Yes, I am in Kottayam and my mom's sis who lives in the near by town walks in one noon with lovely looking king prawns. They are large, fresh with deep blue and long legs! Amma is done with the lunch and is occupied with other things and I decide to cook the konju in a coconut based naadan style. Marias menu is one of my favourites when it comes to authentic kerala dishes and I decided to follow one of her recipes. She made the same with crab and had mentioned it suited for prawns too.
If you love the touch of roasted coconut and the addition of coconut milk melded with the flavours of tomatoes and onions, this is certainly your pick!
Here we go..
Warning- This post contains pictures of raw fish. Please do not scroll further down or click 'read more' if intolerant.
Naadan Konju Curry
Recipe adapted from - Maria's Menu
Prawns - 250 gm, after cleaning ( I used king prawns)
Roast and Powder
Coconut - ¾ cup
Small onion - 4, sliced
Ginger and garlic - 1 tsp each, finely chopped
Curry leaves - a sprig
For the Masala
Onion - 2 med-big, sliced long and fine
Green chillies - 2-3, slit lengthwise
Ginger and garlic - ¾ - 1 tbsp each, crushed
Tomato - 2, sliced
Kashmiri chilly powder - 1½ - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Thin coconut milk/water - 1.5 cups
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a few
Salt - to taste
Wash the prawns and peel the shell. Do it carefully. The legs are extremely pricky. I got help here. Clean the flesh well.
Heat oil in a pan, roast the ingredients listed under 'Roast and Powder'. Roast till the coconut becomes dark brown colour. Make sure the coconut doesnt get burnt. Let it cool completely. Grind it into a smooth powder without adding any water. Keep it aside.
Heat oil in a kadai and add finely sliced onions. Cook till the onions turn brown. Add crushed ginger, garlic and green chillies. Cook for a few minutes. Add Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric powder. Cook for a few mins till the raw smell goes. Add sliced tomatoes, salt and curry leaves. Cook till the tomatoes become soft and oil starts appearing.
Add coconut milk and blend. Add prawns when it begins to simmer. Cover and cook in medium flame till the prawns is done and the gravy is almost dried. Add the ground roasted coconut and mix well. Remove from fire. Serve hot with steamed rice or Indian breads.
We paired 'Naadan Konju Curry' with Vegetable Pulao