JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Aromatic prawns

Horatio and I have just eaten the most delicious Sunday evening supper - I hesitate to call it curry, because that makes you think of chilli peppers, hot hot food, and the need for dahl, iced cold water, and yoghurt. We often eat something light and fishy on a Sunday evening, which generally translates into sardines on toast, with a little yoghurt, lemon juice, and some chopped spring onions (and that's what Lucius will probably make for himself when he gets back from playing real tennis at Merton). But Horatio is the only other person in the house who seeks out curry, and as we were the only two at home this evening, it was an opportunity too good to miss.

This is a kind of korma, but without the coconut, which we don't eat, because it is full of saturated fat (I still find it difficult to understand how a plant can make saturated fat). Instead, there are ground almonds to sweeten the sauce, which has an aromatic depth of flavour from six spices.

First, chop a large onion, and sweat it gently in oil with a couple of sliced cloves of garlic. This should take 20-30 minutes, and you'll need to add a little water from time to time to stop it catching. You want soft onion, not too brown. Put the rice on to cook (one mug of basmati, two of water, cook covered until all the water is absorbed, just under 20 minutes).

While this is going on, organise your spices. In a mortar, put the seeds from two cardamom pods, half a teaspoon of fennel seeds, two cloves, half a teaspoon of cinnamon and of ginger, and some freshly grated nutmeg. Bash it with a pestle until you have a sticky rich mess.

When you are nearly ready to eat (ie, when the rice is all but cooked), add the spices to the onions, give it a good stir, and add 250g prawns. Stir, then add 2 tablespoons of ground almonds, two tablespoons of yoghurt and a glass of water (120-150ml). Simmer for five to ten minutes, until the sauce has thickened to your liking.

Even the most adamant chilli hater couldn't object to this curry. I'll make it later this week with chicken or pork - either would be good.

No comments: