Thursday, 5 January 2012




     1)    Fresh prawns – 1 kg.

     2)    Big coconut – 1
     3)    Dry hot red chilies – 12 Nos.
     4)    Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
     5)    Asafoetida powder – ¼ teaspoon
     6)    Salt – 1½ teaspoon
     7)    Raw green mango – a thick side slice OR mature cucumber tree fruit – 3 Nos.

To Cook:

          Take off the head and outer shell of the prawns. Pull out the black string. If it is difficult to remove, make a shallow slit along the spine region (prawns of course do not have spines) and pull out the cord. Soak the shelled prawns in a solution of 10 ml. of vinegar in a litre of water for 3 minutes. Wash well in 2 or 3 changes of clear water. Drain and set aside. Grate the coconut and set aside. Break each red chili into two pieces and set aside.

          Set a small pan on low heat. Pour in a teaspoon of coconut oil. Tip in the broken red chilies. Stir for a minute and switch off the heat. Put the roasted chilies and the grated coconut together with a glass of water into a wet grinder or a food processor and grind to extra smooth paste (the wet grinder gives you a better taste but a granite hand grinder in which you have to stir the mixture using your hand, despite the effort, will give you a real gourmet taste). Peel the mango slice and cut it into 3 or 4 pieces.

          Put the prawns and the mango pieces into a curry vessel. Any vessel will do but traditionally, a cured terracotta pot is used to gain a nice earthy flavor. Pour in enough water to immerse the prawns and set on high heat. Tip in the salt. As soon as it comes to a boil, turn down the heat. Continue to cook till the prawns turn opaque and whitish, curling themselves into tight rings.

          Now tip in the ground paste and stir. If the curry is too thick, pour in a little water to bring it to thick gravy. Turn up the heat. As it boils again, taste and add more salt if requited. Sprinkle the asafoetida powder and dribble in the rest of the coconut oil. Stir once, switch off the heat and cover with a lid.

          Let the curry rest for at least 5 to 6 hours to give you the best taste. Serve either hot or cold with hot, soft rice, vellappams, dosas, idlis or idiyappams.

Lick your fingers and enjoy!!! Rest assured not a drop of gravy will be left in the pot! Bon appétit!!!


     1)    If the chilies you are using are of the extra hot type or if you like to have your curry extra mild, use fewer chilies.

     2)    The smoothness of the coconut paste is important to gain maximum deliciousness.

     3)    So is the resting period.

     4)    Frozen prawns cannot give you the same taste. Use fresh prawns only.

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