Prawns with Grated Coconut

The traditional spice blends of the Kunbi tribe, the original inhabitants of Goa and the Konkan region, is unrivalled when it comes to cooking shell fish whether it’s clams or crabs or prawns. Many of their preparations were untried till recently and the Tisryo (clam) masala has become extremely popular with both Goans and tourists. This prawn recipe is a simple and easy dry dish made with freshly grated coconut and dried red chillies and, like with almost all of our masalas, do not require any spices other than our Kunbi Xasti masala. Small or medium sized prawns or shrimp is best for this dish because the grated coconut will better coat the prawns completely to give a grainy texture to the dish. This preparation is so versatile that it can be served both as a starter and as an accompaniment to rice or rotis.

What you need:

  • Small or medium prawns: 300g
  • Onion: 1 large, finely sliced
  • Grated coconut: 1 cup
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • Dried red chillies: 2
  • The Women of Fatorda Kunbi Xasti 2-3 tbsps
  • Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
  • Lime juice: 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste.
  • Oil for frying

Step 1 – Wash, clean and devein the prawns. You can leave the tail on if you want, but for this dish it’s better to remove it. Sprinkle some salt and the lime juice and keep it aside for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 2 – Heat 3-4 tbsps of oil (you can use coconut oil which alters the taste slightly to the more traditional flavour or take any neutral refined oil) in a cooking vessel. Add a few curry leaves and the dry chillies.

Step 3 – Add the finely sliced onion with half a tsp of salt and fry until they turn translucent.

Step 4 – Lower the flame and add the Kunbi Xasti masala stirring it into the onions. Fry for 2 minutes. Then add half a cup of water and cook for a minute.

Step 5 – Add the grated coconut and fry for 3-4 minutes. Makes sure that the coconut and the onions are well coated with the masala.

Step 6 – Add the prawns and mix well. Add a tsp of salt and stir to mix all the ingredients well.

Step 7 – Add a sprig of curry leaves and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.

Step 8 – Open the lid and give it a good stir. Most of the water should have evaporated and what you will be left with is a semi dry consistency.

Step 9– Add the coconut cream and mix well.

Step 10 – Remove from flame and let it rest for 10 minutes. Serve with hot rice or rotis.

Note – Instead of curry leaves you can your fresh chopped coriander and in case you prefer more heat, you can add a teaspoon of crushed pepper just before you take it off the flame. If you want the dish to taste slightly sour, you can add tamarind or kokum along with the water. Another variation can be made with slightly dry roasting the grated coconut before adding it which will give the dish a smoky flavor. Do let us know how your variation turned out. You imagination is the only limit. Do let us know of your efforts at [email protected] or else you can upload your recipe here.

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