Ola people! Here I am sitting in the heart of Mangalore writing down a recipe that is a favourite among many Mangaloreans except me. Well, I am sure it would have been if I ate prawns, but since I don't we postponed even preparing this dish while in Dubai. We wanted to have the curry made by my mum in law who is an amazing cook and she cheerfully obliged. So off went Roshan to the fish market. He chose a fine batch of prawns and cleaned them himself. I helped my mum-in-law grind the masala and the 'hult' (taste check/adjustment) was done by her. It was a case of one too many cooks that didn't spoil the broth. The resultant curry was this lovely spicy-tangy one with prawns and potatoes floating in harmony.
Since it was pouring outside I couldn't click many pictures (our balcony was flooded already) and plus the gloomy weather didn't support my photo shoot. However, I am so glad that we prepared it as I hardly have any prawn recipes on the blog. The only other recipe I have so far is the Prawn Masala Fry which has been a hit on the blog - Roshan's own take on the restaurant style prawn fry. How many of you have tried it? If you haven't tried it already I strongly urge you to give it a try. I am sure you will love it.
Coming back to my story, as we sat down to eat our lunch my mum in law urged me to give the prawns a try. I don't eat them as am allergic to them but in the past have tried eating one or two prawns when fried. This time I was tempted but wanted to attempt eating the curry at least if not the prawns. I said a silent prayer and symbolically sprinkled the precious blood of Jesus over myself and ate the curry happily. Well, what happened next? I am still alive to tell the tale today and hand over this lovely recipe to you. God willing, I will be able to eat more prawns in the future and share a lot more recipes with you.
This is the curry we Catholics make in Mangalore, I am sure that this recipe is more or less the same if compared to how other communities make it. Some versions have methi/fenugreek seeds added to it and some are more spicy. Either ways this is one dish you should not miss if you are vacationing in Mangalore. I hope you enjoy it.
Prawn & Potato Curry ~ Mangalorean Catholic Style
Prep time: 20-30 mins | Cook time: 15 mins | Serves: 4-6
- 1 kg (approx 30) big prawns, cleaned and deveined * see notes
- 4 medium sized potatoes, boiled, peeled and quartered (or cubed if you wish)
- salt to taste
- 3/4th - 1 cup grated coconut * see notes
- 1 medium sized onion roughly chopped
- 4 medium sized garlic cloves
- 1 marble sized ball of tamarind (add a little more if required)
- 4-5 long dry red chillies (Byadge variety) * see notes
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds * see notes
- 1 teaspoon cumin * see notes
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 8-10 peppercorns (adjust to taste)
- a pinch of asafoetida/hing * see notes
- 3-4 small garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon oil
1. If desired, sprinkle the cleaned and deveined prawns lightly with salt and keep aside for 5-10mins (or until your masala is ground and ready)
2. Using a little water grind all the ingredients mentioned under 'Masala to be ground' to a very fine paste.
3. Transfer the ground paste into a heavy based pan or kadhai and add a little water to the mixer grinder and empty this water into the same pan. Add enough water to make the gravy of medium thickness (adjust this to the desired consistency)
4. Place the pan/kadhai over a medium heat and bring it to a boil. Toss in the pre boiled potatoes and simmer for half a minute
5. Add the prawns and continue to simmer for not more than 2 minutes. Prawns and squid can turn rubbery if you overcook them, so it's either 2 mins or 2 hours to get them nice and soft - anything in between will lead to hard, rubbery and chewy prawns - totally avoidable!
6. Once the 2 mins are up, remove the pan from the heat and get ready to temper the curry.
7. In a small pan (used for tempering) heat the oil and toss in the crushed garlic cloves, give it a quick stir until they turn light golden (not too brown). Pour this seasoning into the curry and cover the pan quickly.
8. Serve hot with steaming hot boiled rice and any vegetable saute of your choice. Throw in a papad or pickle for good measure and a truly enjoyable Mangalorean meal!
1. We used big sized prawns available in Mangalore, not tiger prawns which are too big.
2. We used 1/2 a medium sized coconut
3. To make this recipe easy and quick you may substitute the use of dry red chillies, cumin, coriander and turmeric with 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of bafat powder without garam masala added to it. Find the recipe here
4. The addition of hing to the ground masala is optional but recommended as prawns are considered gaseous (causing gastric problems) and hence the hing will combat that problem.