King prawn patia
The real thing!
This is an exotic Parsee dish that would be served at weddings and similar occasions requiring luxurious food.
You may have to search hard for one of the ingredients, tamarind, as it's not often found in supermarkets. You should not have any trouble finding it a Indian or Chinese wholesalers such as Seewoo
Don't be startled by the quantities of garlic, chillies or onions in this dish. It's not overpowering and a little goes a long long way. Be bold and try this recipe, it will become a favourite.
- 2 large fresh red chillies, deseeded
- 2 large fresh green chillies, deseeded
- 2 dried chile de Arbole
- 1 whole garlic bulb, smashed and peeled
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 112 ml (4 fl oz) vegetable oil - whilst not authentic, I prefer olive oil for health reasons.
- 1.3 kg (3 lb) onions, peeled and finely chopped (a job for the food processor!)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1 tablespoon jaggery or sugar
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 6 tablespoons tamarind pulp
- 1.3 kg (3 lb) king prawns, shelled, de-veined and cleaned
- In a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind the chillies, garlic, cumin and one of the onions to a paste, gradually adding half a cup of water. Set to one side.
- Heat the oil on a large pan and fry the onions to a golden colour, carefully add the spice paste and fry until it bubbles. Add the turmeric, coriander and cayenne powders and fry for a few more minutes
- Stir in the tamarind pulp, jaggery and 4 fl oz of water and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring now and again until the sauce has thickened
- Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes
- Remove from the heat and leave standing for 40 minutes so the prawns absorb the all of the flavours
Reheat just before serving
I recently made this recipe for 4 (2 now, freeze 2) but still felt that 1.3 kg of king prawns was a bit excessive! So I made the recipe using the same amounts as above, but with 400 g of king prawns, 180 g of crayfish tails and to bulk it out a little, a winter squash, peeled, sliced and boiled until soft, a little less time than for potatoes of the same size. I then added the squash with the prawns.
Tamarind pulp: If the tamarind pulp comes with stones, then soak it in the 4 fl oz of (boiling) water for 15 minutes, stir well and sieve the stones and any skins out and then use the liquid as stock.
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