Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nyonya pineapple prawn curry recipe

Yesterday, I made a srcrumptious dish of pineapple prawn curry. I followed a recipe from a Nyonya cooking book and added a few extra ingredients and the curry turned out to be bursting with a rich fragrant aroma from the spices. This was the first time I made my own curry paste as I was previously unaware of all the spices used such as galangal, candlenuts, turmeric, coriander seeds, fresh and dried chilies. The taste wasn't all that spicy but the creamy coconut milk blended well with all the heavenly spices, fiery red chillies, sweet pineapple chunks and delicate springy prawns. The simmering time is approximately 20-30 minutes as it is vital not to overcook the prawns as they will turn out rubbery! I used fresh coconut milk which my dad bought from the market which really added to the flavoursome exotic curry broth unlike the can coconut milk. Next time, I'll probably add an extra tin of pineapples to balance out the numerous prawns swimming deliciously in this authentic Nyonya curry dish. Perfect with a steaming bowl of rice or vermicelli/beehoon.

Nyonya pineapple prawn curry recipe: Adpated from Penang Nyonya Cooking by Cecilia Tan


300g medium sized prawns (I used 400g)
1/2 coconut grated squeezed for milk (I used 2 packets thick coconut milk and 1 packet approximately 200ml diluted with 2 cups water)
3 tbsp coriander seeds (ketumbar) pounded
2 stalk lemongrass, white part only
5 shallots
3 cloves garlic
3.5cm fresh young turmeric (kunyit)
2 cm slice galangal
2 candlenuts (buah keras)
5 dried chillies
4 fresh red chillies
3/4 tsp shrimp paste (belacan)
1 small pineapple/1 can of pineapple chunks
8 tbsp cooking oil
salt 1/2 tsp (I also added half a Knorr chicken buillon cube)
sugar 1/4 tsp

1) Deshell and devein the prawns but keep the tail.
2) Grind coriander into paste and set aside. Blend all other ingredients: chillies, candlenuts. garlic, shallots, turmeric, lemongrass.
3) Heat pot, pour in oil. Add blended ingredients and stir fry 1 minute before adding the coriander and belacan.
4) Add 1/2 of the diluted coconut milk bit by bit to prevent burning. (I then transferred to a claypot)
5) When mixture starts to bubble, add prawns and stif fry 1 minute. Add in rest of diluted coconut milk. Add pineapple and salt and sugar to taste.
6) Boil till pineapple is soft. Add concentrated coconut milk an continue cooking for a few minutes.
7) Lower heat, cover pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes before serving.

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