I absolutely adore Asian-style food. And this incredibly tasty prawn and mango curry is an old favourite of mine.
While the supermarkets are full of many types of ready-made paste and sauces, I prefer to cook from scratch – once I’d started doing it there was no going back as the taste of this is far superior to anything ready-made.
And really, it may be a bit more time-consuming to make this mango and prawn curry but it’s not difficult to do – and the result is simply amazing.
This prawn and mango curry does contain coconut milk but as long as you don't have too much, there is no need to worry about this type of fat.
Coconut milk is first of all really nutritious (see Nutritional Information). It does contain saturated fat but coconut is rich in medium-chain fatty acids which the body processes differently than other saturated fats. In moderation, these medium-chain fatty acids promote weight maintenance without raising cholesterol levels (Wikipedia).
It is a great dish to prepare beforehand – you can finish it off after your guests have arrived. It will simply improve as the flavours intensify when left to stand.
Follow the recipe all the way until you have added the coconut milk and mango and simmered for 10 minutes. Let the sauce cool down, cover and place in the fridge. When you are ready to finish the mango and prawn curry, take out the sauce, get it simmering again and follow the recipe to the end.
For 4 people:
Goan masala paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
½ teaspoon cloves
3 large red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tamarind water (see below), or, if you can’t get hold of tamarind, replace with 1 tablespoon of lime juice
thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon red vinegar
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
(Tamarind water: take a piece of tamarind pulp, about the size of a golf ball, and place it in a bowl with 100ml, 3½floz, ½ cup, of warm water. With your fingers, work the tamarind pulp into the water until it has broken down and the seeds have been released. Strain the syrupy liquid through a fine sieve – press down with a spoon - into another bowl. Discard the fibrous material left in the sieve.)
Grind the cumin, coriander, black pepper and cloves to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a food processor with all the other ingredients except for the turmeric powder and blend to a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the turmeric powder.
For the prawn and mango curry:
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil, or use vegetable oil
6 cardamom pods, bruised
A small handful of curry leaves, fresh or dried (optional)
3 teaspoons garam masala
All of the Goan masala paste (see above)
400g, 14oz, 2¼ cups, chopped tomatoes
400ml, 13½floz, 1¾cups, can coconut milk
1 large ripe mango, peeled and cut into chunks
300g, 10½oz, tiger or other large prawns (you can replace the prawns with chunks of firm white fish)
1. Whizz the garlic, ginger and onion together with a splash of water to a paste in a food processor.
2. Heat the oil in a deep-sided frying pan, or in a casserole pot, and fry the cardamom for a minute over a medium heat. Throw in the curry leaves, if using, and fry for ½ a minute. Add the onion-garlic-ginger paste and 2 teaspoons of the garam masala and fry, stirring continuously, until the paste darkens, for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the Goan masala paste and continue to fry for another couple of minutes, still stirring so it doesn’t burn. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and 100 ml of water and season with salt and pepper. Let everything simmer gently for 10 minutes.
4. Add the coconut milk and mango chunks and simmer for another 10 minutes.
5. Stir in the prawns (or chunks of fish) and cook for 3 minutes until they are just cooked. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of garam masala just before serving (if you are using fish, then stir very gently so you don’t break up the fish too much).
6. Serve in bowls with quinoa (healthier) or rice (brown basmati rice is the best type of rice - see 1/9). My Asian-style carrot salad would go well with this prawn and mango curry.
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