Monday, June 8, 2009

Karuveppelai Era

Karuvepellai Era (Curry leaves scented Prawns)

This is a very simple and tasty recipe which I got from a grandmother when I was travelling in a village near Vellankani.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velankanni_Town. This town and other small fishing villages was devastated during the Tsunami in 2004.

It was about 6pm and I was walking through in this small fishing village where the fisherman arrive on catamarans with their daily catch in the evenings. I saw the Annai Patti (grand mother)was sitting outside her hut and grilling some prawns on her earthen stove. I was curious and went and spoke to her. She was really warm was willing to share her recipe. I came to know that she had lost her family in the Tsunami and the local fisherman have been taking care after her.

Ingredients

tiger Prawns (16-20) tail on - 20 Pieces
coconut Oil- 3 tbsp
asofetida- 1 pinch
black mustard seeds- 1 tsp
urad Dal (Split washed)- 3 tbsp
curry leaves- 15 leaves
black pepper corns- 1 tsp
salt to taste
lime wedge

1. Remove the shell and veins from the prawns and leave the tail on. Wash, pat dry in a paper towel.

Tadka (Tempering)
This is a very flavorful cooking technique which is the heart of Indian cooking. It is a quick process where spices are added into hot oil or ghee to bring out the aroma.

2. Assemble all the ingredients next to you before starting.
3. Heat oil when it starts smoking add the black mustard seeds once it crackles add the asofetida, continue adding the lentils on a medium flame and keep stirring till its golden brown, add curry leaves and stir, followed by the pepper corns cook for 2 minutes and add seasoning.
4. Remove from heat and pound it to a coarse mixture using a mortar and pestle .
5. Cool the mixture and apply the marinade to the prawns. Skewer the prawns marinate for a few minutes and grill it over a medium heat.
6. Remove and squeeze a little lime and serve along with tomato chutney.

Tips: Ensure that the skewers are turned frequently as the lentil crust will burn quickly.
Soak the skewers for a couple of hours before using them.
Pair well with wines. Albarino is a personal favorite.
Pan frying is also a good technique for this recipe.

Please follow this link to get a great result while grilling the prawns
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIc1Anj_Pa0

Happy Grilling...

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