Use freshly ground hot masala, fresh curry leaves and a block of tamarind.
- 1/2 tsp ginger and garlic paste
- 600g small prawns, cleaned (or 16 tiger prawns)
- 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
- ½ medium onion, finely sliced
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 5ml (1 tsp) dried curry leaves (if you have fresh ones, jackpot!)
- 15ml (1 tbsp) black mustard seeds
- 10ml (2 heaped tsp) hot masala
- powder (adjust to taste)
- 5ml (1 tsp) garam masala
- 1½ x 410g tins peeled tomatoes, blended until smooth
- 45ml (3 tbsp) tamarind, from a block soaked in 90ml hot water, seeds removed and strained or 30ml (2 tbsp) tamarind paste
- 100ml water
- 5ml (1 tsp) palm or brown sugar
- salt, to taste
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- fresh coriander, to serve
- basmati rice, to serve
Spread the ginger and garlic paste over the prawns.
Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat and fry the onion until it just starts to colour. Add bay leaves, curry leaves and mustard seeds, and watch as they sizzle and pop for a minute or 2.
Add masala and garam masala, stirring for just a few seconds.
Add tomatoes and stir – you don’t want the masala to cook by itself for too long or it will burn.
Add the strained tamarind paste and cook on low-medium heat until it thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add water and cook for a further 10 minutes, without a lid. You want the sauce to thicken. Add the sugar and salt. Add prawns and cook on low-medium heat until the prawns turn opaque, about 2 – 3 minutes depending on size.
Squeeze lime juice over the prawns, sprinkle with coriander and serve with basmati rice.