As someone who loves a good meal, cooking one, came to me as a natural passion. I belong to a family where meal times consisted of not just food, but also noisy conversation centered around the events of the day and discussing the menu for the next. (ah yes, we are a greedy lot! )

For the most part of my life so far, my contribution in the kitchen was assisting mom and my duties were limited, to chopping veggies and laying the table. Then along came the great Indian wedding, and I was suddenly the queen of my very own kingdom. My curiosity about this magical world, coupled with an enthusiastic sous-chef (my husband, Vineet), led me to take on the challenge of preparing meals on a daily basis, and not succumbing to the convenience of hiring a cook.

This blog is a product of my experiments with food (not all are life threatening :D) for my fellow culinary enthusiasts - especially the newly weds and hungry bachelors and is dedicated to the women who've inspired me in the kitchen;
Aji (s),Ma and Nigella Lawson.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Brinda's Bengali Style Mustard Prawns

My dear Brinda,
I owe you the biggest apology. I have made this recipe a gazillion times after the first time I had this at that lunch party you hosted oh-so-many Sundays ago and it is only now that I am getting around to posting it.
I'm sad that you are moving back home to India, but thrilled because you can now mail me cartons of Kasundi :) So, this one is dedicated to you my friend. Burrrrp!

OK, given the delayed-ness of this post, I will give you guys quick description about this gorgeous Bengali style prawn curry made with mustard oil, fresh coconut and green chiles.
The star ingredient of this curry however, is the humble "Kasundi" - a tangy, pungent mustard sauce made with fresh mustard, vinegar and chiles and a host of other stuff that we don't need to worry about because we buy this ready-made in a bottle.
For folks in Singapore, Kasundi is sold at Mustafa centre (big surprise! right? LOL). For folks in Pune, I stocked up on my supply at Dorabjees during a recent trip back home, and for those in Delhi, make your way to the nearest Bengali market.
For those in other locations, please beg (or threaten) your Bengali friends for some or ask where you can get your hands on this... its worth the effort. Trust me!
Brinda, like the true blue Bengali she is, makes this using ONLY fresh prawns, but when I'm craving this, I've  taken the easier route and used frozen ones.

I've recently learnt an interesting trick to cheating and making frozen prawns taste as good as fresh ones -- marinate thawed prawns in plain salt for abt 10 mins. Then rinse. The salt helps 'plump' up the frozen prawns and lends them that fresh seawater flavour ;) Hooray for short cuts!
OH and BTW, this whole thing comes together in less than 15 mins from start to finish because its a microwave recipe, which makes cleaning up a breeze!

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
- 15-20 large frozen Prawns, thawed & de-veined
- 2-3 cloves of Garlic, crushed
- 2 tbsp Mustard Oil
- 1/2 cup Kasundi sauce
- 1 green Chile (2 if you like it spicy!)
- 3/4 cup fresh grated Coconut
- 1 small Tomato, finely chopped
- Salt, as per preferance

1.)  In a microwave safe bowl, whisk the mustard oil and crushed garlic together. Tip the cleaned prawns in and toss gently to ensure each prawn is coated in the marinade. Set aside.

2.)  While the prawns marinate, blend the Kasundi sauce and green chile in a food processor till the chile is nicely minced. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the grated coconut. Pulse till the whole mixture comes together nicely.

3.)  Pour the mustard-chile-coconut paste over the marinated prawns. Add the chopped tomato and mix well. Season with salt.

This curry isn't very runny, so if you like it on the thinner side like Vineet and I do, then add a few tablespoons of water to the mix.

4.)  Now, cover the bowl allowing a little gap for the steam to escape and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Uncover, gently mix and microwave for another 5 minutes...and... Done!

Enjoy this with some steamed rice. YUM!  

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