Prawns in Maldivian style

The trip to Maldives is something I cherish even now.. months after the visit….it was such a wonderful one! It’s the most serene and relaxing place on earth I’ve ever been to…till date at least. It won’t be long before we go back again. Talking about the trip to Maldives, the local cuisine was something which made the trip even better! I’m a spice lover and hence Maldivian cuisine appealed to me instantly!

So this time I tried to re-live a part of the trip by preparing something similar to the local Maldivian cuisine at home. That’s the wonderful part of cooking at home! You can prepare almost anything you crave for within minutes. I didn’t have all the ingredients required for the authentic Maldivian prawn curry so I tweaked the recipe and prepared it in my style and it was more than enough to satisfy my craving 🙂

I used fresh tiger prawns I had got from the wet market and added in some red pepper and spring onion as well to add colour to the dish. The dish had a very rich coconutty flavour with a nice blend of spices. It’s a very easy recipe and can be prepared for any occasion. So go ahead and kick-start this simple culinary tour 🙂

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Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2 to 3

Ingredients:

Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp (excludes the oil used for frying the prawns)

Tiger prawns – 400 g

Onion – 1 large, sliced

Red Pepper – 1, cut into cubes

Spring Onion – 1/2 cup, chopped

Bay Leaf – 1

Red Chili – 1 to 2, sliced from the middle

Tomato – 1 medium, chopped

Coconut cream – 1/4 to 1/2 cup

Maldivian curry powder – 2 tbsp (I mixed 2 kinds of Maldivian curry powder); you can find it in the supermarket or you can also use Indian curry powder as a substitute. Alternatively, you can make it fresh at home by dry roasting together coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, chili powder, cinnamon powder, ground pepper and cardamom seeds in equal parts.

Ginger paste – 1 tbsp

Garlic – 2 tsp, finely chopped

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Paprika – 1 tsp

Water – 1/2 cup

Salt – to taste

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Step 1: Wash the prawns and clean them properly. Add the turmeric, paprika, little salt and mix well with the prawn. Shallow fry the prawns and keep them aside.

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Step 2: Heat the oil in a non-stick pan or U-shaped vessel. Add the bay leaf followed by the sliced onion and saute for a minute or so.

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Step 3: Add the tomatoes and chopped garlic. Mix well and add in the red pepper, ginger paste and red chili. Cook for another 1 to 2 minutes and add the curry powder mixture. Mix well for another 2 minutes and add in the coconut cream. Stir in well. Add half cup of water, spring onion and cook for another few minutes until you have a thick creamy consistency (as per your preference). Add in salt as required.

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Step 4: Now add the prawns to the curry mixture and give it a gentle stir. Be careful not to break the prawns. Transfer to a serving dish. I served the dish with some white rice and salad. You can choose to serve it with pilaf as well.

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To print this recipe click here: Prawns in Maldivian Style

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Maldivian Chicken Curry

Although it’s been almost a week since I’m back to work, I still feel relaxed and in a holiday mood. The short vacation at Maldives last week was the most the most rejuvenating one I’ve ever had! Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean is truly a paradise on earth. The country consists of 1,192 islands out of which 192 are inhabited. These beautiful islands are quite small in size and the cool part is each resort occupies one whole island 🙂 Once we landed, it was an amazing 40 minute speed boat ride to the resort we stayed at.

Time had slowed down for us there and it was a week full of diving, snorkeling, lazing around and lots of food! There was no internet facility in our room and I guess that was the best part! Sometimes in order to enjoy nature at it’s best, you have to be totally detached from the outside world! 🙂

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Maldivian cuisine closely resembles coastal Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine, and the recipes are quite spicy which is why I loved them even more! Almost all dishes include coconut in them which gives it a very coastal flavor and delectable to the palate. I liked the chicken curry the best and on our way back I didn’t miss to get the Maldivian curry powder from the airport 🙂

I prepared the curry in my own style, although I didn’t have to do much, the curry powder did most of the magic. The dish turned out to be the main attraction of the weekend lunch 🙂

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Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

Cooking Oil – 3 tablespoons

Chicken – Around 1 kg, cut into medium sized pieces

Coconut – 2 to 3 tablespoons, grated

Onion – 2 medium, sliced

Potato – 2 medium, peeled and each cut into 4 halves

Ginger garlic paste – Around 1.5 tablespoons

Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

Maldivian curry powder – 2 tablespoons; you can find it in stores or you can also use Indian curry powder as a substitute. Alternatively, you can make it fresh at home by dry roasting together coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, chili powder, cinnamon powder, ground pepper and cardamom seeds in equal parts.

Cardamoms seeds – 6

Red chili – 3, sliced horizontally

Water – 1 to 1.5 cups

Salt – to taste

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Step 1: Heat oil in a pan. Add the cardamoms. Once they start to splutter, add the onions and the potatoes. Add the turmeric powder and mix well. Cook for around 2 minutes.

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Step 2: Add the onions and ginger garlic paste and cook for around 3 more minutes. Add the red chili.

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Step 3: Add the chicken and mix well with rest of the mixture. Follow by adding around 1.5 cups of water and let it cook for a few more minutes until the chicken is cooked and you have the desired consistency.

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Step 4: Add the grated coconut and mix well. Add salt to taste. If the curry is too thick, add another half cup water and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until you have the desired thickness.

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Step 5: Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve hot with rice or bread of your choice.

A few tips:

  • You can add curry leaves to the dish as per your preference. Add the curry leaves at Step 1 along with the onions and ginger garlic paste.
  • Instead of water, you can use coconut cream if you want to give a creamy texture to the curry.
  • For the coconut, it is best if you can use freshly grated. Alternatively, you can get frozen ones from the store as well.

If you’ve enjoyed reading or cooking the above recipe, do subscribe to my blog by clicking the“Follow” button and “Like” my Facebook page at the top right hand corner for regular updates. Help spread the joy! 🙂

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