While I was wondering what I could call this dish in English.. RHCP – Red Hot Chilli Prawns popped up into my head instantly.. All of you would be familiar with the popular American music band RHCP.. I like their music hence this name just came to me in a flash…
When it comes to this one.. I behave like a cat.. Yes, a cat.. the love cats share for fish & milk.. I share for this dish.. 🙂 It’s very basic ingredients from a Konkani pantry & most pantry’s if you live on the coast.. & an aromatic, lip smacking curry with prawns is ready… I was joking about this with a few friends on Facebook last evening that any Konkana (the community in Southern India who speak the dialect Konkani) will guess this blindfolded from just a whiff that escapes from the kitchen…
This dish is very popular among Konkana’s.. You really need to smell the asafoetida in the dish, the reason this dish is called hinga udda (Hing- asafoetida, udda – water in konkani)is because of it.
Tips for that authentic taste:
1. Please use fresh prawns when preparing this dish.
2. Please add coconut oil for that authentic taste.
3. Don’t forget to add a wee bit extra asafoetida for the aroma. This & the coconut oil add the heavenly aroma to this dish. Note: Traditionally asafoetida is added to deal with the gastric issues that is known to arise from certain ingredients in food, but having said that, the flavour does not go well with all dishes which have ingredients known to cause gastric issues.
4. Do not use desiccated coconut for this dish.
The traditional method of preparing this dish involves fresh grated coconut, oil roasted dried red chilli’s and some tamarind, all ground together into a smooth paste. But if you cannot find fresh coconut, you could use coconut milk as a substitute for the grated coconut and red chilli powder for the dried red chilli’s & some tamarind juice. But of course nothing can beat the curry made using fresh ground paste.
My grandmother prepared fish in traditional earthen pots, on firewood. Fish or seafood cooked in earthen pots over firewood have a distinct flavour of its own. If you have ever had an opportunity to try fish cooked in this manner you would know what I’m talking about. 🙂 Aaah I miss all those days..
Ingredients: (Serves 2) Preparation Time: 20 mins
Prawns – 225 gms, de-veined & washed. I used king prawns, but tiny prawns add more flavour to the dish
Coconut – freshly grated, around 1 cup/ close half of a medium-sized coconut grated
Dried Red chilli’s – 4-5 medium spicy variety, If you do not achieve the desired chilli levels you could add some chilli powder later on
Tamarind – 3/4 marble sized ball, make sure you take off the any seeds present
Asafoetida powder – more than a pinch, say about 2 pinches ;),
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Heat about 1/2 tsp of oil in a tempering vessel or a fry pan and set the heat to medium. Now fry the dried red chilli in the oil till it loses it bright red colour and turns into a light shade of brown or deep red. Do not let them turn black or dark brown. Take them off heat and cool them. Once it has cooled to room temperature add them along with the tamarind, grated coconut to a food processor jar and grind it to a smooth paste. You would need to add a little water (2-3 tbsp) to turn it into a smooth paste.
Do not worry of the paste you prepared does not look as red/orangish. It all depends on the variety of dried red chilli’s used. I used a variety called Byadgi which is famous in Mangalore. As these do not make the dish hot , I used a few of these for colour & a few of another variety to make the dish hot.
Now heat about half a litre of water in a pot set to medium heat. Once the water comes to a boil, add the paste of coconut, tamarind & chilli. Mix well. Add some salt to taste. Lower the heat to low. Let this mixture bubble and come to a boil. This is to let the coconut cook.
1. If the dried chilli’s you used did not make the dish as hot as you desired then add some red chilli powder & adjust accordingly.
2. If you want some nice colour to the dish you can throw in a few dried red chilli’s which add colour along with the ones added for spice. Or add some Kashmiri red chilli powder which adds colour later on.
3. If the red chilli’s you used ended up making the dish too hot then all you can do to reduce it is to add some extra coconut milk n increase the quantity of the curry. But this may require addition of some extra tamarind water, since your ending up making more curry.
4. If the curry is too thick add a little water to achieve the consistency you desire.
When the curry is bubbling, add the washed prawns & let them cook. Since prawns cook real quick, check in about 5-6 minutes. Check & adjust the salt. If they are cooked, add the asafoetida & add the coconut oil in. Turn off the heat.
Yes, it’s that simple. Very basic ingredients… 🙂
The best accompaniment for this dish is a bowl of hot steamed rice.
Traditionally eaten with red boiled rice.
If you like this recipe, you may also like – Basic South-Indian Chicken curry – Chicken Masala, Meen Molee/Boneless fish pieces in a fragrant Kerala style coconut curry, My kind of Mix-Veg Thai Yellow Curry with Prawns.
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