Thursday, September 13, 2007

Prawn Curry

If there's one thing the great city of Pune lacks, it's a beach and an abundance of fresh seafood. Sure there are a few fish markets and some scattered fish mongers, but the seafood is always expensive and unless you're really tight with the fish monger, not really that great. This would also explain the lack of good seafood restaurants in Pune. Growing up, I couldn't recall a single restaurant that was known for great fish. But in the last two years that I still lived in Pune, a restaurant by the name of Kalinga had just opened it's doors on the small road whose only claim to fame was a quick access to the Mhatre Bridge. A restaurant that tried too hard with a seating capacity of 500 and was decorated with baroquean excess. Hopefully they've toned down the decorations a bit. The only saving grace to this eyesore was the great food. And great seafood. During my limited number of visits to Kalinga I had the only acceptable prawn curry served to me in any restaurant in Pune. In Pune, the seafood is expensive and let's face it — the people are cheap. And I give Kalinga an A for effort for even trying to serve good seafood to picky, cheap bastards like myself who would cause a stink if it wasn't absolutely great. Of course, the best prawn curry I have ever had came out of my mother's kitchen and hopefully this recipe comes close.

1/2 cup oil
1 lb. Jumbo Prawns peeled and de-veined
1 large Onion chopped very fine
6 cloves of Garlic crushed
1 tsp Tomato Paste
3/4 tsp Turmeric
3/4 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 cup Coconut milk
1/2 tsp Tamarind paste
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pot
Add garlic and onions and stir till onions are translucent and brown on the edges
Add tomato paste and stir
Add turmeric, garam masala and chili powder and stir
Add prawns and make sure they're mixed well with the onion tomato mixture
Add the water to make the mixture lose
Add tamarind paste and stir
Allow to cook for a minute or two
Add coconut milk and stir
Simmer on low heat for 5 min
Do not over cook Prawns
Serve with chapatti or rice.