Prawn, Scallop and Courgette Curry
Simple but not spectacular would be a fitting description for this dish. Madhur Jaffrey’s recipes are generally indulgent, decadent, spot on, but this one is very basic, and very easy to put together with pantry items.
And simple is what I’m after. It’s hot like hell in Paris. We had to splash out on an air conditioner. The bedroom is a green house. I don’t even understand why anyone would install a glass roof on a 3rd floor apartment? It’s covered with pigeon poop and mould, and I feel like I’m being cooked in a cast-iron cocotte while I sleep. I guess I should consider myself lucky for being plonked in the Garde Manger at work as it’s a whole 2 degrees cooler than the hot kitchen. I should also consider working in the big fridge, assembling the starters and desserts for a booking of thirty covers in 4 degrees, and shrivelling up like a prune as a blessing.
Summer is all about light. Light evenings, light clothes, light fodder. Watermelons, watermelon martinis, fro-yo, cherries and all other lovely summery stuff. But among all the lovely light stuff, I still crave a crazy hot curry that’s like arson in my mouth. Just not all the gloopy heaviness that comes with the sub-standard and bland Parisian curries. So I browsed through Ms Jaffrey’s book and liked the sound of her Prawn and Courgette since it left out cream, coconut milk, ghee etc. She does this thing with courgettes to stop them making the curry soggy where she tosses the chopped bits in some salt to let osmosis do its magic and drain out the water. Clever cookie.
Prawn, Scallop and Courgette (Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe with a little bit of tweaking)
350g prawns (if frozen, defrost, drain, and dry)
200g little scallops (if frozen, follow the three Ds as above)
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 green chilli, finely chopped
Small knob of ginger, finely chopped
50g fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
0.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp ground cumin
0.5 ground red chilli
350g tomatoes (canned works fine)
1 squeeze of lemon juice
1. Scrub the courgettes. Slice them into 4 length-wise. Then slice them into 4 long strips each and then cut them into three along the cross-section. Toss in half a teaspoon of salt and reserve for 30 minutes. Drain out the excess water and pat dry with kitchen towel.
2. In a wok or pan, heat some veggie oil. Cook the garlic till medium brown and then add in the courgettes, ginger, green and red chilli, turmeric, cumin, lemon juice, coriander, salt and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 min. Add in the prawns and scallops and cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and simmer till the water evaporates. Check seasoning. Serve with rice.