The first time I've ever made theeyal, and I loved it...maybe not the tedious procedure...but the taste was to die for. Every time I get back from India I go into these sudden bursts of love for mallu-land. I mean I stream lame mallu movies on youtube, I have intense cravings for mallu food and I even want to go Indian grocery shopping at that time (something we very rarely do and avoid to be precise). Like I'd mentioned in one of my previous posts..I decided to go easy on food and was actually living on salads and avoided carbs mostly. But last week it all went wrong when a friend of mine posted a recipe for a spicy red fish curry and I had to have it. Me, who was not even a fish fan had to have it...that too with rice. Sadly for me, King/ Sear fish is not available anywhere nearby and so I just had to sit and stare at the pic and curse her for putting it up on a day I could easily be manipulated (food-wise, I mean).
The next day, I went ahead and picked up prawns and decided to make the same curry using prawns. Was searching around for a recipe and stumbled upon a prawn theeyal recipe by Yummy O Yummy. I skipped it thinking I had to roast the coconut and then grind it and all that jazz. But then again, I got bored searching aimlessly for prawn curry recipes and nothing really caught my fancy. I was almost ready to give up on the curry when I received a parcel that afternoon and it was the mill extension for my Kenwood Chef free standing mixer. Oh and I don't understand why everyone makes such a hoo ha about Kitchenaid mixers when this awesome Kenwood one lets you do a whole lotta other things than just whipping and whisking and mixing??? According to various sources, Kitchenaid does the same too...but still, i think its highly overrated and I heart it :) (no Kenwood didn't pay me to say all this)
Recipe adapted from here with a few tweaks
Prawns- 2 cups, cleaned and deveined
Onion- 1 medium, cubed
Green chillies- 2, slit
Tomato- 1, cubed
Kokum- 3 to 4 small pieces, soaked in 1/2 cup warm water
Water- 1 cup or as required
Salt- to taste
Coconut oil- as required (I used normal vegetable oil)
To dry roast and grind to a fine paste:
Grated coconut- 1 1/2 cups
Coriander powder- 3 tsp
Chilly powder- 2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- a sprig
Dry red chillies- 2
Oil- 1 tsp
Add the coriander, chilly and turmeric powders, mix well and take it off the flame. Keep aside to cool.
Transfer the mixture to a mixer/ grinder and grind to a fine paste.
In the same frying pan (yes I'm super lazy to even load the dish washer), heat the oil and sauté the onions till they become transparent.
Add the ground paste, kokum water and green chillies and stir well, making sure the paste dissolves well.
Throw in the tomatoes and mix well.
Add another cup of water, season with salt and bring to a boil.
Add the prawns at this stage and cover and cook till the prawns are done.
One done, temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry chillies and pour over the curry just before you serve.
The original recipe calls for coconut cuts and drumsticks, both of which I didn't have. It tasted just as good without it as well.
The trick is not to get the coconut burnt (something I'm very capable of doing), need patience for this (yes I'm working on it!).