After so much Christmas food, I know the best most dietary option is not curry. Then again I needed something hot and spicy to wake up my senses, to face the cold. It is officially winter. No snow (yet, although I doubt there’ll be any in Belgium), but freezing. All I can think of is good hot food to warm me up.
With Christmas just around the corner, new cooking books made their way onto my kitchen shelves. Such as a new book on Curry by Vivek Singh & Co. The book takes you through all the curries of India, with short stops in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and to end with, Britain and Japan. A comprehensive curry encyclopaedia which I am sure will serve its purpose when organizing exotic dinners in the coming year. All recipes serve 4 or more so be prepared for a lot of curry! We inaugurated the book with the Chingri Malai Curry, in plain English the king prawns in coconut curry sauce. The dish itself takes a little bit of time and at first I was overwhelmed by the quantity of curry cooked. However following the advice of Garry Rhodes, I cooked the given quantity (serves 4) and froze the extra two portions for a future cold evening in.
Chingri Malai Curry (serves 4)
5cm piece fresh ginger
10 garlic cloves
225ml vegetables oil (this is lot of oil, so I halved the quantity)
800gr king prawns
4tbsp ground turmeric
3 bay leaves
2tbsp ground cumin
4 green chillies, slit lengthways
200ml coconut milk
5 green cardamom pods
Blend the ginger and garlic together in the food processor. Set aside.
Blend the onions and 100ml oil in the food processor. Set aside.
Season the prawns with ½ tbsp turmeric and salt. Heat 2tbsp of the oil and sear the prawns briefly, then set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, then add the onion paste and bay leaves; Saute over moderate heat for 10min.
Mix together the cumin, remaining turmeric, ginger-garlic paste and 150ml water, then add to the onions. Reduce the heat and cook on low heat for 5-8min. Stir in the remaining salt, the green chillies and the prawns. Cook for 2-3min.
Season and serve with steamed rice.
I found that following the instructions to the book and less my own taste buds made for a very bitter curry. I added an extra teaspoon of salt and 1tbsp of sugar. To give the curry a fresher taste I also added a handful of chopped coriander and the juice of 1 lemon. All in all though a very comforting and tasty dish.