Tiger Prawns with Lime, Ginger & Mustard
Prawns are quick to cook and somehow feel rather exotic. This recipe borrows spices from the southern shores of India and I tasted a dish similar to this when I was learning about the local cuisine. My mouth was on fire with the chillies, but when I got past it, I found the flavour to be delicate and delicious. I have toned down the chillies and added some background warmth by using fresh root ginger instead. I’m using tiger prawns and I’ve removed most of the shell, apart from the tail. I prefer to leave the tail on, as it means that you have something to hold on to when biting into the prawns, but you can take the entire shell off if you prefer. Just make sure the prawns are raw and that they have been deveined.
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
? tsp black peppercorns, crushed with a pestle and mortar
20 fresh curry leaves (see My Secret below) (optional)
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely sliced
1 tbsp peeled and julienned fresh root ginger
20 raw large tiger prawns, shells removed but tails left on, deveined
good pinch of salt
good drizzle of clear honey
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh coriander
juice of – lime
Gently heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, turmeric, peppercorns and curry leaves (if using). Once they start to sizzle, stir through the spring onions, chilli and ginger and allow to soften for around a minute. Stir in the prawns and watch how they turn to a golden pink colour. Flip them over and sprinkle over a good pinch of salt. Once they are cooked through – and it won’t take long, only a few minutes on each side – drizzle over the honey, sprinkle in half the coriander and squeeze over the lime juice. Mix well and serve sprinkled with the remaining coriander.
Fresh curry leaves must be thoroughly rinsed under cold running water before use. Available at Asian stores and large supermarkets, curry leaves freeze well. Buy a large bag and use from frozen whenever a recipe calls for them.
Extracted from Secrets From My Indian Family Kitchen by Anjali Pathak (Mitchell Beazley, approx €16.50), octopusbooks.co.uk
Photograph by Martin Poole