Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sungatha Fanna upkari - Fiery Prawns Curry

It may sound straight from Jhumpa Lahiri's book "The interpreter of the maladies" especially the story about Mrs. Sen. Well, I am not Mrs. Sen but I share the same passion for seafood. and I went through the same trauma of finding the "proper" fish when I came to US. Well, initially, I was so busy and without much of the kitchen equipments, that I never bothered to cook seafood by myself. I survived on Burger King's Fish fillet minus cheese and tartar sauce, but with lots of black pepper and Tabasco. I know, I was pathetic but what can one do? I can live without meat, poultry or even eggs, without touching them ever again. but seafood - naah! Probably it's in my genes - the GSBs were supposed to be seafood eaters. Anyhow, my husband who was brought up a vegetarian (who now eats fish because of its healthy Omega3 benefits!) - helped me to find the fish store. So after coming from work, I used to flip through the yellow pages, call the fishmongers and pester them with questions about "pomfret", "mackrel", "king fish"... They would give up and invite me to their stores which was a polite way of saying come here and see for yourself about whatever you're talking...Hubby and I used to drive to the different corners of the city and I could never get whatever I wanted. Later, I discovered a Chinese stores, found pomfrets and mackrels, they never tasted the same, so I compromised on the American fish and now give me Tilapia, trout or salmon and I can totally give them a desi makeover!:-D
I remembered all this as I was getting ready to post fish recipes for my friend, Indrani's fish event. Well, the first bump was the month Shravan. I had decided not to eat anything nonveg this month. Frankly, that should not have stopped me from blogging about seafood, but it just slipped through the cracks. And now, with Lord Ganapati's arrival next week, I have to submit these recipes pronto before the festival starts.
Sungatha Fanna Upkari
Fiery Prawns Curry - South Canara Style
1 lb medium shrimp/prawns, washed, peeled, deveined
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp hot chili powder (or more!)
1 tsp tamarind paste
salt to taste

1 tbsp coconut oil
2 onions, chopped finely approx. = 1 cup

1. Marinate shrimp/prawns with salt and turmeric powder. Refrigerate till ready to use.
2. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai/pan.
3. Add finely chopped onion. Saute on a medium flame till the onion is dark brown but not burnt.
4. Now add chili powder. Saute for 30 seconds without letting the powder burn. Add tamarind paste and 1 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil.
5. Add marinated shrimp and salt to taste.
6. Simmer till you get a gravy of thick consistency.

Note -
1. Though salt is added while marinating the shrimp, you still need a little more for the curry.
2. Traditionally, byadgi chilies are roasted in coconut oil and ground with tamarind before adding it to the curry.
3. If possible, use iron kadai for making this curry. But after the curry is ready, transfer it to a ceramic bowl.
This post is my entry to Indrani's Fish event.


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