A wide variety of small crustaceans, tiny relatives of the lobster, are known as prawns. Prawns are normally translucent when raw but get their distinctive pink or red colour on being cooked. One word of caution – if buying unpeeled prawns, smell for freshness and look for bright, shiny shells that have some spring left in them. So here is the recipe:
- Jumbo prawns shelled and deveined with tails intact 8-12
- Coriander seeds 3 tablespoons
- Black peppercorns 4 teaspoons
- Ginger-garlic-green chilli paste 2½ teaspoons
- Salt to taste
- Lemon juice of ½ lemon
- Oil 1 tablespoon + to shallow fry
- Curry leaves 12-15
- Garlic cloves 8-10
- Green chillies 2
- Fresh coconut scraped ½ cup
- Fresh coriander leaves ¼ cup
- Dry roast coriander seeds and peppercorns in a small non-stick pan till fragrant. Remove from heat and cool down to room temperature.
- Slit prawns horizontally without cutting through and flatten them to get butterfly shape. Put them in a bowl and add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste, salt and lemon juice. Mix well and set aside to marinate.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan. Add curry leaves and sauté till crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.
- Grind roasted spices into a coarse powder and transfer into a bowl.
- To make chutney, put garlic cloves and broken green chillies in a blender jar and blend. Add coconut and blend again. Add coriander leaves and sufficient water and blend into a smooth chutney.
- Crush the sautéed curry leaves and add to the ground spice powder and mix well.
- Coat the marinated prawns in this mixture.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Place prawns in it and shallow-fry till evenly done and prawns are cooked.
- Serve hot with the coconut chutney.