons Hubby actually got me to start this blog, to do something with all those torn out recipes that were piling up around us. 🙂

This recipe is adapted from one of those ones that I tore out straight away, from a recent-ish issue of Waitrose’s magazine.  It was the picture that grabbed my attention first, all those plump pink prawns, and then the fact that it was a curry to boot.  I’ve only ever really cooked prawns a few times, for spaghetti dishes, which always felt quite a summery supper to have.  That and Hubby is originally from a landlocked state so was a wee bit wary of seafood, but he seems to have finally come around to it (and how!) so didn’t take much persuading to be fed this, especially when there was curry involved…

The original recipe uses canned tomatoes but we found that substituting V8 juice instead added a whole other layer of spice and flavour, which is then tempered beautifully by the coconut milk.  The curry’s heat is down to how strong your red chilli is so if you want to err on the side of caution then de-seed it before chopping and you can always add a wee bit of chilli powder  while the tomato juice is simmering if you think it needs it – I’ve read that you can cut the tip off a red chilli and place it against your tongue to check its heat but I’ve never been brave enough!

This is a deliciously light and fresh curry which feels perfect for early Spring, comfort food without being heavy.  The mustard and cumin seeds add a lovely fragrant note that is a perfect compliment to the fresh coriander.  Don’t skimp on the seeds, they really do make that much of a difference.  And if this becomes a bit of a regular dish on your dinner roster (like it has on ours already) then you’ll be getting through those wee bottles in next to no time. 🙂

Light & Spicy Prawn Curry
Serves 2
A light, fresh and fragrant curry that's perfect for the warm months!
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. Stuff you'll need...!
  2. 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  3. 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  4. 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  5. 1 white onion, diced
  6. small bunch of coriander (28g bag), stalks and leaves separated
  7. 1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
  8. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  9. 15g fresh ginger, grated
  10. 300ml V8 juice (or canned chopped tomatoes)
  11. 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  12. 300ml coconut milk
  13. 235g raw king prawns, deveined
Prep
  1. The trick to this dish for me is doing all the chopping/crushing/grating/de-veining work before you start cooking. Sorting the prawns takes a bit of time but nobody wants to eat the ‘poop chute’ (sorry!).
  2. The tip of a paring knife works a charm, but I find that a toothpick is even easier to tease out that nasty dark thread. Pop the de-veined prawns into a bowl of ice cold water and then into the fridge until you’re ready to use them.
  3. Then finely chop the coriander stalks, dice the onion, mince the garlic, finely chop the red chilli and grate the ginger (if you freeze your ginger beforehand it makes grating it much easier).
Cook!
  1. Heat the oil in a large wok or saute pan over a medium-high heat before adding the mustard and cumin seeds. Cook until they start to pop.
  2. Add the onions to the popping seeds and turn the heat down to medium before cooking for a further 3-5 minutes, or until the onions are golden.
  3. Add the finely chopped coriander stalks to the pan with the chilli, garlic and ginger, and cook for another 7 minutes.
  4. Tip in the V8 juice (or canned tomatoes) and season before cooking for 5 minutes, by which time the sauce should have reduced and be a bit paste-like (you should start to see the oil separate). Then stir in the garam masala and the coconut milk, and taste for seasoning.
  5. Pat the prawns dry with kitchen paper and add them to the sauce. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the prawns turn pink.
  6. Serve on rice with a scatter of coriander leaves.
Adapted from Waitrose Kitchen magazine
Adapted from Waitrose Kitchen magazine
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/
 
Spiced Prawn Poppadoms

Spiced Prawn Poppadoms

A couple of weekends ago I had some friends round for a bit of a curry feast.  Apart from loving curries so any excuse really to make them, they’re perfect for cooking up ahead of time which means you’re not stuck in the kitchen while everyone else is having fun in another room without you.  So while choosing which curries to cook was a doddle, trying to find starters that didn’t need a lot of attention on the night was much tougher than I thought it would be.  And I wanted to do a spread of Indian finger food rather than a sit down starter which narrowed down my options even more.  Suffice it to say, there were tantrums…

But!  I eventually found four fantastic Indian inspired nibblies, of which this was probably my favourite (and judging by the empty plates I’m guessing they went down quite well with my friends too!).  They’re easy peasy, look pretty as a picture, taste even better than they look and are fiendishly moreish.  Thank you Delicious Magazine, for coming to the rescue!  Again! 🙂

Don’t be tempted to buy large prawns, like tiger prawns, because you’ll have a mare trying to balance them on the poppadoms.  And be prepared to sift through your bag of poppadoms to find ones that are whole and flat or at least opened enough to sit the prawn easily on/in (silver lining = you can snack on all the broken or curled up ones while you’re sifting!).  The longer you can leave the prawns in the curry mixture the better the flavours will develop, overnight is perfect but even a couple of hours will make a difference.  If you’re making these well ahead of time then refrigerate, but remember to take out them back out about 45 minutes before you want to serve them up so that they can get back up to room temperature.

Spiced Prawn Poppadoms
Yields 30
Easy peasy Indian nibbles that are fiendishly tasty.
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Prep Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
35 min
Total Time
35 min
Stuff you’ll need...
  1. 300g fresh cooked and peeled medium prawns
  2. 1 tbsp mild tandoori curry paste
  3. 5 tbsp low-fat natural yogurt (not Greek)
  4. 2 limes, 1 for zesting and 1 to cut into wedges for garnish
  5. Small handful of chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to garnish
  6. 100g bag mini poppadoms (Walkers Sensations Lime & Coriander Chutney if you can)
  7. Mango chutney to serve (smooth if you can)
Prep!
  1. Drain the prawns of any liquid and pat dry with kitchen paper. And if you have an aversion to prawn tails, like Hubby who calls them flippers (!) then nip those off.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the curry paste, yogurt, lime zest and coriander, then season to taste. Tip the prawns in and stir until they’re evenly coated in the curry mixture and set aside for at least 15 minutes.
Make!
  1. You want to do the assembling about 20 minutes before you want to put these out.
  2. Take about 30 whole poppadoms from the bag and put them onto your serving plates. Place a spiced prawn on each (or if the prawns are quite small then place two on each).
  3. Top each with a small blob of mango chutney (I found a small squeezy bottle perfect for doing this quickly) and don’t be tempted to overdo the mango chutney or it will overpower all the other flavours. Top with a wee bit of coriander leaf, and you’re good to serve.
  4. And finally, pop a couple of small lime wedges onto each plate for people to squeeze over.
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/
Lamb Kofta Curry

Lamb Kofta Curry

It’s Spring!  Although last week felt more like summer and next week is meant to feel like winter… but according to the calendar, it is Spring, officially!  So let’s celebrate with some lamb, glorious, lamb 🙂  I really do think it’s my favourite red meat, and not just because roast lamb is an excuse to eat mint sauce… Of all the ways to cook it, though, this is a favourite.

Curry and lamb work so well together, and what I love about this curry is how wonderfully aromatic it is.  And like so many curries, all the hard work is up front, but the meatballs are so deliciously moreish that it’s worth all the prep work, and then some!

The original recipe is from an old and much splattered copy of Delicious.  The version I’m sharing is tried and tested and adapted to make prepping a little lazier, but no less tasty for it.

Lamb Kofta Curry
Serves 4
A glorious and unabashedly aromatic curry that'll win over even those people who don't (usually) eat lamb. There won't be any leftovers!
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You’ll need
  1. 1 tsp ground coriander
  2. 1 tsp ground cumin
  3. 2 tsp ground turmeric
  4. 2 tsp garam masala
  5. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  6. 4 medium onions, finely chopped
  7. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  8. 2 medium-hot red chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
  9. 2.5cm fresh ginger, finely grated
  10. 2 tbsp tomato purée
  11. 1 pint/500ml lamb stock, hot
  12. 7.5cm piece cinnamon stick
  13. 6 cloves
  14. 8 green cardamom pods, cracked open
  15. 50g creamed coconut (Bart’s do four individual sachets in a box, which I can highly recommend)
  16. 500g lean lamb mince
  17. 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to garnish
  18. 1 medium egg, beaten
  19. Sunflower oil for cooking
  20. Salt for seasoning
  21. Boiled rice
  22. 2 dried curry leaves, crumbled (optional)
Prep before you start
  1. Finely chop the onions, mince the garlic and grate your ginger (fifi's top tip - don't forget to use frozen ginger to make grating the stuff so much easier!) Get those CSI gloves on and de-seed and finely chop the red chillies, then remove the gloves carefully and set aside as you’ll need them again later. Measure out your spices into a small bowl – coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala and cayenne pepper.
Cook!
  1. Heat some oil in the stewpot before adding the onions and garlic, and fry gently for 7-10 minutes until they are lightly browned.
  2. Then add the red chillies, spices and a little salt, and cook gently for another 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off and remove half the fried onion mixture to the mixing bowl and leave it to cool. Leave the other half in the stewpot as this will form the base of your sauce.
  4. While things are cooling, finely chop up the fresh coriander.
  5. Once the fried onion mixture is cool, add the lamb mince, chopped coriander, beaten egg and a little salt into the mixing bowl with it. Get those CSI gloves back on, and then use your hands to mix everything in the bowl together (fifi's top tip - vinyl gloves will save your hands from succumbing to the spices and turning a not very fetching shade of yellow!)
  6. Now, if you want to check the seasoning of the lamb and spice mixture, cook a wee bit in the frying pan and taste. Adjust seasoning if you think it needs it. Once you've made these a few times you may not feel the need, or want, to do this bit. I don’t any more 🙂
  7. Roll the lamb and spice mixture into meatballs, about golf ball sized, and set them onto a baking tray. Once you’ve made them all, pop the tray into the fridge for about half an hour to firm the meatballs up a little.
  8. Take the meatballs out of the fridge and heat some oil in a heavy-based saucepan before frying off the meatballs – it usually takes me about 3 batches as I don’t like to crowd the pan. You just want to seal the meatballs and get a little colour on them, not cook them through. Place the fried off meatballs onto some kitchen roll to blot the worst of the grease.
  9. While you’re frying off the meatballs, it’s time to get the sauce going. Add the ginger, tomato purée, lamb stock, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, coconut (and curry leaves if you’re using them) to the remaining onion chilli spice mix in the stewpot and bring it all up to a gentle simmer.
  10. When all the meatballs are fried off, drop them gently into the simmering sauce. Partially cover with the lid, and then simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring gently every now and then. After this, the sauce should have reduced and thickened a little, and the meatballs should have set.
  11. If you’re planning to freeze and eat later, this is where you should turn the heat off, spoon the lot into a plastic container and leave to cool before putting it in the freezer.
  12. If you’re planning to eat it now (or reheating what you’ve thawed out), put the lid on the stewpot and let it simmer away for another 15-20 minutes. If it’s looking a little watery, I crank the heat right up for a couple of minutes or until sauce is looking more robust.
  13. Serve with boiled rice, and garnish with some fresh coriander. I defy you to leave any meatballs standing…
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
Adapted from Delicious Magazine
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/
Mum’s Epic Beef and Potato Curry

Mum’s Epic Beef and Potato Curry

I thought I’d start with a family favourite, Dad still gets excited if he knows it’s for dinner 🙂 It’s the curry I usually cook for friends, and have been since Uni which is probably when I wheedled the recipe out of Mum.

I’d say this curry is on par with a madras, both for flavour and heat.  I say ‘on par with’ because I’m pretty sure it’s an Anglicised curry rather than an authentic one, and is cheating by using ready made curry paste, but it’s properly delicious and, at the end of the day, isn’t that what’s most important?

Don’t be put off by the long cooking time.  Not only does it make for meltingly tender chunks of beef, but you do all the work in the afternoon and just leave the curry to do its own thing while you do yours, and come supper time all that’s left to do is dish it up.  Nom!

If you have enough leftover it freezes really well.  Except for the potatoes.  I usually decant those into a bowl with a little sauce and keep them in the fridge to nibble on.  They’re ridiculously moreish cold (I actually prefer them cold to hot!) and I’m lucky if they last 48 hours!  And if you just have sauce left and no meat, or none to speak of, the sauce lends itself really well to being scooped up with a chapati, so still worth freezing and maybe having a lazy Tiffin style lunch one day with some pop in the oven Indian starters.  Moar nom!

Mum's Epic Beef and Potato Curry
Serves 4
A rich and unctuous Madras-inspired curry. A real family favourite!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
4 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1lb (500g) cubed stewing steak or skirt
  2. 2 medium white onions, roughly chopped
  3. 5 cloves of garlic
  4. 1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  5. 2-3 tbsp madras curry paste (I recommend Patak’s)
  6. 1 level tsp chilli powder (optional and/or to taste)
  7. 1 beef stock cube/pot
  8. 5 or 6 potatoes that suit boiling
  9. Cooking oil
  10. Boiled white rice (I like Thai fragrant myself!)
  11. Plus Mango chutney if you like it, it’s entirely optional but I can’t eat it without!
Prep before you start
  1. Pop the onions into the food processor and blitz until they are almost pureed. This is the base of the sauce so needs to be almost liquid.
  2. Mince the garlic, and grate the ginger (fifi's top tip - If you freeze the ginger, it grates really really easily and without that fibrous stuff, as well as keeping for longer than if just in the fridge).
Cook!
  1. Heat some oil in the pot, and on a high heat fry off the cubed meat in batches so as not to crowd the pot. Once the meat is browned and sealed, remove to a bowl.
  2. In the same pot, pour in enough cooking oil to entirely cover the base and then some, and turn the heat down to medium/low.
  3. Fry the onions with a sprinkle of salt for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add the stock cube, curry paste and chilli powder and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. While you’re on the last 5 minutes, put the kettle on to boil.
  7. Add the steak back into the pot and then add enough boiling water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil before turning the heat down to simmer.
  8. Season, put a lid on it, and leave it for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  9. Just before the 2 hours are up, peel the potatoes and cut them into half (or quarters if they’re large). Once the curry reaches the 2 hour mark pop the potatoes in, put the lid back on, and leave for another 2 hours. Check on it and give it a stir every now and then. Taste and season if needed, and add more chilli powder if there isn’t enough of a kick. Hubby likes to bash the meat down throughout the cooking time, so that it almost collapses and becomes part of the sauce.
  10. This is an oily curry, so expect it to have a slick. If anything, you might need to add a little more oil towards the end to make it have that slightly oily look. If the sauce looks too watery add a little gravy mix – I’ve never done this myself, but my Mum swears by it.
  11. Serve with rice. I highly recommend trying some mango chutney too 😉
Adapted from Mum's recipe
Adapted from Mum's recipe
fifigoesnom http://www.fifigoesnom.com/