Green Masala Prawns

I ate an amazing version of green masala prawns a couple of weeks ago at one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney, Newtown’s Janani. It ranks as one the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten. The lovely chatty chef there refused to give me her recipe but throughout our conversation I managed to wean more and more ingredients out of her. My resulting recipe makes a very very tasty, spicy dish, albeit different to the version at Janani. For that delight, you’ll have to go and taste it at the restaurant yourself.

Masala Paste:
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 garlic cloves (chopped)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger (chopped)
2 small hot green chillies
1 stem fresh curry leaves (stem removed)
2 tablespoons fresh coriander
2 tablespoons fresh mint
1 cup fresh spinach

Other Ingredients:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
3 cardamom pods (bruised)
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 dried kokum (soaked for 30 minutes) (optional)
250ml coconut milk
½ teaspoon salt
500g raw tiger prawns (shelled)
1 stem fresh curry leaves (stem removed)
1 lime (juice of) (optional)

To make the green masala, pound together into a smooth paste the, garlic, ginger, chillies, curry leaves, fresh coriander and mint, ground coriander and spinach and set aside.

In a wok, heat the coconut oil until hot over a moderate heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cardamom and fenugreek and sizzle for 10 seconds until the mustard seeds start to pop. Add the green masala paste and cook for a further 1 minute, stirring. Add half the coconut milk and kokum (if using) and simmer for another 2 minutes. Add the prawns, extra curry leaves, the remaining coconut milk and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the prawns are done. If you didn’t use the kokum or if you just want extra sourness, squeeze over some lime juice now to your taste.

Serve with Basmati Rice or like me dolloped on top of some chapati.

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