Tag Archives: prawns

not yer usual garlic prawns

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Last week the husband & I spent a very pleasant few days down in Napier. The sun shone, the wind didn’t blow, the temperature was balmy, & the food was terrific. One of several memorable dinners (memorable for all the right reasons) was eaten at Indigo, a most excellent Indian restaurant, We started off with a shared dish of vegetarian entrees, which we knew full well we didn’t need to eat but they sounded rather good & turned out to be so. I followed that with Kashmiri gustaba (a delightfully fragrant dish of lamb meatballs in a saffron & yoghurt-based sauce), & the husband indulged in jingha lasooni, which turned out to be garlic prawns & was probably the best dish of the evening (& you’ll have gathered that all of them were pretty darn good).

Anyway, ever since there have been small murmurings that perhaps I might like to make those prawns at home. So today was the day. I’d looked at quite a few recipes but, apart from prawns & garlic, they seemed more different than similar, so as usual I Made Stuff Up.

First, I minced a thumb-sized piece of raw ginger & put that in a large-ish bowl with 6 cloves of garlic, peeled & also minced. I’d have mixed them with a tub of natural yoghurt if we’d had any in the fridge, but we didn’t so I used 1/2 a tub of sour cream instead. For the spices I used 2 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp ground chili, a pinch of salt, & 1 tsp garam masala. Because I could, & also because I wanted a sauce/marinade somewhat runnier than things were looking right then, I steeped a pinch of saffron in 2 Tblsp boiling water for a few minutes & added that to the bowl, then mixed everything well to combine. I also added a handful of golden raisins, because I sort of remembered something in the jingha lasooni that had that same sweet mouth-feel. The final step at this stage was to add 400g of prawn tails and stir well so that each tail was well coated with the marinade.

Coming up to dinner time, I melted 50g butter in a heavy frying pan with 1 Tblsp oil, then added 2 brown onions (peeled and finely chopped – oh how I love my slice-y dice-y mandoline!) and cooked them, stirring occasionally, till they were softened & golden. Then I tipped in the prawns & their marinade, raised the heat, & simmered it all together until the prawn flesh was white & cooked through. (I cheated with the accompaniments: the rice was ‘Uncle Ben’s & the naan – this time – were some that I’d bought at the market a couple of weeks ago & frozen.)

Served over rice, with chopped coriander leaves on top & with naan on the side, it looked – & smelled – pretty good really, albeit quite a different meal from that Napier dinner 😀

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sweet chilli prawns

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The daughter was away over the weekend. While she is an obliging offspring, there are some things she’d prefer not to see on her plate, & so we like to take advantage of these absences in order to indulge ourselves. Thus on Saturday, as we did our supermarket shop, the husband earnestly besought me to make ‘nice tasty prawns’ for dinner. And so we picked up 400g of raw frozen prawns as we passed the chilled/frozen seafood section, & went on our way to the checkout.

When dinner time rolled around, I decided that some noodles would be good – I try to keep a few packets of udon noodles in the pantry, so grabbed a couple of packets & transferred their contents to a bowl before putting the kettle on to boil. (These are the Trident noodles from the supermarket ie soft & longlife.)

Then I got everything else together: a thumb-sized piece of raw ginger, very thinly sliced (I love my slicey-grate-y mandoline-y thing that I bought at Fieldays) and then chopped even finer; 8 cloves of garlic (because that was how many there were in the small head of garlic in the kitchen; no vampires at our place tonight!); a long sweet red pepper, also very finely sliced; freshly squeezed lime juice, & the bottle of sweet chilli sauce. And the prawns, which I’d left out to defrost.

I sloshed a bit of olive oil into my heavy-based frying pan & brought it to a medium heat before adding the ginger & garlic, shaking it around so they didn’t burn. The prawns, once drained, went in next. It took 4-5 minutes, stirring often, for their flesh to go from translucent to white and their tails to that nice pink that tells you they’re done. After they’d been cooking for about 2 of those minutes I added the red pepper slices.

At that point I also poured the hot water from the kettle over my noodles, stirred them around to separate them, and microwaved on high for 60 seconds.

By this time the prawns were done, so I added the lime juice and a decent slug (ie to taste 😀 – about 1/4 c in my case) to the prawns & mixed so that everything was coated, then drained the noodles & yelled that dinner was ready.

I regret to report that between the two of us we ate the lot.