Malai prawn curry with crispy onions and pani puri

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Malai prawn curry

For the curry

  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2tbsp coconut oil
  • 275g small ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 21⁄2cm ginger, scraped and finely chopped
  • 1tsp freshly ground cumin
  • 2tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
  • 1-2tsp red curry powder
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 6 fresh curry leaves
  • 500ml coconut cream
  • juice 1 lime
  • 750g raw whole prawns
  • 1tsp sea salt
  • 1tsp mustard seeds
  • 250g spinach leaves, washed and drained

For the crispy onions

  • 80g raw coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, quartered and finely sliced

To serve

  • pani puri

Method

To make the crispy onions, heat the oil in a wok and add the sliced onion. Fry over a medium heat, making sure the slices don’t burn around the edges. Turn them every few minutes until golden. Remove using a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Set aside until ready to use.

To make the curry, crush a little of the garlic to a paste with some sea salt. Heat the oil, add the garlic paste and chopped tomatoes and cook until thickened. Push through a sieve set over a bowl to catch the purée and set aside until needed.

Place the rest of the chopped garlic in a mini processor with the onion, ginger and 100ml water and whizz to a purée. Put in a frying pan with the dry spices and stir over a medium heat until it starts to bubble. Allow to cook gently for 8-10 minutes then add the fresh curry leaves, coconut cream, tomato mixture, half the lime juice and a pinch of sea salt and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, take the heads and body shells off the prawns, leaving half with the tail shells intact. Reserve the shells. Devein the prawns by cutting down the back and pulling out the grey line.

Mix the prawns with the rest of the lime juice and 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt. Place half the shells in a pan with 100ml water and boil for 5 minutes. Pour through a sieve straight into the pan then discard the shells. Simmer the mixture for a few minutes then add the prawns and cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Place the mustard seeds in a small, dry frying pan and when they pop, tip them into a bowl.

Wilt the spinach for 4 minutes with a pinch of salt.

Serve the curry and spinach scattered with the mustard seeds, crispy onions and hot pani puri.

Recipes and food styling: Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes
Malai prawn curry
Recipes and food styling: Linda Tubby. Photography and prop styling: Angela Dukes

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