Saturday, 27 February 2010

Chingrir kosha, flawed.

This is a chingrir kosha (prawn curry, shall we say) which lacked one vital ingredient: yogurt. And a few non-vital ones: mustard oil, turmeric, coriander (cilantro) leaves. The recipe includes these missing ingredients, but the curry as I was forced to make it is testament to the fact that it can be made just as deliciously without them.

Potatoes, diced.
Tomatoes, diced into long, thin pieces OR chopped into tiny ones.
Red onions, chopped.
Prawns/shrimps, shelled, de-tailed and de-veined.
Turmeric powder--teensy bit.
Salt, sugar.
Coriander and cumin powder (freshly ground)
Chillie powder OR chopped dry red chillies (optional)
Green chillies (optional)
Garlic, peeled and crushed (optional)

How to:

Cooking the wok. Allowing oil to heat and circling it around the wok.

Rub the prawns with turmeric and a little white salt. Sauté them in a wok in about two tablespoons of oil. If using more oil or a really small amount of prawns, give some time for the excess oil to drain. Frying prawns too much results in the flesh hardening and becoming fairly tasteless, so be careful. Do the same with the potatoes.

Heat some ghee (clarified butter) or canola/sunflower oil in a wok. Ideally one should use mustard oil, but I ran out. When one onion ring sizzles in it, lower flame and add onion. Keep stirring till you can smell the sweet smell of frying onions. Add a little crushed garlic if you want, and fry that too. If you want the curry *really* spicy, stir in the chopped red chillies. Now add the tomatoes and fry them well, disintegrating them so that the thing in the wok becomes a thick, dryish, spicy sauce.

Add corianders and cumin. Fold it in well. Slow cook till the oil separates out. This process is called kosha (bhuna). Now add the potatoes and prawns. Fold in well and stir gently for a couple of minutes. Add yogurt (be careful not to add the yogurty water) and blend it in with the potatoes and prawns.

When the spices, tomatoes, onions and yogurt have been thoroughly mixed, add water. Add salt and sugar. Bring the curry to a bubbly boil. Taste, see if it needs more salt and sugar. Add slit green chillies if you want them. Lower the flame and cover. Keep checking every few minutes to see whether the potatoes are cooked (the old fork test) and that the curry isn't drying out completely. When it's done, add garam masala powder and a little more ghee on the top and fold it in. Add chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves. Serve with white rice.


Dhruva said...

Prawns and similar seafood have a very delicate flesh. Never, ever fry prawns separately when cooking them. Do not even lightly toss them in oil. In this particular case, just add them raw and rubbed with the suggested spices when you would otherwise have added them in fried form, as suggested in the recipe. Then cook over a slow heat and ideally cover the pot. Proceed as usual when prawns are tender.

Rimi said...

I loudly disagree :P

However, that is what I do when making some kind of delicate curry, like chingrir malaicurry.