The Recipe

Indian Prawn Curry, Spicy Rice and Yogurt Sauce

Learned in Falmouth, Maine, from Aruna Kilaru, from Hyderabad, India.

Total time 2.5 hours
Serves 6

Spicy rice with peas, mint, and carrots

3 cups rice
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
4 bay leaves
1 tsp. whole cumin seeds
5 cloves
2 green cardamom pods
1 piece cinnamon bark (1/2 square inch)
3 super hot small Asian chilians, sliced in half
2 carrots, small dice
1/4 pound green beans, sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
2 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste
3 cups water
3 cups coconut milk
large handful whole fresh mint leaves
large handful cilantro leaves, rough chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 handful frozen peas

Wash and soak rice for 30 minutes before cooking. In a large pot, saute all spices in oil on medium heat. Add chilis and let sizzle until chilis become brown. Add carrots, green beans, garlic-ginger paste, and saute until slightly cooked (about 5 minutes). Drain rice and put add it to the sauted vegetables (or put in rice cooker if you have one with the sauteed veg.). Add water, coconut milk, mint, cilantro, salt, and peas. Stir and cook rice as you would normally in rice cooker, or on stovetop, turning up heat and then cooking for 20 minutes covered on low once liquid has started to bubble. (If your cinammon bark was thick like mine, take it out before serving. Hers was so thin it melted away...)

Indian Prawn Curry (kura royalu)

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. black mustard seed
1 tsp.whole cumin
2 super hot, small Asian chilis, halved
1 red onion, minced
1 tsp. tumeric
1 lb. Maine shrimp (or really small shrimp)
1 1/2 tsp. “family magic powder” (family’s special blend of garlic cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, small dried red chilis and salt, all ground into powdered form: it was orangy-red, so mostly chili.)
2 tomatoes, cut into large chunks
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. garam masala

In large saute pan on medium heat, sautee black mustard seed, cumin, and chili in oil about 5 minutes. Add onion and tumeric and saute, lid-on, for about five minutes until golden. Add shrimp, family magic powder and simmer, stirring w/o lid until liquid disappears. Add tomatoes and stir intermittently until bubbles coming up show only remaining liquid. Add coconut milk, water, coriander, garam masala, and stir constantly until it’s like really thick chili, leaving a clean space in the bottom of the pan when scraped away. Serve in bowl, garnished with fresh cilantro, along with spicy rice with mint, peas, and carrots, and yogurt sauce.

Cool Yogurt Sauce (raitha)

1 cup nonfat yogurt
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. minced red onion
pinch of cilantro, rough chopped

Stir together and serve with spicy curries and rice.