Burmese Prawn Curry

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Serves 4.


500 g/1 lb raw prawns
1 large onion, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons gingelly oil*
salt to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
2 tablespoons chopped spring onions (scallions)


Shell and devein prawns. Place onion, garlic and ginger in a blender and grind to a puree. Mix in turmeric and chili powder.

Heat oil in a saucepan until very hot. Carefully add pureed ingredients. Be careful because the oil will spatter violently. Lower heat and stir ingredients. Cover pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes, lifting lid frequently to stir and scrape base of pan with a wooden spoon. If mixture fries too rapidly add a little water as necessary and stir well. When ready, the onion mixture will have a rich red-brown color and mellow aroma, and oil will show around edge of mass.

Add prawns and stir well. Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves, then cover pan and cook for 10 minutes or until prawns are done. Remove from heat and stir in spring onions. Serve hot with rice.

* If gingelly oil is not easy to find, use 2 tablespoons corn or peanut oil and add 1 tablespoon oriental sesame oil for flavor.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)