Thursday, 4 July 2013

Dhruv Baker's Prawn Malaba Curry: A recipe for Curry For Change

I recently wrote here at Snig's Kitchen about my superb experience at the Indian cookery class at Cinnamon Kitchen near Liverpool Street, London, to launch the Curry For Change fundraising initiative for the very small, but very deserving Find Your Feet charity. I wrote about the Masterclass here:

Find Your Feet is a small charity which punches considerably above its weight, Find Your Feet uses its very small staff and scarce resources not to provide aid or short term help, but to educate and empower to bring sustainability and self sufficiency to impoverished rural communities in India. For a highly compelling account of how this inspirational charity can touch lives, have a look at this powerful post from Urvashi Roe at the Botanical Baker blog:

Dhruv Baker is best known for being the Winner of 2010's Masterchef contest. Born in Mexico but raised from the age of 4 in India, Dhruv had been working in media sales before he entered Masterchef. His win has catapulted this keen cook to great things, such as working with the legendary Michel Roux Junior at Le Gavroche, and at the famous De Librije, Zwolle, Holland. Dhruv has a passion for the spicy and often layered flavours of the two highly vibrant and diverse cuisines from his childhood, and now is working towards setting up his own restaurant. I really do hope to hear some more solid news soon, as watching him in the flesh doing what he cares about most, I am convinced that his restaurant will be a place where love for flavour, care for detail and gastronomic delight will be at the fore. 

Dhruv decided, for the Masterclass to demonstrate his own version of a Malaba Prawn Curry. Some readers may have heard of this dish before, being a traditional dish of South India. Dhruv wanted to highlight the subtle spice flavours which are possible in South Indian cooking rather than go for out and out heat. This approach is not traditional, but having tasted the results, is wonderful.

South Indian curries typically have coconut milk as the basis of their 'sauce' since coconuts are plentiful. Their real advantage is the provision of many highly useful and healthy nutrients in a fluid base which being enclosed, is never going to cause any form of illness or food poisoning. 

As I have said in my previous post on the Indian food masterclass, in South India, the climate does not allow for growing delicate and moisture hungry coriander. As a result, flavour and aroma is added through the use of curry leaves. 

Dhruv's recipe can be served with either rice or chapattis or naan breads. However, Dhruv served them on home made poori Indian flatbreads. They are simple to make and can be made either as canape sized mini pooris (as Dhruv did) or as little tearable rounds of joy. The choice is yours. 

I hope you will make this recipe at home as it is truly delicious. I also hope you will consider having your own Curry For Change evening, where you might consider inviting close friends or family to a curry night in aid of Find Your Feet.  You can request a Curry For Change event pack if you visit this website:

Dhruv Baker’s Malaba Prawn Curry

Serves 4

500g ordinary or king prawns, shelled & deveined
2 x tablespoons vegetable oil 
1 x tablespoon ghee
2 x sprigs fresh curry leaves 
1 x teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ x teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 x onion finely chopped
1 x teaspoon ginger
½ x teaspoon chilli powder
1 x teaspoon coriander powder
1 x teaspoon turmeric powder
Half a tin of tinned chopped tomatoes
100ml chicken or fish stock
1 x teaspoon tamarind paste
400ml coconut milk 
Salt to taste

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add half the curry leaves, the mustard seeds, the fenugreek seeds and the ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

2. Add the onions and cook for 10 minutes or until they start to turn golden.

3. Add the chili powder, coriander and turmeric and stir-fry for a further minute.

4. Stir in the tomatoes and the tamarind and cook for 10 minutes.

5. Add the stock and reduce by half.  

6. Add the prawns and cook for 5 minutes then reduce the heat and add the coconut milk, cook for a further 2-3 minutes and take off the heat.

7. In a small pan heat the ghee and add the remaining curry leaves and mustard seeds, then tip the whole lot into the curry and stir through immediately. 

I would like to thank Find Your Feet for allowing me to share Dhruv Baker's recipe with you.

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