Now what I like about Mom's curries are that she never grinds the curry paste in a mixer but in a stone pestle(pictured below) by hand. To this day she grinds not only gravies also batters by hand(it is a tiring processs) and must I say, the gravies turn out awesome.
When I got married, I swore by the grinder and vowed never to use the mixer to prepare my gravies. One problem though, I did not see myself sitting over a stone pestle day in and out, crushing the spices and coconut to make a paste. Then, there were these tilting wet grinders(pictured below) available in the market which crushed the spices using a stone but which were running on electricity. After having heard me lament about Mom's gravies for six months, Vinay finally decided to get a grinder for me.
I have had the Santha grinder for the past 10 years and I must say, whoever have dined at my house wanted to know the secret of the delicious gravies( be it meat or fish). I would proudly point out to my wet grinder. Now having moved to Germany, I had to leave my grinder behind and have to make do with the Philips Mixer( which I had to buy) for the gravies that I prepare. The thing about mixers is that they fail to grind coconut to a fine paste. I know I can substitute it with coconut milk, but there is nothing like a gravy made out of freshly ground coconut.
My children both love prawns very much. I also felt it was high time I prepared my Mangalorean sea food curry. So, I got these frozen tiger prawns from E-centre ( They are also available in Kupsch). Though prawns fried in oil and spices seem to be everybody's favourite, I decided to make the curry from Sanjeev Kapoor's Konkan CookBook (I am a big fan of his) !!!!
- 18-20 medium sized Prawns( shelled and de-veined)
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup Coconut(scraped)
- 2 medium sized Onions( sliced)
- 4 Red Chillies (whole)
- 2 tsps Coriander seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 8-10 Peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 5 cloves Garlic
- One and a half tbsp Tamarind Pulp
- 3 tbsps Oil
- Wash prawns thoroughly under running water, drain and pat them dry. Sprinkle salt and keep aside for an hour.
- Grind scraped coconut, half the sliced onions, whole red chillies, coriander , cumin, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns, turmeric powder, garlic and tamarind pulp to a smooth paste using sufficient water.
3. Heat oil in a vessel and fry the remaining onions till light brown.
4. Add the ground paste and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add two cups of water and mix well. When the mixture comes to a boil add prawns and adjust seasoning.5. Simmer for five minutes or till cooked. Serve hot with rice.
Note :-I have not scraped but cut the coconut due to lack of a scraper and I have also added diced potatoes in the gravy since potatoes cooked in a fish gravy taste yummy!!!