Prawn and ta­marind stew

The Guardian - Feast - - News -

This south­ern Ira­nian dish fea­tures fresh fenu­greek, which can be found in Mid­dle Eastern shops and on­line. The leaves add a more herba­ceous di­men­sion than the seeds, al­though the lat­ter would work here, too. It’s im­por­tant to cook the herbs, be­cause that cre­ates the deep flavour. Serve with rice.

Mix the prawns with a ta­ble­spoon of oil, the turmeric, one crushed gar­lic clove and half a tea­spoon of salt, then leave to mar­i­nate.

Soak the ta­marind in 200ml hot wa­ter for 20 min­utes, then use your hands to sep­a­rate as much pulp as pos­si­ble from the seeds and fibre. Strain into a sieve, press­ing down on the pulp to ex­tract as much liq­uid as you can: you should end up with about 160ml ta­marind liq­uid.

Heat two ta­ble­spoons of oil in a large saute pan on a medium heat, then sweat the onion for 10 min­utes, un­til soft and lightly browned. Add the rest of the gar­lic and half the green chill­ies, and cook, stir­ring, for a minute. Add the spring onions, herbs and fenu­greek, and cook on a medium-low heat for 20 min­utes, stir­ring of­ten, un­til deep green.

Add the flour, spices, chilli flakes, a tea­spoon and a half of salt and a gen­er­ous grind of pep­per, cook for 30 sec­onds, then add the ta­marind liq­uid, sugar and 500ml wa­ter, and sim­mer for 10 min­utes, un­til the sauce thick­ens and comes to­gether.

Mean­while, heat the re­main­ing ta­ble­spoon of oil in a fry­ing pan on a high flame. Fry a third of the prawns for two min­utes on each side, un­til golden brown, then move to a plate.

Stir the re­main­ing raw prawns into the sauce and cook for three min­utes, un­til just cooked through.

Serve the stew from the pan or a large bowl, sprin­kled with co­rian­der, the fried prawns and the re­main­ing green chill­ies.

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