Saturday, October 29, 2016

Prawn Kalvan

Rangoli heralds the pathway to my home. Light blaze through the house. Prayers are intoned. We are dressed in Divali finery. And company comes to dine with us. The Festival of Lights holds cherished memories, a link to firecrackers and feasting, an indulgence of new clothes and ancient rituals and washing away the old by the welcoming of a new year.

I make host of dishes. Roasted mutton, ghada, eggplant and my childhood favorite... prawn kalvan or curry. The base consists of grated coconut, chiles, cilantro, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, black pepper  and rice. Unusual but effective! All you need is coconut milk and some spices and the curry comes together in no time at all.

Serves 4

1 pound Prawns or Shrimp
1 tablespoon Rice
10 Black Peppercorns 
1/2 cup grated fresh Coconut 
3-4 green Chiles
12 Curry leaves 
4 Garlic cloves
2 Ginger slices
1 cup Cilantro
2 tablespoons Canola Oil 
5 Garlic cloves
10 Curry leaves 
3 Cloves
1/2 to 3/4 cup Coconut Milk
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
2 tablespoons Lime juice

Wash, peel and devein prawns.

Soak rice and peppercorns in water for 15 minutes.

Grind soaked rice and peppercorns with fresh coconut, chiles, 12 curry leaves, 4 garlic cloves, ginger and cilantro till you have a thick paste.

Heat canola oil in a deep saucepan.

Drop 5 garlic cloves into hot oil and let them turn light brown.

Add cloves and curry leaves and let them splutter for a few seconds.

Carefully pour ground paste into pan. 

Lower flame and saute for 3-5 minutes.

Add coconut milk and bring to a low simmer. Cook sauce for 5 minutes.

Drop prawns into the simmering sauce. Cook for a few minutes till prawns turn pink.

Mix in salt and lime juice and stir well. 

Serve hot with rice and papad.

As the curry cooks, a sense of well being fills my soul. Col and Keith come to the door and it is time to wish Happy Divali to all!