Prawn Biryani

We adapted this from Madhur Jaffrey’s book, Curry Easy. Her recipe uses farmed tiger prawns, which are available frozen. We used fresh local prawns. It was really delicious. We had to adjust quantities as well, as we are only cooking for two people. I added some spices and herbs from similar recipes from Iran. 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 kg fresh prawns
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • chopped coriander and mint leaves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 150g rice
  • Small pinch of saffron in 1 tbsp boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp Caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp butter

METHOD:

  • Put the rice in a large measuring jug of cold water, and leave to soak. Drain off and refresh the water from time to time. 
  • Cook the prawns for a couple of minutes in boiling water, then drain. When the prawns are cold, peel the tails, and cut them in half around the middle. 
  • Put the prawns in a bowl with garlic, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and set aside.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil, flavoured with salt, half a teaspoon of caraway and 2 cardamom pods. 
  • When the water is boiling, add the drained rice. Bring back to the boil and cook until the rice is not completely cooked, but almost. Drain the rice.
  • In a frying pan, heat up a tbsp of vegetable oil and fry the prawns for 2 minutes or so. 
  • Mix the cooked prawns with the lemon juice, coriander and mint leaves. 
  • Grease the bottom of a large pan with the butter, then add half the drained rice, then the prawns, and then the rest of the rice. Sprinkle the top with the saffron water. 
  • Cover the rice and cook over a low heat for another ten minutes or so, until the rice is fully cooked. 
  • Carefully mix the rice and prawns, and serve. 

Goan prawn curry with coconut

We made this with some really great quality local prawns. Looks like a tradition is starting. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kilo medium or large prawns, shelled
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp hot paprika
  • 250ml coconut milk (or 50g creamed coconut dissolved in 250ml boiling water)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (or 1 tsp tamarind paste)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 1cm cubed fresh ginger, finely diced

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a wok, or large frying pan
  • Add the onion, and fry at quite a high temperature. 
  • Add the ginger and garlic when the onion is translucent. 
  • When the onion starts to brown, turn off the heat and stir in the pepper, cayenne, paprika and turmeric. Stir to mix. 
  • Return the pan to the heat and add the coconut milk. When it starts to bubble and cook, add the prawns and lemon juice, stir and cook until the prawns are hot.

Serve with rice. 

Prawns, Garlic, Chillies, Mustard Seeds

I made these with prawns from DA and Tina. There are some great food producers locally, and they need our support, having lost their overseas markets during the Covid-19 pandemic. DA and Tina have had such a good experience selling their catch locally, they may be able to continue working this way in the future. 

https://eatdrinkhebrides.org.uk/ takes you to an evolving website for purchasing local produce.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 kilo of prawns. 
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 to 2 chopped green chillies
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 15 curry leaves or 10 basil leaves
  • 5 tbsp peeled chopped tomatoes (or grated tomatoes)

METHOD:

  • Shell the prawns (easier if they are quickly cooked first)
  • Put the prawns in a bowl with the cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt and chillies, and mix well. If you are working ahead of time, they can be covered and kept in the fridge for a few hours. 
  • Put the oil in a wok, medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. After a few seconds they will start to sizzle and pop. 
  • As soon as the mustard seeds start popping, add the chopped garlic, stir and then add the prawns and curry leaves. 
  • Stir a few times, and then add the grated tomatoes. Turn the heat to low and simmer for two or three minutes. 
  • Serve immediately. 

We served the prawns on a bed of noodles, but they could be served as a starter on their own, or with rice. 

Potato, cauliflower and coconut curry

For when your husband comes home with a random cauliflower. It is a longish list of ingredients, but it is very very good. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small to medium cauliflower
  • 100g creamed coconut
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 100g tomatoes
  • 2.5cm cube of fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2.5cm cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 hot green chillies
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 4 eggs (optional – leave these out for a vegan version)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala 

METHOD:

Prepare all the ingredients.

  • Boil the potatoes, then cool, peel and chop them into 2cm dice.
  • Separate the cauliflower into small florets, about 2cm across at the top. Cook the florets for a minute in boiling water, then drain and rinse in cold water. 
  • Pour 500ml boiling water onto the creamed coconut, and stir so it is all melted in. 
  • Peel and chop the tomatoes. 
  • chop the ginger and garlic, and put them into a small blender with a spoonful of water, and blend until smooth.
  • Finely chop the onion
  • Finely chop the chilli peppers
  • Boil, cool and peel the eggs and cut in half. 

Next, start assembling the dish. 

  • In a wok or large deep frying pan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the fenugreek seeds and then the cinnamon stick. 
  • After a couple of seconds, add the chopped onion, and turn the heat to medium, stirring and cooking for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add the ginger and garlic mixture, and the chopped chilli peppers. Cook for another minute. 
  • Add the tomatoes, turmeric and curry leaves. Cook for another couple of minutes. 
  • Add about a third of the coconut milk, turn the heat to low, and simmer. As the sauce reduces, keep an eye and stir from time to time so it doesn’t stick. 
  • Add the potatoes, cauliflower, 1.5 tsp salt, another third of the coconut milk, stir and bring to a simmer. 
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk and the lemon juice, stir and then put the eggs in carefully, spooning the sauce over the eggs. Cover and simmer for a few more minutes. 
  • Sprinkle with garam masala before serving. 

This is good with flat breads such as chapati or roti. 

Venison Curry

For Christmas, we had pot-roast venison, with a lemon and horseradish gravy. We had a lot of venison for two people, so I also made this curry. It is adapted from a very odd recipe from the BBC website – the quantities were mad, and didn’t match between imperial and metric, so I sort of made up the gaps. It was delicious, although rather hot. I’d like to make it again, so here is what I did. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1kg venison, diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2cm of ginger root, grated
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp kashmir chilli powder, or 1 tbsp ordinary chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp crushed juniper seeds
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp molasses sugar or other brown sugar or treacle
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • greek-style thick plain yoghurt
  • 500ml stock (I used the lemon gravy)

METHOD:

  • Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole dish, and fry the chopped onions over a medium heat. 
  • After around 5 minutes, add the crushed garlic, grated ginger and chopped chillies. 
  • When the onions are browning, add the venison, and stir in to cook and brown the meat.
  • Add the spices and cook for a few more minutes, stirring them in well. 
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and stock, and bring the mixture to a simmer. 
  • Cook over a low heat on the hob or in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. If you are using left-overs, half an hour should be enough. 

To serve, stir in two tablespoons of yoghurt, and garnish with the chopped coriander. Serve with nan bread or rice, and with a side-dish of yoghurt. 

Baked Beef Curry

We are still enjoying the supply of beef from Louise’s Askernish herd, just delicious. We made this very easy beef curry last night, and reheated it the next day. It is from Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Easy. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tbsp olive oil, or vegetable oil
  • 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 kg stewing steak
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 225g chopped onions
  • 300ml plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp salt

METHOD:

  • Heat the oven to 180C
  • Heat the oil in a casserole dish, and when the oil is hot, add the cardamom and cinnamon, stir once and then add the meat. Keep moving the meat until is browned all over, then transfer to a bowl. 
  • In the same pan, add the cumin seeds and onions, on a medium to high heat. Keep stirring and cooking for 10 minutes, until the onion is browning. Turn off the heat when the onion is cooked. 
  • Return the meat to the pan, and then add all of the other ingredients, and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan with the lid, and put it into the oven to bake for at least an hour and a half, until the meat is tender. 

I served this with almonds browned in a little oil, and with baked potatoes. 

Marinated sweet and sour fish curry

Another new recipe book with a middle eastern flavour, ‘Jerusalem’ by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. This book is actually not so new to me, but I haven’t used it much. But then we had visitors who were looking at it, and Hector came in with a large pollock. This makes 4 very large portions. 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced (1cm slices)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 peppers (red and/or yellow), sliced (1cm slices)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 bayleaves
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes 
  • 2-3 tsp sugar (I used basra date syrup instead)
  • 5 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 pollock, or around 500g of white fish, divided into pieces
  • plain flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 190C
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, and add the onions with the coriander seeds. Cook on a medium heat for around five minutes. 
  • Add the peppers and cook for a further ten minutes
  • Add the garlic, bayleaves, curry powder, and tomatoes. Cook for another eight minutes.
  • Add sugar, vinegar, around 1 tsp salt and pepper, and cook together for another five minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, heat the other 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Sprinkle a little salt on the fish, dip into the seasoned flour and then into the egg, and fry each portion for around 3 minutes, turning once. 
  • In a casserole dish, add the fish and the cooked sauce, so that the fish is at the bottom of the pan. Add around 250ml hot water to ensure that the fish is immersed. 
  • Place the pan in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the fish is cooked. Remove from the oven and allow the curry to cool to room temperature. 

This dish can be eaten warm, as it is. It is better after a night in the fridge. Try garnishing with coriander leaves. We served this with bread. 

Sri Lankan beef casserole

OMG this was delicious. I used a recipe from Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey, but adapted it because I didn’t have any brisket, just stew packs. I also had some wonderful local beef to use.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1kg beef (preferably brisket, tied for a roast, but diced for stew works OK too)
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1 inch of cinnamon stick
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 inches of ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, or 1 tsp lime pickle
  • 350ml stock
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 250ml coconut milk.

METHOD:

  • sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper
  • Put a small heavy pan over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the coriander, cumin, fennel and fenugreek. Toast for 30 seconds, and then empty onto a bit of kitchen paper or teatowel. Once the spices have started to cook, crush them in a pestle and mortar.
  • Preheat the oven to gas 3, 160C.
  • Put the oil into a large casserole dish. Once the oil is hot, brown the meat on all sides, and set it aside
  • Next, fry the onion ginger, garlic and cinnamon in the same pan. Cook for around five minutes.
  • Add the vinegar, stock, cayenne pepper, 1 tsp salt and the roasted ground sices. Stir together and add the beef. Bring to the boil.
  • Cover and place in the oven for around 2 hours.
  • When the meat is tender, transfer the casserole to the hob and stir in the coconut milk.

We served this with rice, but it also goes well with potato or bread.

Mackerel curry with fennel and coconut

This is a fab recipe in Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey – I adapted it a little, and checked quantities against reality for Uist mackerel.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 mackerel, boned and split – to make six sides with skin on.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped (or equivalent chopped shallots)
  • 6 tbsp coconut milk

METHOD:

  • Cut the mackerel sides in half, and sprinkle with salt
  • Combine the ginger, garlic, cayenne, paprika, black pepper, turmeric, lime juice and 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl
  • Put the oil in a large frying pan, over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the fennel seed and cook for a few seconds before adding the onion/shallots.
  • Within a few minutes, when the onions are softening,, add the bowl of spices and fry for another minute.
  • Add 250ml water, and bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low and simmer for another 7-8 minutes
  • Add the coconut milk, and bring back to a simmer
  • Add the fish, skin side down, and spoon the sauce over the fish. Continue to cook for another 7 minutes, moving the fish around and spooning the sauce over the fish.
  • Once the fish is cooked, serve with brown rice

Vegetables with spices and coconut

I went to the co-op on the way home from work, with the express intent to see what I could buy in the reduced section before it was discarded. I bought a pack of mixed prepared vegetables, which included a cooked potato, some carrots and some broccoli. This recipe could use peas, carrots, kohl rabi, cauliflower, all sorts of lovely things. I added some more potato.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 carrot, chopped (or peas)
  • 1 small cauliflower, chopped (or broccoli or kohl rabi)
  • 3 small potatoes, chopped into quarters
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chillies, or green tabasco sauce
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp grated creamed coconut
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, if available.

METHOD:

  • Chop the potatoes into quarters. Chop the vegetables into florets, 2cm dice, all a similar size.
  • In a large pan, wok or karhai, heat the oil, and when it is hot, add the asafoetida and mustard seeds.
  • As the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the curry leaves, and then the potatoes, along with the chillies, turmeric, salt and sugar, and stir for a couple of minutes
  • Add 50ml water, cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Check regularly and add more water if the mixture looks too dry.
  • Add the rest of the vegetables, stir into the mixture along with a little more water, and cook for a further five minutes.
  • Sprinkle over the grated coconut and coriander, before serving.