Sri Lankan-esque Prawn Curry a la Peter Kuruvita

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This is a prawn version of the pork and black pepper curry recipe that I was given by Peter Kuruvita, and when I say given to me I really mean I fair and square pulled the recipe straight off his website. Cheers Peter! Smiley face all up in my head right now as this is my new “go to” curry, my default curry setting, my special blanky that I cuddle when I am afraid of the night horrors (or uncle Bo, which ever comes first), if you will. Also, Peter Father Christmas (as I shall now know him because of his generosity and give, give, give attitude) gifted me with the knowledge of the carrot and coconut sambal, which I now make often as it is effing delicious and a great side dish with curry.

So recently, when I came across a nice big pile of prawns, I came to the conclusion this curry sauce was going to flavour them and also provide a conduit and worthy lubrication for the prawn’s final journey into my stomach. Also, the carrot sambal would stand by its side, much like the wife of an adulterous politician.

I feel it is worthy of mention that when I went to visit my peeps at the local seafood joint the 1kg of prawns that I’d asked for quickly turned into an amount that was easily closer to 2kg. They must’ve got a few too many off the boat that week, which was not a problem for me as I love eating prawns, and there was not a chance in hell I was going to be peeling them. On this day I would rather swim naked in raw sewage then peel prawns. Neinen peel prawnen for Grazza.

Enter Jennee’s dad, Dr Chris.

Upon hearing of my lack of interest (no interest, in fact) he summoned the regions finest carnie mobile prawn-peeling troupe. As this prawn-peeling troupe was clearly fictitious, Dr Chris decided it was time he scrubbed up. For the next 30 minutes he would not answer to the nom de guerre Dr Chris, but would be know simply as Chris the Prawn Peeler!

You really need to try this curry whether it is with pork, chicken, prawns or dry roasted endangered wood-pigeon hearts… I really don’t care. One thing I do care about though is a small monkey-man named Kevin. He fetches my slippers. Nice Kevin.

I don't even know how to make this look nice… you need to be able to smell it with your nose… but you can't so do me a favour and go cook it would you
I don’t even know how to make this look nice… you need to be able to smell it with your nose… but you can’t so do me a favour and go cook it would you

I've seen worse pics than this one
I’ve seen worse pics than this one
I couldn't leave you with at least one overhead shot
I couldn’t leave you with at least one overhead shot

SRI LANKAN-ISH PRAWN & BLACK PEPPER CURRY (for 4)

Marinade
1kg fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon roasted curry powder
2 black cardamom pods
½ bunch coriander, chopped
1 sprig of curry leaf
½ teaspoon ground chilli
1 teaspoon salt

To cook
1 brown onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumbsized knob ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
1x 400ml tin coconut milk

• Marinate prawns for 1 hour so it can get to know the spices, have a little party, a couple of drinks – you know the deal
• Add all “to cook” ingredients except tamarind and coconut milk to a hot wok and cook out for a minute until aromatic… as apposed to acrobatic… which would have them jumping about all over the place and not flavouring your food like they should be
• Now add prawns and cook out for another 2 minutes
• Add tamarind and coconut milk and simmer for another 2 minutes until the prawns are cooked and the gravy has thickened

RICE
Cook some rice or buy some already cooked from someone who knows how. Asian or Indian take-aways are usually a good spot to start

CARROT SAMBAL
1 large carrot, grated
1 
green chilli, finely chopped
1
 small onion, finely diced
2
 limes, juiced
1 
clove garlic, very finely chopped
½ cup 
shredded coconut
2-3 
curry leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
• Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to amalgamate

Chicken, potato and black pepper curry… and my freezing fingers

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It’s early in the a.m. Like, really early. Like, there is no chance that the sun shall be reprieving the moon of his night duties anytime soon. Nope, the moon has still got a good hour to go on the night shift, so that lad may as well go and get himself another cup of coffee… that’s what I’m going to do.

That carrot sambal is doing things to my nether regions right now
That carrot sambal is doing things to my nether regions right now

I do not know what I am doing up at this time, though. I checked my pajamas and the sheets and they were definitely dry so there needs to be another answer. One that I do not know though, as my chosen career path was cooking and being a top bloke in general, not a degree in modern doctoring with honours in the areas of cognitive-behavioural therapy and adult nocturnal enuresis theories (look that shit up).

Flat bread always does things for me
Flat bread always does things for me

And just to top it off it is bloody cold. My face is blowing smoke yet I do not have a cigarette. The grass outside is white yet I do not remember ever ordering white turf. My hands are just barely working, which still puts them a few paces ahead of my brain right now. It’s colder than the disgruntled snowman’s public defecation on the set of “Disney on Ice” right now, which confuses me even more because I quite simply cannot make sense of anything with my brain freezing like it is. And what options do I have to warm said brain? Anti-freeze? Nope, can’t drink it. Light fire on head? Nope, beard will go up like roman candle and ruin boyish good looks. Beanie? Beanie! See, now that is a good idea. It was bound to kick in eventually. Now where to buy a beanie at 4:30am…

Argh, damn this cold.

We are all loving the flavours in this curry, thanks Pete
We are all loving the flavours in this curry, thanks Pete

By mid afternoon my brain had warmed up enough to tell me that I was going to make Peter Kuruvita’s pork and black pepper curry again, except this time is was going to use chicken and potato. I was also told to make dahl, carrot sambal, tamarind chutney and flatbread. A well received decision indeed.

I always love a good spread pic, wink wink
I always love a good spread pic, wink wink

The pork curry recipe (which I substituted chicken pieces and potato for pork and eggplant), carrot sambal and flat bread/roti recipe can be found right… here. The dahl recipe is here.

Sri Lankan Pork and Black Pepper Curry

 

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I have had difficulty coming up with an amusing anecdote to go with this one… no stories of drunken shenanigans with carnival folk… no nothing really. I guess I could tell you about my day but as it has only consisted of mowing the lawn and putting a lemongrass plant in the ground I suspect that would have the potential to bore the ears off a field of corn. Hmmm, I am clearly grasping for a little ray of hope right now. But as nothing has presented itself for my brain to convey to you through the power in my fingertips that our god thou-art-in-internet-heaven has bestowed on me, a recipe is what you shall receive. A recipe and nothing more.

Get that bad boy cooking
Get that bad boy cooking
Make some roti
Make some roti
That carrot number was some good shit
That carrot number was some good shit
Put it on the table with the carrot samba, rice, roti and a bit of sauerkraut doesn't go astray if you have some floating about
Put it on the table with the carrot sambal, rice, roti and a bit of sauerkraut doesn’t go astray if you have some floating about
Nom nom nom
Nom nom nom

(SORT OF) SRI LANKAN PORK AND BLACK PEPPER CURRY

This is based on a recipe by Peter Kuruvita (who’s styles I have been digging at this point in time) from his series on SBS. He uses 3 teaspoons of black pepper and a full teaspoon of ground chilli in the marinade, plus 2 chopped green chilies when cooking it off. I’ve toned it down a bit so my kids will eat it, but have a go if you like it hot

Marinade
1kg pork shoulder, chopped into 2-3cm cubes, fat and all
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon roasted curry powder
2 black cardamom pods
1 cinnamon quill, broken
1 sprig of curry leaf (fresh from the bush out the front as always. Gotta love that curry plant)
½ teaspoon ground chilli
1 teaspoon salt

To cook
1 brown onion, chopped
1 cup peeled and chopped eggplant (I peel it so the kids don’t know it’s there and it breaks down and thickens the curry and adds a nice creaminess)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumbsized knob ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
1lt water

• Marinate pork for 1 hour so it can get to know the spices, have a little party, a couple of drinks – you know the deal
• Add all “to cook” ingredients except tamarind and water to a pot and cook out for a couple of minutes until softened and aromatic… as apposed to acrobatic… which would have them jumping about all over the place and not flavouring your food like they should be
• Now add pork and eggplant and cook out for another few minutes
• Add tamarind and water and simmer for 45 or so minutes until the meat is tender and the gravy has thickened

RICE
Cook some rice or buy some already cooked from someone who knows how. Asian or Indian take-aways are usually a good spot to start

ROTI
2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon melted ghee or butter
1 ½ cups warm water
A pinch of salt
• Combine all ingredients and kneed until the dough is feeling like a dough… probs a minute or so
• For into 3-4 balls and rest dough for half and hour
• Press or roll into 5mm thick flat bread type things
• Brush with melted butter or oil and fry over medium heat for a minute each side

CARROT SAMBAL
1 
large carrot, grated
1 
green chilli, finely chopped
1 
small onion, finely diced
2 
limes, juiced
1 
clove garlic, very finely chopped
½ cup
 shredded coconut
2-3 
curry leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
• Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to amalgamate