Turkey and all the trimmings is all very well, but to turn heads this Christmas, how about breaking out the prawns. Every time I wander around the Olivar market in Palma, I find myself drooling over the stunningly fresh, locally caught red prawns (jumbo shrimp) from Sóller. I don’t think it is possible to put anything finer in your mouth, with that intense, wild taste that just explodes when you bite into their juicy firm flesh.
The best way to cook them – gambas ‘a la sal’ – is also the easiest. You just scatter a little sea salt over a very hot, flat griddle and place the whole prawns on top. Let them sit for 20 seconds or so, until they start to toast, then drizzle with a little olive oil. Wait another 20 seconds and scatter them with chopped parsley and crushed garlic. Turn them over, drizzle with a little more olive oil and cook for a final minute. You will be rewarded with an intoxicating aroma and one of the great taste sensations to be found anywhere in the world.
This Christmas we should be thinking about something different, something with a little spice and maybe something with a few chillies to wake our taste buds. For me, that something different is normally a delicious, hot spicy curry. Apparently, a takeaway curry is going to be an extremely popular option this Christmas.
This week’s recipe is a firm favourite with our Fosh Food@Home delivery service.
It’s an aromatic, lightly spiced prawn curry from the Malabar Coast in southern India. It’s flavoured with tamarind and coconut milk and its quick and easy to prepare. But be careful…it’s delicious and can easily become addictive.
Malabar Prawn curry
Cooking time: 30 mins
Prep time: 25 mins
· 600g large raw tiger prawns, peeled
· 4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
· 3tbsp olive oil
· 2 onions, thinly sliced
· 1 small green chilli, finely chopped
· 2 garlic cloves, crushed
· 5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
· 200ml coconut cream
· 200ml coconut milk
· Juice of one lemon
· 1tbsp palm sugar (or soft brown sugar)
· 50ml tamarind puree
Malabar spice mix
· 1/2tsp black mustard seeds
· 12 dried curry leaves
· ½ tsp chilli powder
· 1/2 tsp turmeric
· ½ tsp coriander seeds
· ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
Add all the ingredients to the spice grinder and pulse until coarsely crushed.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or wok, and then add the onions, chilli, ginger and garlic. Cook over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, and then add the Malabar spice mix. Cook the spices for a minute or two and add the tomatoes, coconut cream and milk. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice, tamarind puree, palm sugar and a pinch of salt. Blend the sauce with a hand blender and add the prawns. Cook for 2-3minutes and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh coriander sprigs and serve with steamed rice.