Prawn White Curry

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This is a member of the Sri Lankan “white curry” family (see Potato White Curry). In typical South Asian fashion, food is never wasted, and the heads and shells of the shrimp are traditionally ground and added to the curry for depth of flavor (or they are ground to a paste, then sun dried or dried in an oven, to be added to another dish). We aren’t so conscientious (though we should be), but still this prawn curry comes out tasting great. It’s an ideal main course served with rice and a vegetable or two.

Ingredients

  • About 1 pound medium prawns, fresh or frozen
  • 6 to 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic or garlic mashed to a paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • 1 cup canned or fresh coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 green cayenne chiles, finely chopped
  • cup minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger mashed to a paste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large tomato, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Method

Rinse, peel, and devein the shrimp. Rinse again, then set aside.

Put all the ingredients except the shrimp and lime juice in a medium heavy pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is a little reduced and thickened.

Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until they have changed color. Stir in the lime juice and remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Serve hot.