For those who relish seafood, prawns and crabs top the list. People who attempt eating seafood for the first time don't usually go wrong if they try prawns first. I know this for a fact as many of my North Indian friends gorge on prawns whenever they visit coastal places especially Goa. Being a fish eating Mangalorean, prawns should ideally be a part of my regular menu - but they are not. I gave up prawns (and crabs) during my school days as I developed a severe allergy which only aggravated over the years. The symptoms are many and a lot of people including hubby dear think that it's such a pity that I don't get to enjoy them especially when we eat out at restaurants that specialize in delicacies such as king prawn fry or tandoori crabs or lobsters even. I for one, have never regretted or missed not being able to eat the most prized catch. I can satisfy myself with the rest of what the seas have to offer. Or there's always chicken, isn't it? The safest bet in any restaurant almost anywhere in the world.
It is just since last year that I have started popping a prawn or two in my mouth - to see if my body is ready to accept them yet. The first few attempts with crabs didn't go down too well, but I think in a couple of years I should be able to eat prawns although I don't relish them anymore. If not eat them, I wan't to be able to cook them for my boys. So now you know why prawns have never featured on my blog despite the fact that I simply love seafood. It's the man who buys, cleans, cooks and eats them alone - until the little boy was born. Now it's the two of them giving each other the much required company in the prawn eating paradise.
This is probably the only post where I cannot describe the experience of having cooked the dish myself or relished it simply because from start to finish the hubby was involved. However, I did let my other senses enjoy the experience. While touch & taste took a backseat, the aroma of the freshly fried prawns was simply wonderful and appetizing. The colour of the masala was a feast for the eyes and the sound of the prawns sizzling away signaled the taste buds to salivate. I am sure you will have a wholesome experience of enjoying these prawns to the last bite. I hope to try these sometime in the future. Till then it's just the pictures for me!
PS: 'A prawn recipe' got the maximum number of votes in a poll I conducted this week on my Facebook page when I asked what readers wanted to see next on the blog. Do join me there for some more interaction, chit chat & recipe requests!
Prawn Masala Fry
Preparation time: 5 mins | Marinating time: 10mins | Cooking time: 10mins | Serves: 2
- 15 medium sized prawns cleaned
- 2-3 tsp (or to taste) bafat powder
- 1 tsp cumin/jeera powder
- 3/4th tsp ginger paste
- 1/4 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp (approx) vinegar or 1 tsp thick tamarind juice
- 2-3 tsp rice flour/powder (adjust according to the masala required)
- 2-3 tbsp coconut oil
- salt to taste
- 3 sprigs (approx 30 leaves) kadipatta/curry leaves
1. Marinate the prawns with the salt, bafat powder, jeera powder, ginger-garlic paste, vinegar (or tamarind juice), rice flour, 1 tbsp oil and 1 sprig of curry leaves finely chopped. Keep aside for 10-15minutes.
2. In a frying pan put the marinated prawns with 1 cup of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame to a medium high and let the prawns cook until the masala thickens. Leave the pan uncovered.
3. Transfer the prawns and its masala to one side of the pan and in the center of the pan pour the remaining 2 tbsp oil and the curry leaves (do not chop). Let the oil heat up a bit and then mix everything together and simmer for 2-3 minutes till the oil separates from the masala. When masala turns semi thick turn off the flame. If you don't need a thick masala continue to simmer/fry for another 2 minutes so that the masala fries some more.
4. Serve hot with rice or Neer Dosa
Above pic: Prawns sizzling away on the frying pan!
Another way of making the masala is to use meet-mirsaang (puli munchi). Ensure that you check for salt and vinegar before adding more as the meet-mirsaang is prepared with these two ingredients.
Instead of rice flour you can use rice batter (from left over neer dosa batter).
You may also pulse the mixture in a grinder along with the curry leaves instead of chopping them