Prawns, a seafood, which is very much, my permanent guest on my dinning table every week...loved by all of us and R's favourite. And I am sure most of the kids would go for it without any hastle and stories. Last weekend, at the fish market trip, I was overwhelmed to get these fresh water , nice looking healthy prawns. The aunty ( generally the local practise in Singapore- is calling the lady at the market aunty ..the name which really makes them feel so important and helpful..and the next moment they are at your side, helping you out to get the best catch). I generally would give my full trust on them and let them go on with the stories of their catch. Brings some similarity with the Indian fish market scenes. Yes, there you go, the logic behind declaring Singapore - the best of both the worlds.
And talking about prawns, I generally do not go for those jumbo size prawns, if I am not grilling. For gravies, or stir fries the medium size ones taste better as the spices blend more into the prawn muscles and do not leave a divorced taste from the spices. I just wanted to do it in a different way, yet not too overpowering spices. Opened my fridge to check out on my treasures..and decided to use some Thai chilli sauce to give a subtle yet different taste to the palate. Also used up some cauliflower florets - probably its a bong instinct..Prawns marry well with cauliflower and the dash of the sauce would add a bright colour to the dish.
So I used
1. Prawn- 500 gms ( deviened and shelled ofcourse)
2. Half a Cauliflower cut into florets
3. 1 Onion-Fine chopped
4. Ginger and Garlic- Grated ( 1tsp each- I went a bit more with the ginger for the zesty sauce.
5. Chillies- 2 Chopped ( I just used 1 )
6. Cumin Powder- 1 tsp
7. Coriander Powder- 1tsp
8. Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
9.Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
10. Bay Leaf- 1 or 2
11. Thai Chilli Sauce- a dash or 2 tbsp
12. Salt and Sugar to taste
13. Garnish with Garam Masala Powder ( a mix of dry roasted Cardamom, cinnamon, Cloves)
What happened in my kitchen
1. Marinated the prawns with salt and turmeric for about half an hour. This helps in bringing out more flavours. Heat some oil in a pan and saute the prawns. Do not fry for long to avoid toughness of the prawn meat.
2. Keep aside the sauteed prawns in a dish. Add some more oil to the pan and add in the cumin seeds and bay leaf. Just be patient till the seeds splutter and add the ginger garlic and chillies. Soon the sizzling sound and aromas fill the kitchen.
3. In goes the chopped onions and stir for a while. If you would like to cook with less oil, which is what I did, cover the pan for couple of minutes on low flame. The low flame cooking also induces more flavours. Add all the powder spices and the cauliflower and cover.
4. The steam inside the pan would cook the cauliflower. If you wish you could fry the cauliflowers separately. Then add the lovely pink prawns and stir once, so that the prawns get coated with all that is happening in the pan. At this stage add the Thai chilli sauce ( the star flavour in this recipe to create the twist).
5. Stressing on, that let this dish laze around a bit on a low flying blue flame...You can add some water or stock to the dish at this stage, depending on the amount of sauce you want. I did not add much water but this is all the water which oozed out from the seafood and onion mix. And my sauce also did some wonders to the dish. The gravy should not be boiling as my photo reflects..there should be lazy bubbles here and there ( simmering in culinary terms).
6. Adjust salt and sugar. Keep peeping in as and when you feel like, opening the lid. This went on my gas stove for about 12-15 minutes.
7. Sprinkle some Garam Masala and Coriander leaves and serve with hot rice. I am sure you will get quite a few thumbs up on the dinner table..enjoy!!
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