How to cook… Prawn Dhansak

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Prawns work well with this sweet and sour dish. Dhansak originates from Persia (Iran) although the chefs of the day would have used meat for this dish. Lentils and mixed vegetables are added to some Base Curry Sauce, with sugar and lime (or lemon) juice adding the sweet and sour tastes. Large prawns soak up those flavours nicely.

What you need…
• 120g red split lentils, washed and well rinsed
• 3 Tablespoons ghee
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 1 Tablespoon tomato ketchup
• 600g prawns, shelled and deveined
• 400g mixed (frozen or tinned) vegetables, cut into small pieces
• 1 green chilli, chopped
• 1 Tablespoon sugar
• 1 Tablespoon lime or lemon juice (or vinegar)
• salt, to taste

Spice Mix
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
• 1 Tablespoon garam masala

How to make it…
1. Boil the lentils with water until cooked (about 25–30 minutes).
2. Heat the ghee in a pan to a medium heat. Add the Base Curry Sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the Spice Mix and tomato ketchup, and cook for 3 minutes.
4. Add the cooked lentils, prawns and the rest of the ingredients, mix well and simmer, allowing the flavours to combine until all the prawns are cooked. Add water during the simmer, if needed.

CHEF’S TIP
Frozen or tinned are quick and easy but you can use use fresh vegetables if you par-boil them first before adding them to the Base Curry Sauce.
Prawns make an excellent main ingredients in Dhansak, beautifully soaking up the sweet and sour tastes.

If you like this you should try our
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How does this dish make some money? … Visits the prawn shop.

How to cook… Lamb Madras

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Lamb Madras is one of the most-ordered dishes in Indian restaurants. Meaty chunks of lamb are cooked gently in the Base Curry Sauce that’s given an extra kick with the black peppercorns and chilli powder.

What you need…
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 800g lamb, cut into bite-sized pieces
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
• salt to taste
• 0.5 onion sliced
• 1 tomato, cut into segments

Spice Mix 1
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 0.5 black peppercorns
• 0.5 fenugreek seeds

Spice Mix 2
• 1 Tablespoon curry powder
• 2 teaspoons chilli powder
• 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
• 1 Tablespoon garam masala

How to make it…
1. Heat the ghee to a high heat. Add the Spice Mix 1 and fry for 15 seconds. The spices should sizzle immediately when you add them to the ghee. You can test it is hot enough by adding one cumin seed.
2. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat for a while to the paste burning. (If it burns then throw it away and start again.)
3. Add the lamb and stir fry until sealed (about 2–3 minutes).
4. Add the Base Curry Sauce and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding water as needed to avoid it sticking.
5. Add the Spice Mix 2 and tomato ketchup, mix well and cook for 20 minutes.
6. Add the salt, onion and tomato and continue cooking until the lamb is tender (about 5 minutes).

CHEF’S TIP
The onion and tomato segments should be cooked just enough that they are soft but still intact.
Lamb Madras, the classic for spice lovers.

If you like this you should try our
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Where do lambs get together? …The meet market.

How to cook… Prawn Vindaloo

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

The Vindaloo is for curry lovers who are after some serious heat. Originally a pork and vinegar dish from Goa, restaurants took the name to represent a super spicy curry, so for a coastal state, what better replacement than briny prawns? The restaurant-style Vindaloo has heat from the peppercorns and chilli, sourness from the vinegar and includes it’s trademark chunks of potato.

What you need…
• 1 large potato, cut into 5cm chunks (you should have 6-8 of them)
• small knob of butter
• 800g prawns, shelled and deveined
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
• 1 Tablespoons garam masala
• salt to taste
• 0.5 onion sliced
• 1 Tablespoon vinegar

Spice Mix 1
• 1 Tablespoon curry powder
• 4 teaspoons chilli powder
• 1 teaspoons turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon vinegar

Spice Mix 2
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 1 teaspoon peppercorns
• 0.5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds

How to make it
1. Boil the potato chunks until cooked. While the water is boiling mix the Spice Mix 1 with 1 Tablespoon vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste. Set the potatoes aside once cooked.
2. Heat the butter to a medium heat. Add the prawns to the butter and stir fry until they are pink. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove the prawns from the pan and set aside.
3. Heat the ghee to a high heat. Add the Spice Mix 2 and fry for 15 seconds. The spices should sizzle immediately when you add them to the ghee. You can test it is hot enough by adding one cumin seed.
4. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat for a while to the paste burning. (If it burns then throw it away and start again.)
5. Add the Spice Mix 2 paste and cook for two minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy.
6. Add the Base Curry Sauce and tomato ketchup and cook for 2 minutes.
7. Add the garam masala, salt, mix well, and cook for 3 minutes.
8. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes. Add the onion and the Tablespoon of vinegar and continue cooking until the prawns are fully cooked.
9. Finally, add the cooked potato pieces, mix in well and serve.

CHEF’S TIP
To really enjoy the heat of this dish avoid eat it with chappatis instead of rice..
Heat lovers can’t resist a spicy Prawn Vindaloo.

If you like this you should try our
Lamb VindalooChicken PhallPrawn RoganPrawn DopiazaMedium Prawn CurryMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Tikka Masala

Check out 5 Best Goa Curries

Why did the prawn leave the bar early? … Because he pulled a muscle.

How to cook… Prawn Madras

Recipes

Serves 4 as a main dish

Madras is the go-to choice for heat fans and it’s fitting that shellfish is used for a dish that is named after a coastal city. South India’s hot, sweltering city Madras (now called Chennai) offers a great heat kick without going too crazy. Heat lovers would say it dishes up the perfect balance of spice and heat – just add Base Curry Sauce plus a little onion and tomato.

What you need…
• small knob of butter
• 800g prawns, shelled and deveined
• 2 Tablespoons ghee
• 1 teaspoon garlic paste
• 600ml Base Curry Sauce
• 2 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
• 0.5 onion sliced
• 1 tomato, cut into segments
• 2 teaspoons garam masala
• salt to taste

Spice Mix 2
• 1 Tablespoon curry powder
• 2 teaspoons chilli powder
• 1 teaspoons turmeric powder
• 1 teaspoon vinegar

Spice Mix 2
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 0.5 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
• 0.5 teaspoon peppercorns

How to make it
1. Heat the butter to a medium heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
2. Add the prawns to the butter and stir fry until they are pink. This should take about 2 minutes. Remove the prawns from the pan and set aside.
3. Heat the ghee to a high heat. While it is heating up mix the Spice Mix 1 with the vinegar and enough water to form a sloppy paste.
4. Add the Spice Mix 2 to the ghee and fry for 15 seconds. The spices should sizzle immediately when you add them to the ghee. You can test the ghee is hot enough by adding one cumin seed.
5. Add the garlic paste and cook for 1 minute on a lower heat. You may have to remove the pan from the heat for a while to the paste burning. (If it burns then throw it away and start again.)
6. Add the Spice Mix 2 paste and cook for two minutes. It should now be thick and gloopy.
7. Add the Base Curry Sauce and tomato ketchup and cook for 2 minutes.
8. Add the garam masala, salt, mix well and cook for 3 minutes.
9. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes.
10. Add the onion and tomato and continue cooking until the prawns are cooked.

CHEF’S TIP
The onion and tomato segments should be cooked just enough that they are soft but still intact.
Prawn Madras, hot and spicy.

If you like this you should try our
Prawn VindalooChicken PhallPrawn RoganPrawn DopiazaMedium Prawn CurryPrawn KormaMedium Chicken CurryChicken MadrasChicken VindalooChicken BhoonaChicken Tikka Masala

My friend fell sick in the curry house the other night. Luckily the owner let him rest on his nice soft Madras.

Curry Guide… Madras

Curry Guide

If you walked into a restaurant in Madras (now called Chennai) in India and ordered a “Madras” you’d almost certainly be met with a blank look. It’d be the same as walking into a restaurant in the English capital and asking for a “London”.

The Madras is a British invention and its connotations with “hot” stem from the traders and soldiers who were in the city from the time the British arrived in 1640. Not only do South Indians love spicy food but the city is extremely hot and humid, with temperatures usually over 30°C (86°F) and frequently reaching 40°C (104°F).IMG_1359

Those early ex-pats would have brought back the tastes of India when they returned home with their pots of spice mixes, or early curry powders. As there were no standard for these spice mixes (just as not all curry powders are the same today), it’s possible that the mixes with a little bit extra zing were called “Madras” to acknowledge their extra heat.

The early Indian restaurant owners in Britain carried through this thinking by adding their own hotter mixes or more chilli powder to their standard curry to create the Madras Curry and why today many people are able to order virtually any dish on the menu and ask the chef to make it “Madras hot”.


 

The Spice Card offers savings on curries, including on takeaways at many venues. You can get your Spice Card here.

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