I absolutely love prawns. Prawn recipes have been one of the most requested recipes by readers, as they are so easy to make and packed with flavour. If you also love prawns, this is a recipe that will become a favorite in no time.
Ginger and fennel is such a wonderful combination I feel. And when combined with curry leaves and some delicious prawns, the result is nothing short of magical. This prawn curry is my take on a wonderful stir fry using prawns, ginger, fennel and lots of onions. A slow process, but such a fruitful one – this recipe is curry goals. Light, fragrant and packed with flavors, wait till it becomes your favorite. The onions lend the base such a beautiful color, texture and sweetness. And that homemade garam masala, in the end, is the WOW element.
Slow cooked to perfection
The secret to the deliciousness of this recipe lies in its slow cooking. We are going to use a lot of onions because there is really not much else we have as ingredients here. Also, it is important that you dice the onions into thin slices, instead of chopping or grinding it. Thinly sliced onions are perfect for slow cooking as they melt with time and add a beautiful texture to gravies.
The onions are cooked till they caramelize and melt with the rest of the spices, emanating flavors and aromas that are simply stunning. The way every ingredient comes together in harmony in the low heat and exposes the complexity of flavors with time is fascinating. I also love slow cooking because I don’t have to keep stirring or keep an eye on the recipe every minute. And meat and fish recipes work wonders with this principle.
Cooking time for prawns
In this recipe, the prawns are added in the last few minutes. A few minutes are more than enough for the prawns to soak in the flavours of the curry infused with fennel and ginger. You really do not need too much gravy in this recipe as every drop matters. The onions are slow cooked for about thirty minutes, till they caramelise and melt, adding their own sweetness to the gravy. The other highlights include the pungency of pure mustard oil, fresh fennel powder, dry red chillies and fresh ginger paste.
With or without shells?
This really depends on your comfort zone. Personally, I am of the opinion that the shells of a prawn have the maximum taste. So if not the entire shell, at least keep the tail on. The tail of the prawn will absorb most of the flavor of the curry and make the meal more enjoyable. If you are feeling too ambitious and do not have any allergies, go ahead and use the entire shell of the prawns.
Try to use fresh prawns and not frozen ones. This is because fresh prawns taste way better! I like to but my prawns just one the day I decide to cook them. Fortunately, they are easily available where I live. But if you do not have access, go ahead and use frozen ones.
This curry is slow cooked but the prawns are only added towards the end. Because prawns cook at lightning speed and you do not want them to turn rubbery. In this recipe, we will cook the prawns for just five minutes towards the end.
|Prep Time||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||40 minutes|
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 dried red chillies
- 450 grams onions thinly sliced
- 8-10 fresh curry leaves
- 10 grams ginger paste
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp fennel powder
- 200 ml hot water for the masala
- 450 grams prawns cleaned and deveined, tail on (optional)
- 100 ml hot water for the gravy
- 1 tsp garam masala
- Heat mustard oil in a pan. Let it smoke and become pale.
- Temper the oil with dry red chillies and bay leaf.
- Add onions and fry for five minutes in medium flame till they turn aromatic and translucent. Add the fresh curry leaves.
- Add the ginger paste and stir till the raw aroma of the ginger disappears.
- Season with fennel powder, salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and black pepper powder. Stir for another minute.
- Turn the gas to lowest flame. Add two cups of hot water to gravy and cover and slow cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Keep checking in between to make sure it doesn't stick. Add more hot water in intervals if required.
- Take lid off and add the prawns. Gently mix for 30 seconds.
- Season with garam masala and give it one last mix.
- Garnish with some more curry leaves. Serve hot with rice or paratha.
It mentions green chilli but not in list of ingredients