Nimmy Paul used small pink prawns for this dish and they were as tender as can be. Kokum – one of the key ingredients – is a small round type of tamarind pod native to South India. Look for it (as a dried version) at Indian Grocers or substitute a small amount of tamarind paste.
1 lb small prawns or shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 kokum, split
6 curry leaves
½ tsp garlic paste
½ tsp ginger paste
½ tsp green chili paste
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup shallots, sliced lengthwise
20 fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
½ tsp turmeric
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
- Marinate the prawns with the kokum, curry leaves and garlic, ginger and chili pastes for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Heat the coconut oil in a wok on medium heat.
- Add the shallots and 20 curry leaves and cook until the shallots are crispy – about 10 – 15 minutes. Turn the heat off, add the coriander, chili powder, turmeric, pepper and salt and let the mixture rest.
Tip: the shallots keep a crispy texture this way.
- Place the marinated prawns in another wok on medium heat and cook until they turn pink. Add them to the onion mixture with their juices.
- Enjoy with freshly cooked appams.