Two minute read
We all have come across a variety of PRAWN DELICACIES, but some are such that, they can never be forgotten. GREEN PRAWN CURRY is one of them.
I am transported to a time back to my teenager days. My little brother is helping me in the kitchen while I am trying to cook PAO_BHAJI which I had had at a fast food centre, near my college.
How time has flown and my brother has become an accomplished Chef himself. A special Chef who caters only to his family and friends, in his own home!
Now taking a ‘fewdayzoff’, I am with him on a small vacation in Mumbai. What culinary delights I am being treated to! He got even his wife on board !
The treat below is one of many.
Prawns( fresh, cleaned and deveined) 500 gms
Fresh coriander leaves….200 gms
Fresh garlic tender scapes……200 gms
Garlic pods …….6..7
Coconut milk(Home made company’s has a thick consistency)……300ml
Curry leaves…. 20 leaves
Green chillies …5
Heat three teaspoon butter in a flat bottomed pan along with one teaspoon of any refined oil. Finely chop garlic pods and fry till golden brown in colour. Add along with six to seven curry leaves.
In a mixer jar, grind, washed coriander leaves, garlic scapes and seven to eight curry leaves together. Now add this grinded mixture to the pan and let it cook in a medium flame for five minutes. Add coconut milk, salt to taste, three teaspoons sugar and a few chillies cut finely. Let it all simmer for eight to ten minutes.
Then, add the prawns and simmer again for another ten minutes. The more you cook, the harder the prawn becomes. So, adjust the time accordingly to your taste.
Season it with cream for that exotic taste and looks. It is purely optional. Cook it with lots of love and patience. Have you ever noticed the special taste the latter, adds to any dish whatsoever? There is a secret behind it.
The exotic taste of GREEN PRAWN CURRY, will linger on for a long time.
It was another outreach camp day. The health centre stood at a place where the river made a U turn. We watched the glistening sands from above as the health centre stood on a hill. The river flowed tranquill below.
There are times when one just mends with the surroundings and becomes deeply still and silent within. I had to be shaken out of my reverie.
Once we finished our routine work; packing was started hurriedly. We wanted to reach home before night fall.
It was then that we were invited for Fishing!
“Fishing! I have never done that in my life.” I blurted out.
“Wonderful! So You can start today, Madam. The fish here are abundant and delicious.” The Doctor of the centre added enthusiastically.
Somehow I did not quite share his enthusiasm.
“Ok, lets have lunch first.” He said.
Well, that was too inviting a proposal to resist.
Varieties of fish dishes were in the lunch spread. The particular one made with roasted fresh fish and ground to a CHUTNEY was wonderful.
Small fresh fish..250 gm
Green chillies.6 _7
Garlic cloves ….6_7
Onions medium sized 4
A tuft of fresh coriander leaves.
Roast the fish in a fire or with a little oil in a hot tava.
Remove it and do the same with garlic and chillies until slightly brown.
Wash and chop the coriander leaves finely.
The grinding stone is a thing of the past in cities but it still flourishes in small towns and villages. I have seen it being used in Kolkata too where maids will fine grind garam masala, cumin seeds, ginger finely and separately and keep them in small little utensils for the lady of the house to use while cooking, as part of her routine activities, every day.
The taste this freshly grounded spices impart to the dish is unparalleled.
So those who have no grinding stone, use the smallest jar in your mixer grinder to turn the fish, garlic, coriander and chillies and salt to taste combo into a coarse paste. Add freshly cut onion in thick pieces to it before churning it. Do the churning in ‘Pulse’mode.
Remember we do not want a syrupy concoction.
After it is done, remove it in a utensil and add two teaspoon of mustard oil. Kacchi Ghani mustard oil is better. Top it with a few fresh leaves of coriander and serve it hot with steaming Rice and fresh onion roundrels.
Well, is your mouth watering? Well, we are on the same page.😋☺😁
An excursion in the hills
Years ago, I was working in the Garo Hills region of Meghalaya. We had planned an eye screening camp in one of the remote hilly villages.
We started our journey at the break of dawn. After travelling for half an hour on relatively plain roads; the Gypsy took a sharp turn upward and then, it was a constant uphill climb with spiralling down valleys in between. At long last, we reached a clearing in the dense forest. On two sides of it, lay the village. Few houses made with bamboo and mud peeped out of the dense vegetation when the wind blew whike others remained hidden. A small stream sparkled away gurgling and shining a thousand stars. Green and red flowers capped the trees.
The cool, sweet orange scented breeze, was so refreshing that it took all the tiredness of the back breaking journey away.
On one side stood a row of white tents. I was directed to my own tent with EYE written on it.
On the far side, waited hundreds of people, sipping tea.
We were also served hot tea made by brewing local tea leaves, ginger and sugar with a dash of fresh lemon. Instead of whetting our appetite, it increased it many fold. A tub of oranges was kept on one side. A small plate with salt and green chillies grinded together was kept on a little table too. I loved the cool sweet oranges dipped in this paste. It tasted heavenly. Delicious aromas swam about in the air. After a couple of hours or so, we were led to the lunch area.
Hot rice packed neatly in banana leaves lay on one side of the table in a big utensil. Delectable accompaniments lay adjacent to it. Though an array of delicious curries were served, the one which stood head and shoulder above the rest was called ‘Chicken Kappa’.
The melt in the mouth recipe is unique because it is made without oil.
Since the idea of making it raw like that…felt a little awkward; I modified it a bit to suit my taste and my temperament.
Sharing the recipe here.
Chicken 250 gms(chicken breast)
Chillies 10(thick ones)
Ginger 2 teaspoon finely grated.
Cooking soda 1/2 to 3/4 th teaspoon and salt to taste.
Heat a thick bottomed pan and just glaze it with one teaspoon of light groundnut or soyabean oil. Saute the chicken pieces for five minutes to remove the rawness with the flame kept low to medium. Then add the finely chopped chillies, add salt and ginger and saute it further. This is traditionally a hot dish especially suited for winter. One can of course, decrease the chilli quantity depending on one’s aptitude for it. Add two small glasses of water and let it come to a boil. Lower the flame and then add the cooking soda. Be careful as it instantly boils over. Lower the flame and let it simmer until the meat is tender. Add water if needed. It can be made a little soupy or dry .Serve it hot with steaming rice.
One can do variations in it by adding some finely chopped onions, garlic and chunks of capsicum too when adding chillies and ginger, and then thicken the gravy with a little cornflour at the end.
Do try it and let me know whether you LIKE it or LOVE it.
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