Friday, July 27, 2007

Tawa Prawns

Most of my friends through my twenties were big rum & coke drinkers. And great thing about having a solid 'pettad' as a friend is that whenever you go out, there are always great appetizers on the table. One of the more popular watering holes in Pune back in the early 90's was Pinnacle in Chandani Chowk. If one can remember that far back, Chandani Chowk was a place people went to get out of the city, stand at the pinnacle, enjoy some fresh air and a great view of the city from the top of the hill. At that point, Pinnacle was still trying to attract customers with low prices and a sit-as-long-as-you-want policy for drinkers. As a result, the average young drinker on a shoestring budget could manage to go beyond the masala peanuts for drinking snacks. Some drinking snacks like Chicken Manchurian Dry, Fish Koliwada and Masala Papad continue to be the favourites. My favourite was the Tawa Prawns. Fresh jumbo prawns spiced and stir-fried to perfection. Today, the city of Pune has grown in all directions, Chandani Chowk is pretty much in the middle of the city, the humble Pinnacle is called Banjara Hills and has gone from a humble restaurant to a resort with a restaurant that boasts a multi-cuisine menu. And although my coke still remains rumless I never fail to order the tawa prawns with my Thumbs Up when I visit the new Banjara Hills on my infrequent trips home.

1 lb Jumbo Prawns peeled and de-veined
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1 Tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Lemon Juice
6 cloves of Garlic crushed
3 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

In a wok, heat the oil on medium heat
Add garlic, chili, turmeric and garam masala
Stil till oil and spice mixture starts to foam
Add prawns and stir till all prawns are coated with the spice mixture
Add lemon juice, salt and stir
Cover with a lid and allow prawns to cook in the steam
This should not take more than 3-4 minutes.
Garnish with Corainder (Cilantro)