Creating a blog was out of the question for a long time for me, as measuring everything in the kitchen was like biting into an eggshell. I enjoy cooking and don’t want to waste even a slightest bit of enjoyment in that small world of mine. But little did I know that everything will change, when my husband came home with the Oscar nominated film ‘Julie and Julia’( a real life story) where Julie Powell (part played by Amy Adams) challenged herself to make all the 524 recipes from Julia Child's cook book ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’ and blogging all her experiences (The Julie/Julia Project). It was an inspiring movie. A few days later when we were discussing this casually with a friend of ours over tea…everything changed dramatically…..” How about you making at least half of it in one year? Not French but your own. 262 recipes that will inspire others and present it as a blog?” For a minute my mind traveled faster than light… With an experience as a helper in my mother in laws kitchen for 6 years followed by a three year everyday struggle to satisfy the palate of my foodie husband, if I cannot do it then why should I cook? But on the other side with an experience in English literature extending no more than expanding outline stories in English grammar class when I was 18 and two small kids that come in handy at times, will a commitment for the next one year work? Anyway my ‘cook's ego’ didn’t allow me to say no...

So my friends …here I am opening my recipe book, trying to perfect and present 262 recipes in the coming 365 days….A Challenge that will of course tastes good. Come.. Have a walk with me along my journey.. Cheering and inspiring….Forgiving and tolerating…Testing and tasting….for ‘A Tasty Challenge’

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Prawn/ Shrimp Curry (Konchu Kudam puli ittu Curry Vachathu)

Recipe No: 156
Back when I was small, we used to have a usual fish monger lady, whom we used to call ‘Mariya Chedathi’. Her voice was very characteristic of her, as it was heard at least three houses down street if she spoke softly!!! . Even if she had that voice she used to deliver some of the best fishes and sometimes used to clean it for my mother and Prawns were one among them. Even though I was very small at that time to appreciate the goodness of the ingredients and the awesomeness of my Mother’s preparations, this one Curry always lingers around my tongue… especially because she used to make this even now as it is one of my Father’s favorites. This is how she used to make...

Ingredients                             Serves 4
  • Prawn shelled and cleaned….2 Cups
  • Shallots cut into big pieces….1 Cup
  • Ginger Chopped fine………….1 Tablespoon
  • Coconut pieces……………..…..1/4 cup
  • Curry Leaves…………………….2 Sprigs
  • Kokum/ Kudampuli…………..2 big pieces
  • Coconut Oil………………….…..1 Tablespoon
To Grind
  • Chilly Powder……………………3/4 – 1 Teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder……………..1 ¼ Teaspoons
  • Turmeric Powder…………..….1/2 Teaspoon
  • Garam Masala Powder………3/4 Teaspoon
  • Garlic....................................1 big clove
  • Shallots………………..………….2
  • Salt……………………...………….as per needed
Method of Preparation
  1. Grind all the ingredients in the ‘to grind’ section into a smooth paste.
  2. Mix Prawns, Shallots, Ginger, Coconut Pieces, Kokum, one sprig of Curry Leaf and the ground paste along with ¾ cup Water in a ‘Chatti’ (an earthen cooking vessel) and cook it on high heat till it boils nicely.
  3. Once boiled, lower the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes or till the prawns are cooked well. Add more Salt if needed.
  4. Once cooked, drizzle the Coconut Oil and some torn Curry Leaves on top; close the pan and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.
Notes:
  • One thing that needs special attention is the freshness of the Prawn. You can make this with raw frozen cleaned Shrimp, but it tends to become a bit hard while cooking. Instead, if you use head on Shrimp (even if it is previously frozen) the Prawns in the prepared Curry will be very soft (A secret told to me by a friend of mine, but later felt it myself). So whenever I buy head on Shrimp, I like to make this.
  • Don't slice the Shallots thin. Cut them into two if small and  quarter, if big.
  • This Curry is best when it is made with homemade Garam Masala. (Get the recipe here)
  • Don't try to avoid 'Kokum'  as it gives the characteristic taste and also will help balance out the natural sweetness of the Prawns. These are available most of the Indian stores.
  • Don’t forget to sprinkle Coconut Oil and Curry Leaves on top. It will give an enticing aroma to the Curry.
  • Leave the Curry covered in the end for some time. The older generation calls it ‘Parthrapakam’ which means the time for the dish to reach perfection in its own cooking vessel.
     






    Make it, enjoy the deliciousness and 
    serve it to your family with love….

    1 comments:

    Ravi Madur said...

    Hi I am new to this blog. One of my friends madhu from New delhi referred me this blog to learn about all non veg recipes. i was really impressed for these many recipes using using non veg. I am very exited to make my first dish on non veg pickles with your blog inspiration. Thanks alot.

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