It was a long Greek Orthodox weekend here in Greece, and I had a sudden craving for curry. About a week before, I went to Mirch with a friend and had a very spicy Chicken Vindaloo. I do miss curries, and I don’t make them as often as I would love to. And if I do, I very rarely take pictures and post them as recipes. I have decided to do it this time, as I had to make the spices from scratch, and George said that this would make an excellent blog post.
I had made Nasi Lemak the previous day, and this creamy curry dish would go very well with the spicy sambal. The sweetness from the prawns makes this curry very flavourful. You can use fresh prawns – cleaned, head removed; or frozen ones, like I did. I don’t like to de-shell the prawns because it kinda makes the prawns slightly rubbery and hard if overcooked (also, I am not exactly the most patient person when it comes to cleaning seafood). But this is my personal preference – remove the shells and de-vein if you want to.
Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime and garnish with chopped coriander if you want to. The lime juice helps to add a sharp zing to the curry as you are about to eat it, but it is not essential.
You can find the nigella seeds or kalonji at specialist spice stores or South Asian stores. If you live in Greece, walk down Evripidou Street near Omonia and I am sure you’ll find it in one of the stores there. You can also find dried curry leaves in those stores. but if you can find fresh curry leaves, well, you are luckier than me!
This curry is not very spicy. The heat comes from the spices, and not so much of the ‘chilli’ kind of heat.
- 2 tbsps of olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 tsp of kalonji (nigella seeds)
- 1/2 tsp of black mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp of dried curry leaves (or fresh, if available)
- 1 tbsp of garam masala powder (homemade or store-bought)
- 1 tbsp of vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar. Alternatively, use a vinegar that is similar in acidity level)
- 200g of chopped tomatoes (about half a can of chopped tomatoes)
- 100g of greek yoghurt (about half of a small pot)
- 400g of prawns, fresh and cleaned (or frozen)
- salt, to taste.
- Pound the ginger and the garlic together in a pestle and mortar until it turns into a soft pulp. Set aside.
- Heat up the olive oil in a pan on medium. Once hot, fry the nigella seeds, black mustard seeds and curry leaves until the spices start to make popping noises.
- Add the chopped onion and ginger and garlic pulp. Cook until soft.
- Add the 1 tbsp of garam masala powder, and fry some more until fragrant.
- Add the vinegar and fry for another minute. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomato chunks have softened. Add a bit of water if you need to make it more saucy and less dry.
- Once it has turned more into a sauce, you can mix in the yoghurt into the tomato sauce. Mix gently and continue stirring until it has all mixed into a smooth creamy sauce.
- Add the prawns into the mix, and leave to simmer on medium low until the prawns are cooked through.
- Season the curry according to taste.
- Garnish with some coriander leaves and serve with some slices of lime by the side.
- Eat this curry with rice, naan bread, and accompaniments like chutney. This goes well with my Pomegranate Raita and even Tzatziki!