I have a serious weakness for foodie mags, a seriousweakness. 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
A light, fresh and fragrant curry that's perfect for the warm months!
small bunch of coriander (28g bag), stalks and leaves separated
1/2 red chilli, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
15g fresh ginger, grated
300ml V8 juice (or canned chopped tomatoes)
1/2 tbsp garam masala
300ml coconut milk
235g raw king prawns, deveined
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!).
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.
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).
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.
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.
Add the finely chopped coriander stalks to the pan with the chilli, garlic and ginger, and cook for another 7 minutes.
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.
Pat the prawns dry with kitchen paper and add them to the sauce. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the prawns turn pink.
I struggle with what to make for lunch. Sandwiches are the obvious choice but a limited rota of fillings makes them get boring really quickly. Even at the weekend when I’ve got more time I’m generally quite stumped as to what to make. Left to my own devices I’d probably just rustle up a bowl of ramen noodles every day (and chorizo pasta every night!), but Hubby keeps pointing out the inherent unhealthiness of that, so… I’ve always got one eye out for new and interesting things to make for that meddlesome midday meal whenever I’m flicking through foodie mags or watching foodie progs. When I saw (the very lovely!) James Martin make his Singapore Chilli Crab Noodles one Saturday morning I knew I had to give it a go – not just because it looked tasty good but also because it looked like it could be Eat’s Spicy Crayfish Noodles, crab crayfish swap notwithstanding, which are awesome! Sadly, the only Eat in Edinburgh is inconveniently way out at the airport which is why I’m happy to have found a recipe that is tantamount to making my own…
Other than the obvious fact that this is not a sandwich, I love this for lunch – the sweet spicy noodles are delicious cold and the whole thing tastes lovely and fresh thanks to the coriander and zingy lime juice. Despite the long list of ingredients it really doesn’t take long to make these, and that wee bit of effort the night before will totally pay off the next day when you tuck into these for lunch 🙂
My take on JM’s original recipe cuts down the sauce:noodle ratio quite a bit as the Eat noodles I’m trying to recreate are eaten cold, and too much sauce with cold noodles = claggygedon. You’ll probably still need to give them a good shoogle to loosen them up before eating (a fresh squeeze of lime juice all over helps), especially if they’ve just come out of the fridge
Sweet & Spicy Prawn Noodle Salad
Delicious cold noodles in a light sweet and spicy sauce, set off perfectly with zingy lime juice.
600g fresh egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions
2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 limes, juice one, quarter one to serve
Heat the oil in a wok before adding the ginger, garlic and chillies and stir-frying them for 2-3 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk together the tomato ketchup, chilli sauce, hoisin sauce and fish sauce. I find it helps a little to melt the sugar in the hot water separately before adding that to the bowl and whisking everything together.
Add the sauce to the wok, stir well to incorporate the ginger, garlic and chillies, and then bring to the boil before reduding the heat and simmering for 3-4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Add the prawns first and coat them in the sauce, and then add the noodles, coriander and lime juice, and stir/mix/shoogle until you’ve coated everything in the sauce.
Decant into lunch containers, leave to cool, and then pop into the fridge until needed. Best eaten at room temp with some fresh lime quarters to squeeze over.
Adapted from James Martin, Singapore Chilli Crab Noodles
Adapted from James Martin, Singapore Chilli Crab Noodles
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
Easy peasy Indian nibbles that are fiendishly tasty.
2 limes, 1 for zesting and 1 to cut into wedges for garnish
Small handful of chopped fresh coriander, plus extra leaves to garnish
100g bag mini poppadoms (Walkers Sensations Lime & Coriander Chutney if you can)
Mango chutney to serve (smooth if you can)
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.
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.
You want to do the assembling about 20 minutes before you want to put these out.
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).
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.
And finally, pop a couple of small lime wedges onto each plate for people to squeeze over.
My retro trip continues! This weekend it was the turn of that total guilty pleasure starter, prawn cocktail, with the scales tipped most definitely in the favour of pleasure 🙂 I’m a big fan of M&S’s ready made but making your own Marie Rose sauce is so easy that it really is a sin not to just whip it up yourself. That and you can go for the biggest, fattest prawns you can find!
And if you like it as much as Hubby does, it makes for a great salad lunch with some avocados and cherry tomatoes tossed in too.
King Prawn Cocktail
A delicious retro classic, with an easy peasy homemade Marie Rose sauce.
1 lemon – juice half, and quarter the other half for serving
Dash of Tabasco
200g cooked prawns – king or tiger
Lettuce – iceberg if you’re sticking with the classic, or baby gem
Sprinkle of paprika
In a bowl large enough to hold your prawns and allow for some movement, mix the mayonnaise, salad cream and ketchup. Add lemon juice to taste and mix well. Next, add a dash or two of tabasco – you don’t want to be able to taste its distinctive flavour, just apreciate the piquancy it brings to the party – and mix again.
Tip your prawns into the bowl and stir until they’re all coated. I like to pop the bowl back in the fridge for a half hour to chill everything, but it’s not a must.
When you’re ready to serve, grab a few leaves of iceberg and roll them up like a cigar before slicing into ribbons. Half fill your serving bowls with lettuce (if you’re going for that full retro feel then it has to be a large wine glass!) before topping with the prawns. Or, make a wee cradle out of two or three baby gem lettuce leaves on a small plate and spoon the prawns into it.
Sprinkle with a little paprika and serve with a quarter of lemon.