One of my most treasured cook books is ‘The Suriani Kitchen’ by Lathika George; can’t decide if its special because it introduced me to the beauty of Suriani (Syrian Christians of Kerala) cusine, or because this book is a gift from some of the nicest people that I have ever worked with. Either way, its one of those rare cook books where I hope to cook my way through every single recipe! 😊
‘Fish and Mango Curry’ was the first recipe that i experimented with from the book, and I now look forward to making it every single summer. Its a simple coconut based curry that uses raw mango as its souring agent. While it tastes fantastic with fish, I’m partial to using prawns instead; the sweet flesh of the prawns is a beautiful contrast to the sour, green mango, and the heat of chilli.
The following recipe sticks to the original from the book for most part; minor changes to suit my personal preference include; 1) an addition of jeera (cumin) seeds to the masala 2) Red onion instead of shallot – its just easier to clean and slice 3) more green chili, and 4) an adjustment to the quantity of water recommended in the original. Here’s the recipe with step-by-step process shots.
Recipe: Prawn Curry with Raw Mango
- A Chatti (clay pot with lid) / any heavy bottomed pot
- A food processor / mixer
For the Masala Paste
- 1 cup Fresh Coconut pieces
- 1 tsp Ginger [chopped]
- 10 -12 cloves Garlic
- 2 Green Chilies
- ½ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ⅓ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- ½ tsp Jeera (Cumin) Seeds
- ½ cup Water
- ⅓ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- ¼ tsp Red Chilli Powder
- 500 gms Prawns
For the Curry
- 2 tbs Coconut Oil
- ½ tsp Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds
- 10 – 12 Curry Leaves
- 2 Green Chilies [slit]
- 1 cup Red Onion [sliced]
- 2 cups Warm Water
- Wash and drain the prawns well. Marinate them with salt, turmeric and chili powder; place in the refrigerator until needed.
- Grind all the ingredients listed under 'For the Masala Paste' to a fine paste1.
- Heat coconut oil2 in a chatti / pot and add methi (fenugreek) seeds3.
- Next, add the slit green chilies and curry leaves4.
- Add onions and sauté until they soften and begin to turn translucent.
- Add the ground masala paste.
- Sauté the masala on low heat for 6 – 7 minutes or until it coagulates into a single mass.
- Add 2 cups of warm water to the masala and stir well. Tip in the chopped raw mango.
- Put a lid on and allow to simmer for 5 mins so that the mango softens. Taste check for salt and add a little more if needed at this point.
- Add the prawns; stir gently and allow to simmer for a final 5 – 6 mins until the prawns curl and go opaque5.
- Serve hot with steamed rice and enjoy!
1The texture of the curry relies heavily on how fine you grind the masala paste; a fine very fine paste ensures a creamy curry
2Its really important to use coconut oil in this recipe; it lends a unique flavor that can’t be substituted for. Am linking the amazing Narla, cold pressed virgin coconut oil that I use here.
3Cook the methi seeds briefly, for about 8 – 10 seconds as they can burn quickly. Burnt methi seeds taste quite bitter!
4Be careful when you add the curry leaves to the hot oil; they crackle and splutter oil all over! Add them from a safe distance and stand back.
5Always cook prawns on low heat! This is critical to ensuring they don’t overcook and go rubbery in texture. 5 – 6 mins is adequate. Turn the heat off as soon as they curl up and go opaque; then cover with a lid. The residual heat of the curry will ensure they cook through.
This mind-blowing curry rarely makes it to the dining table as am always tempted to serve myself some right at the stove 😀 Its also a huge hit with family and friends and has come to be on my family’s ‘must have for get-togethers’ list!
Let me know in the comments below if you decide to make this and need any further instructions. 🖖