Sunday, July 15, 2007

Prawn Curry with Panch Phoran.

Today's recipe is the Prawn Curry with Panch Phoran (literally, five spices - fenugreek, nigella, radhuni, fennel, and cumin). Panch Phoran is a very popular Bengali spice/seasoning, although Wikipedia informs me that radhuni is hardly available outside Bengal, and the closest replacement would be celery seed.

Bengalis are very fond of prawn (chingri). Be it the tiny pink shrimp that adorns our lau chingri and our chorchoris, or the tiger/jumbo prawn varieties that we steam in mustard or make daab-chingri out of, we absolutely ADORE the creature. So much so, that we seem to have forgotten what the prawn really is - a sea insect, and have always called it chingri maachh, bestowing upon it the status of a 'fish'.

My recipe today comes from my mother, who one day got tired of the usual red fiery curry or malai-curry varieties, and decided to give it a go with Bengal's favourite 'fish', coupled with Bengal's favourite spices, and came up with this.

Prawns (500 gms)
Panch Phoran (two tsps)
Turmeric powder
Chilli powder
Potatoes (1-2 cubed)
Bay leaves
Dried red chillies (1-2)
Tomato - 1 chopped
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste

Rub the prawns (washed, de-veined) with salt and turmeric powder and shallow fry. Keep aisde. In a wok, heat oil, and add bay leaf and dried red chillies. Wait until the dried chillies begin to splutter. Add panch phoran and fry (take care not to burn or it gets bitter). Add potatoes and keep frying. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, and one tomato. Keep stirring.

When the potatoes are well fried, add water and bring to boil. When the potatoes become soft, add the prawns and simmer on low heat for 8-10 minutes.

Remove from heat and serve hot with steamed rice.

No comments: