Thursday, 24 May 2012

King Prawn and Chickpea Madras Curry with Rice

On a boiling hot day like today, the best thing to eat is a super spicy curry.

Spicy food stimulates the sweat glands that cool you down, which is why the hottest countries on the planet generally feature curry as their national dish. Seems like a lot of bother to me. Why warm your body up to cool it down? Surely it would be more efficient to eat cold food, thereby cooling your body from within and not waking up your sweat glands at all? Quick, I must write to a consulate or three...

I'm not making curry today for any other reason, other than... I LOVE A CUZZA!

Depth of winter, height of summer, I don't care - as soon as I smell the waft of the chilli and spices I'm like a Pavlovian hound sitting in my own saliva. Today's recipe is a king prawn madras with Indian flavours, but I'm equally happy with a Thai Green Curry, or a Singaporean Rendang, or a Malaysian Fish Curry, or even a Veggie Curry, come to that.

I have used king prawns as my main ingredient today, because they are so cheap to buy and so delicious. I remember a time when these Crustacea were considered 'rich man's fare' - but not any more. I normally buy two 225g bags of fresh raw shelled de-veined king prawns for a fiver at my local supermarket, and then bung one in the freezer for next time. You could use chicken, any meat or fish, or a combination of vegetables instead, if you like.

I'm sitting here, waiting for Mrs Ribeye to come home from work so that I can put dinner on our patio table on the roof terrace and eat al fresco while the wife sweats her a**e off eating a hot curry in 75c weather and griping as to why I am torturing her. 'Don't moan' I'll say. 'People in India eat curry all summer long.' 'You're an idiot', she'll say.

She may have a point...

Budget-wise, this luxurious dish comes in at a non-luxurious, pretty standard, £2 per serving. If you make it with other meats or veggies the cost will go up or down a bit - but not by much.

Serves 2


1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon each of ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder, ginger and salt and pepper
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
400g tin of chickpeas in water
225 raw shelled king prawns
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Fresh chillies, cut into fine rings, for sprinkling
300g cooked basmati rice, to serve

On a moderate heat, cook the onions and garlic until soft and translucent (10-15 minutes approx). Add the spices and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and cook until the sauce is thick and unctuous (30-45 minutes approx). Take the sauce off the heat and add the king prawns and lemon juice. Fold the prawns through the sauce until cooked in the sauce's residual heat (5-10 minutes approx). Sprinkle the curry with the fresh chillies just before serving, and serve with the rice.

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