Friday, 15 January 2016

Coconut, Cashew, Spinach and Prawn Curry

Doesn't look much but great little creation this one. I've been making it for years, only lately starting to add desiccated coconut plus milk, which increases the body and appeal of the meal. It lends itself very well to rice and has a light, harmonizing quality which leaves you satisfied but not feeling stuffed full.

2 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut

Add about ½ cup boiled water to 2 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut and leave to stand for a minimum of ½ an hour. Better to leave it longer, as this allows it to lose its tough texture in the curry and just contribute to overall flavour, which is its main purpose. You could alternatively use coconut cream or coconut water for flavour, in conjunction with the coconut milk below, but be careful not to go coconut bananas!


Take 2-3 handfuls of cashews (obviously non salted). The kind you get in bulk at supermarkets from the Asian isle.

Pre- Heat an oven to 180 degrees, put the cashews on a tray and bake them without oil or spices for circa 20 minutes. They tend to tip over the edge and burn all of a sudden, so keep an eye on them & be prepared to take them out sooner if necessary.

Do this before getting on with the other prep.
An alternative is to use a heaped Tbsp of peanut butter if you have no cashews.

1- 2 Tbsp Ghee,
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds

Heat the whole seeds & salt in an iron pan or skillet, adding in the Ghee once they’ve browned and become irresistibly aromatic. Using Coconut Oil instead of Ghee is perfectly ok for this recipe, and could add the mellow coconut zing if you are lacking the desiccated coconut, for example. 
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Ginger
½ tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Turmeric powder

2 large chopped Tomatoes

Add in the powdered herbs and tomatoes. They should sizzle like a party night at Fukushima nuclear plant, and you will need to mix quickly to avoid the powder sticking to the pan. Then, however, allowing the mixture to stand for seconds at a time, you will see clear oil (actually Ghee) ooze out of the mixture. That’s when you know you’re done with this stage and you need to rapidly move on.
250g Prawns of whatever type

Add in the prawns from frozen & turn the heat onto medium. This will add some water to the mixture & stop it burning. Keep folding in the prawns until you get a good mix.

440ml Coconut Milk

Add the coconut milk and you will be finally free from walking the tightrope between searing the starter ingredients and burning them irrevocably in some hideous Greek tragedy mess.

Handful fresh coriander
3-4 lime leaves
4-8 blocks frozen spinach
2 green chillis, chopped
1 Tbsp tomato puree
Time to throw in these flavoursome goodies, as well as your coconut from step 1 (no longer desiccated- its miraculously rehydrated!) and your roasted cashews.

Allow to cook on medium- low heat for about half an hour to make sure all the flavours have melded.

Serves 4-6

This meal works well with steamed white Basmati rice, as it supplies a nice neutral background to the curry itself.

North Utsire

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