Indonesian Prawn Curry

A delicious Indonesian curry with King prawns and potatoes.

This curry uses the same paste used for my two other Indonesian dishes currently on my blog, Nasi Goreng and Mee Goreng. The paste is fried in a little oil, then par boiled potatoes, fish stock, coriander leaf and coconut milk are added.  The curry is simmered for 35 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and absorb the wonderful aromatic flavours. Just before serving butterflied king prawns are added and poached in the sauce.

The dish works well with rice, noodles or breads such as Paratha. It is quite filling by itself due to the potatoes.

You only require half the paste for this recipe, the same as Nasi and Mee goreng. The remainder can be stored in an airtight refrigerated container for up to 5 days or stored in a freezer – it defrosts really well and doesn’t lose its flavour.

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Serves 2 people

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 35-40 minutes

Ingredients and method

For the curry paste:

1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Handful peanuts
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 white onions – peeled
Thumb of root ginger – peeled, roughly chop
2 stalks lemon grass – discard outer husks, thinly slice
6 cloves garlic – peel
2 large red chillies
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 dessert spoon brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Ketchup manis
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Method: Use a min blender to blitz into a smooth paste. Chopping the tough ingredients before blending helps make a smooth paste. Only use half for this recipe, the remainder can be frozen or stored in the fridge (see notes above).

For the main dish

1/2 the curry paste

1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil

350g raw king prawns – peel, devein, butterfly

2 portions of potatoes – cut into 3-4cm cubes

350ml fish stock

500ml coconut milk

2 tsp dried coriander leaf

Method: start by par boiling the potatoes in boiling water for 6-7 minutes, rinse and drain then set aside. Heat 1-2 tbsp. of oil in a wok or deep frying pan then fry the paste for 4-5 minutes, add a little fish stock if it begins to catch on the pan. Add the potatoes, dried coriander, 300ml fish stock and the coconut milk, stir well. Heat until sauce starts to bubble then reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the sauce has reduced too much then add a little extra fish stock to loosen the sauce. After this add the prawns and poach them in the sauce until they turn from grey to pink. Heat sauce until it starts to bubble again then serve.

 

 

Lentil and Prawn Curry

Medium spicy lentil curry with cold-water prawns.

This may not be the most attractive looking dish but it makes up for it in the flavour department. Warming, medium spicy, filling comfort food – Indian style. Perfect for cold snowy days, like today here in Edinburgh.

The dish is cooked using a paste of red onion, garlic and ginger which is fried in some oil flavoured with mustard seeds. Chilli, tomato paste, lentils and spices are added along with some water. Seasoning and a little sugar is added then the dish is left to simmer for 50 minutes until the lentils soften, adding some extra water as it cooks.

The dish works well on its own but I added some cold-water prawns, in my opinion the best tasting prawns. Serve with choice of Indian bread or rice, I had mine with a Paratha, simply delicious!

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Serves 2 people

Preparation time 10 minutes, cooking time 60 minutes

Ingredients

For the curry paste:

3 red onions – peeled

8 cloves garlic – peeled

thumb of root ginger – peel, finely chop

Method: Use a mini blender to blitz into a smooth paste, it should have a slightly pink colour as shown in photos at bottom of recipe.

For the main dish:

225g cold water prawns – pre-cooked, shelled.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 green bird eye chillies – deseed, thinly slice

2 tablespoons tomato paste

150g red lentils – rinse well

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder – use extra if you like very spicy

8 curry leafs

4 cardamom pods

4 cloves

1 teaspoon salt

1-2 desert spoons brown sugar

Method: Start by heating the oil in a deep-frying pan over a medium high heat, then fry the mustard seeds until the begin to pop. Add the paste and stir fry until the paste thickens in the pan, this should take around 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the sliced chilli and fry for a further minute. Add the lentils along with the coriander, chilli powder and turmeric, stir through the paste. Next add  around 4 mugs of water (enough to submerge the lentils) and stir well, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the cardamom, cloves and curry leafs and stir well. Simmer the curry for around 50 minutes, adding a little extra water every 10 minutes as the sauce reduces, depending upon how thick you like your curry sauce. The curry is ready when the lentils soften and start to break down (I thickened mine slightly from the video clip below). Add the prawns and stir into the sauce until warmed through, do not over cook the prawns as they will become tough and chewy. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Turmeric, Chilli and Lime Salmon with Lentil Dahl curry and Pilau rice

Salmon fillets, marinated in lime and turmeric then pan-fried. Served with a Dahl style lentil curry and pilau rice. Garnished with some sliced tomato, red onion and coriander.

This dish may look a little yellow, but don’t let that fool you – this is one of best curries I have designed in a while.

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Serves two people

Preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 50-60 minutes

Ingredients

For the salmon:

2 skinless salmon fillets

Juice of two limes

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

1 red bird eye chilli – thinly sliced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil – to fry salmon

Method: In a bowl mix the turmeric, sliced chilli and lime juice. Put salmon in bowl and give a god coating on all sides. Put in a fridge for at least an hour before cooking (best 2-3 hours) and remove 30 minutes before cooking to bring back to room temperature. The marinade will change the salmon from pink to yellow and infuse it with a wonderful flavour. To cook, heat two tablespoons of oil in a wide frying pan over a medium high heat. Cook the salmon for 4-5 minutes on each side then remove and place on absorbent paper to drain before serving.

For Dahl curry

125g red lentils – washed thoroughly

2 -3 round tomatoes – remove skin and seeds

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 large white onion

3-4 cloves garlic

1 green chilli – thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon ground asafoetida

1 teaspoon salt – extra to taste

water

8-10 curry leafs

Garnish – 1 sliced tomato, 1 sliced red onion and chopped coriander

Method: Start by heating the oil in a deep pan over a medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry until the begin to start to pop then add the onion, chilli, tomato and the garlic. Fry for 3-4 minutes then add the turmeric, stir well and fry for an additional minute then add the washed lentils and stir well. Add enough water to completely cover the lentils and bring to a simmer. Add the curry leafs , a  teaspoon of salt and the asafoetida , stir well,  and reduce heat to a simmer for 50 minutes, checking each 10 minutes and adding extra water as the lentils thicken and water cooks off. The dish is ready when the lentils break down and the sauce is at your chosen consistency. Before serving taste for seasoning and add additional salt to your taste. Add some sliced tomato, red onion and coriander as a garnish to the dish when served.

Pilau rice

150 basmati or long grain rice – rinsed thoroughly
1 white onion – diced
2 cloves garlic – thinly sliced
15g butter
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
Bay leaf
Pinch saffron
Chicken stock – twice the volume of the rinsed rice

You require a medium to large pan with a tight-fitting lid (glass is best)
Method: melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat then add the onion, garlic and all the spices. Stir and fry for around 4 minutes until the onion softens and the spices become aromatic. Add the rice and stir through until the rice is fully coated and the mixed through the spiced onion mixture. Add twice the volume of stock to the volume of rice, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pan with a tight-fitting lid and leave on a low heat. Let the rice drink the stock as it cooks, it should take around 10 minutes for the rice to fully absorb the stock. Once stock is fully absorbed carefully remove pan lid and fluff rice with a fork before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken Wing Curry and Pilau rice

Using a wonderful tomato based curry paste to slow cook skinless on the bone chicken wings for a delicious curry dish. Served with flavoured pilau rice.

I was inspired to make this dish after watching an old episode of Rick Steins India where he watched a fisherman’s wife make a white fish curry. It got me thinking that using similar techniques and a modified version of her curry paste with chicken on the bone could make a wonderful dish. Turns out I was right, if I don’t say so myself. This dish is also nice and healthy as there is not much oil used and no cream or coconut milk, with no compromise on flavour.

The curry paste is made in a mini blender out of tomato, onion, garlic, cumin seeds, ground turmeric, paprika, black peppercorns, salt, ginger and chillies – all blitzed into a smooth curry paste. Mustard seeds are fried in hot oil until they begin to pop then the curry paste is fried to release its wonderful flavours and aromas. I removed the skins from some good quality chicken wings which were browned in the fried curry paste. Next some water was added to loosen the sauce along with some curry leafs and a little sugar before turning down the heat and simmering uncovered for 40-50 minutes. The curry is finished off with a little chicken stock and some chopped coriander just before serving.

This curry would work well with your choice of rice or Indian bread, I served it with a simple pilau rice which complemented the flavours very well. This is simple to make and can be easily cooked towards the end of the curry process. Onions, bay, sliced garlic, ground cinnamon, ground coriander, ground turmeric, cardamom, cloves and saffron are fried in some melted butter until softened. Washed rice is then added and stirred until each grain is coated. Twice the rice volume of chicken stock is added then the heat is reduced, pan covered and left to simmer until the stock has been fully absorbed. The rice is fluffed up with a fork and then served. I use this rice recipe with some of my other Indian dishes such as Special Cod Makhani  and Chicken Makhani.

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Serves two people

Preparation 20 minutes, cooking time 1 hour

Ingredients

For the curry paste:

4 round tomatoes

3 onions – mixture of red and white is best

6 cloves garlic – peeled

Tsp cumin seeds

Tsp ground turmeric

Tsp Paprika

Tsp Salt

4 black peppercorns

1/2 thumb of ginger – peel and chop finely before adding to blender

2 large red chillies – remove seeds for less spicy

2 red bird eye chillies – remove seeds for less spicy

Method: add to a min blender/mini chopper and blitz into a smooth paste.

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For main dish:

500g skinless chicken wings – must be on the bone

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

1-2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

12 fine green beans – trimmed, cut in half

6-8 curry leafs

1-2 tsp sugar

Handful coriander leaf – roughly chopped

water to loosen sauce

Chicken stock – I used approx. 150ml

Method: Add 1-2  tablespoons of vegetable oil to a non stick pan, preferably a wide, deep frying pan, over a medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds and fry them until they begin to pop. Add the curry paste and stir fry for 4-5 minutes until fragrant then add the chicken wings and brown them in the paste. Add approx. a mug of water to loosen the sauce then add the curry leafs, green beans and a teaspoon of sugar. Stir through, bring back to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 45-50 minutes. The sauce will slowly reduce as it cooks so you will need to add some chicken stock to bring it to your chosen consistency, I used approx. 150ml stock but this depends upon how thick or thin you like your curry sauce. A few minutes before serving, heat the sauce through (if required), add the coriander and stir it through the dish.

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For the pilau rice:

150 basmati or long grain rice – rinsed thoroughly 

1 white onion – diced

2 cloves garlic – thinly sliced

15g butter

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground coriander

4 cloves

4 cardamom pods

Bay leaf

Pinch saffron

Chicken stock – twice the volume of the rinsed rice 

You require a medium to large pan with a tight fitting lid (glass is best)

Method: melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat then add the onion, garlic and all the spices. Stir and fry for around 4 minutes until the onion softens and the spices become aromatic. Add the rice and stir through until the rice is fully coated and the mixed through the spiced onion mixture. Add twice the volume of stock to the volume of rice, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover pan with a tight fitting lid and leave on a low heat. Let the rice drink the stock as it cooks, it should take around 10 minutes for the rice to fully absorb the stock. Once stock is fully absorbed carefully remove pan lid and fluff rice with a fork before serving.

 

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Mee Goreng

The noodle version of Nasi Goreng, this dish uses the same paste and flavours for those that prefer noodles to rice. A truly authentic Bali flavour.

In this recipe I use some pre cooked chicken and some different vegetables to the Nasi Goreng recipe although the flavour of the dish is really very similar. This recipe is a great way to use up pre cooked chicken, alternatively pre cook some diced chicken or use prawns instead. I have added some green beans, broccoli stems and baby corn to add a little texture to the dish.

I froze half the paste from my Nasi Goreng recipe, which defrosts well and retains that wonderful flavour of Bali. If you are cooking this dish first either freeze the remaining paste and defrost before cooking or store in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 7 days.

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Serves two people

Preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes

Ingredients

For Mee Goreng paste:
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Handful peanuts
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 white onions – peeled
Thumb of root ginger – peeled, roughly chop
2 stalks lemon grass – discard outer husks, thinly slice
6 cloves garlic – peel
2 large red chillies
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 dessert spoon brown sugar
1 Tbsp Ketchup manis
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Method: Use a min blender to blitz into a smooth paste. Chopping the tough ingredients before blending helps make a smooth paste. Only use half for this recipe, the remainder can be frozen or stored in the fridge (see notes above).

For the main dish:

2 portions of pre cooked medium thick egg noodles
2 portions of pre cooked chicken – see notes above for alternatives
Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp for dish plus extra to shallow fry prawns and fry egg
1 carrot – cut into thin batons
4 birds eye chilies – keep whole
1 red onion – cut into thin strips
6-8 baby corn – thinly sliced
6-8 broccoli spears – trimmed
8-10 fine green beans – trimmed, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. ketchup manis
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
2-3 tbsp. peanuts
2-3 tbsp. onion flakes
5cm cucumber – deseed, peel, cut into crescents
2 round tomatoes – cut into eighths
Handful coriander leaf – roughly chopped
2 eggs – fried sunny side up

Method: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or deep-frying pan until smoking hot, add the curry paste and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the baby corn, broccoli, green beans, carrot, onion and birds eye chillies and fry for a further minute. Next add the pre cooked chicken and stir fry until heated through. Add the pre cooked noodles and stir through until combined with paste, chicken and vegetables. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste, ketchup manis and light soy sauce and stir into the noodles until combined then add the onion flakes and peanuts. Stir fry for a further minute until dish is heated through. Add the coriander, tomatoes and cucumber, stir through the dish then turn off the heat. In a separate pan add a little oil and quickly fry 2 eggs sunny side up. Serve immediately with the fried egg on top of the noodles.

 

Nasi Goreng

Indonesian fried rice dish with King Prawns, vegetables and a fried egg.

I visited Bali in 2014 as part of my honeymoon and had this dish several times as I liked it so much. The best version I had was at “Breeze” the excellent beach side restaurant at The Samaya hotel in Seminyak, on which I base this recipe.

The flavour in this dish comes from a wonderful curry paste like so many South East Asian dishes. This is fried in hot oil before adding some sliced carrot, chillies and red onion. Pre cooked jasmine rice is added next, which is best cooked in advance and kept in fridge for 1-2 hours – it just tastes better. Cooked prawns are then added with light soy, ketchup manis, tomato paste, peanuts and onion flakes which are stirred through the rice. Chopped coriander leaf, fresh tomato and cucumber slices are added and stirred through the rice. The dish is then served with the essential fried egg on top.

The recipe for the paste below gives two portions, the leftover half can either be frozen or stored in fridge in an airtight jar for up to seven days. You can use this same recipe to make the noodle version Mee Goreng or use the paste as a base for a curry then add coconut milk to make a sauce.

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Serves two people

Preparation time 20 minutes, cooking time 10 minutes

Ingredients

For Nasi Goreng paste:

1 tsp black peppercorns

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Handful peanuts

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp turmeric

2 white onions – peeled

Thumb of root ginger – peeled, roughly chop 

2 stalks lemon grass – discard outer husks, thinly slice 

6 cloves garlic – peel

2 large red chillies

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 dessert spoon brown sugar

1 Tbsp Ketchup manis

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Method: Use a min blender to blitz into a smooth paste. Chopping the tough ingredients before blending helps make a smooth paste. Only use half for this recipe, the remainder can be frozen or stored in the fridge (see notes above).

For the dish:

2 portions of pre cooked Jasmine rice – best stored in fridge for 1-2 hours

Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp for dish plus extra to shallow fry prawns and fry egg

12-18 raw King prawns – devein and butterfly 

1 carrot – cut into thin batons

4 birds eye chilies – keep whole

1 red onion – cut into thin strips

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. ketchup manis

1 tbsp. light soy sauce

2-3 tbsp. peanuts

2-3 tbsp. onion flakes

5cm cucumber – slice and quarter

2 round tomatoes – cut into eighths 

Handful coriander leaf – roughly chopped

2 eggs – fried sunny side up

Method: Start by cooking the Prawns by shallow frying in very hot oil, this method is quick and helps to seal in the juices, as soon as they start to turn from grey to pink remove them from the oil and drain on absorbent paper. Next heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or deep-frying pan until smoking hot, add the curry paste and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the carrot, onion and birds eye chillies and fry for a further minute then add the rice. Stir fry the rice until it fully breaks up and combines with the paste then add the pre cooked prawns. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste, ketchup manis and light soy sauce and stir into the rice until combined then add the onion flakes and peanuts. Stir fry for a further minute until dish is heated through. Add the coriander, tomatoes and cucumber, stir through the dish then turn off the heat. In a separate pan add a little oil and quickly fry 2 eggs sunny side up. Serve immediately with the fried egg on top of the rice.