Prawn and green mango curry

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Looks as pretty as a picture doesn’t it? This is a lovely, light summery curry with just the right balance of sweetness from the coconut and tartness from the green mangoes. The succulent prawns are actually just the cherry on top – so to speak.

I doubt you’ll find these particular green mangoes at your local Sainsbury’s, but you should find them at any larger Asian store which stocks a fresh supply of vegetables, or alternatively you can buy them in a pack of frozen slices. They’re not sweet like their fruitier cousins (which can also have green skins), but a bit sour and they’re the mangoes you usually find in Indian pickles.

prawncloseWe also used frozen grated coconut for this dish – again to be found in the freezer section of your local Asian store. It’s inexpensive and comes in flat, square packs that store easily in your home freezer for use in a variety of dishes. You can also buy jars of garlic paste, ginger paste, or a combined garlic-ginger paste at these stores. We use them quite often in our kitchen for convenience and they last a long time.

This curry hails from Kerala and is pretty simple to make. The curry is based on a recipe by UK-based chef Atul Kochhar from his great cookery book Simple Indian – The Fresh Taste of India’s New Cuisine.

If you’re looking for a refreshing and exciting introduction to Indian food – particularly from the southern states – then I’d highly recommend this book. Once you have your store cupboard stocked with some basic spices, lots of tins of coconut milk and a few more exotic additions (like green mangoes, tamarind, etc), you’re away.

We’ve cooked a lot of recipes from this book, and haven’t finished yet.

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Prawn and green mango curry

500g giant uncooked prawns (we buy frozen)
100g fresh coconut, thawed from frozen (you could substitute with the same amount of desiccated coconut)
120g finely sliced green mango
Two medium onions, one finely chopped and one finely sliced
6 green chillies
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste (we used a premade paste, but you can also grind yourself in a pestle and mortar)
1.5 tsp red chilli powder
1.5 tsp fennel seeds
1.5 tsp fenugreek seeds
1.5 tsp brown mustard seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
1.5 tsp ground ginger
400 ml tin of coconut milk
Large handful of curry leaves (fresh or dried)
Salt for seasoning

Method

First make a paste by cooking the coconut meat in a frying pan with a little oil (coconut oil is preferable), the chopped onion and the fenugreek seeds. When the coconut is lightly toasted transfer to a blender and grind to a soft paste. Set side.

Next fry the slice onion with the green chillies, turmeric, coriander, and the ginger-garlic paste, until the onions are soft.

Add the prawns and sautee until they turn pink. Stir in the coconut paste, coconut milk and mango slices (set a few aside for garnish) and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.

Finally heat a small amount of oil in a pan and add the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves and stir until they release their aroma. Sprinkle over the curry and also garnish with a few mango slices.

Serve with rice or flatbread.

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