Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Masala Prawns

The past week I was glued to the television watching all the documentaries available on 9/11.  It had been 10 years since that fateful morning and I still always gasp in horror when I watch the second plane hit the tower or when I watch the people jumping to their deaths from above.  The scale of the devastation is apparent to only those who witnessed it there…we can only imagine it all.  I still vividly remember I was in Yemen in 2001 when the attacks took place.  I was alone at home with my son and then switched on CNN and settled down on the couch with my cup of tea.  And at that time the 1st tower was already hit and they were reporting it.  And before I could take a sip from my tea, the plane approached the second tower, like a ghost in the bright blue skies and hit it – spot on. 

The rest of the tragedies were reported over the next couple of hours.  My husband was at work and I called him to let him know what was happening.  Like all husbands, he thought I was exaggerating and only realized what had happened after he got home and joined me watching the news.  We dragged ourselves to bed wondering what would happen while we were sleeping.  But then tiredness took over and we had to get in bed.  My tea cup still lay on the table – untouched – where I kept it when I saw the second tower hit – too aghast to take a sip. 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


350 grams medium sized prawns
1 fresh coconut, grated
300 grams red onions
50 grams coriander seeds
50 grams poppy seeds
5 peppercorns
½ teaspoon anise seeds (badisop)
5 cloves
30 grams Tamarind
20 grams kashmiri chili
24 grams dried red chilies
200 grams potatoes
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons corn oil


  1. Clean and wash the prawns.  Apply salt to this and keep aside.   
  2. Peel and chop the onions into fine cubes.  
  3. Wash and peel the potatoes and cut into cubes and keep aside.  
  4. In a thick bottomed pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and add the poppy seeds, coriander seeds and the dried red chilies.  
  5. Add half of the chopped onions to the above and fry till the onions become golden brown.  
  6. Now add the coconut gratings along with the anise seeds, cloves, nutmeg and peppercorns. 
  7. When the coconut gratings turn brown, remove from fire, cool and grind to a smooth paste.  Keep aside.  
  8. Soak the tamarind in ½ cup warm water and remove the pulp and keep the tamarind water aside.    
  9. Heat remaining oil and add the remaining onions and fry till golden.  
  10. Now add the turmeric and kashmiri chili.  
  11. Add the ground paste and the prawns and the potatoes.  Fry for 5 minutes.  
  12. Add the tamarind water and cover and cook on low flame till the potatoes are cooked.  
  13. Garnish with coriander leaves. 

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