Amaya is one of the finest Indian restaurants in Toronto, and certainly one of my favourites. We have a tradition of dining there with friends who love good Indian cuisine. One friend in particular adores Amaya's signature dish, Amaya Prawns, that we have to order two portions to share as an appetizer and two more again for the table as part of dinner. The dish features four perfectly cooked butterflied tiger prawns in a fragrant green mango sauce, with sautéed peppers and coconut milk. I became so enamoured with this dish that I scoured the web relentlessly in search of Amaya'a secret recipe. My tenacity paid off.
Inspired by a recipe from Amaya: The Indian Room
Serves 4 as a appetizer
12 large raw king size prawns, the bigger the better!
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp curry powder (1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp chili powder, ½ tsp ground turmeric)
2 tsp garlic purée
¾ tsp salt, or to taste
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, diced and cut into 1" triangles
1 orange and yellow pepper, diced and cut into 1" triangles
2 tbsp mango paste* (1/2 cup raw green mango, 2 green chilies finely chopped, ½ tsp garlic paste)
1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp kasteri mehti leaves (or dry fenugreek powder)
Peel and de-vein prawns, leaving tails attached. Rinse and pat dry.
Marinate prawns in lemon juice, curry powder, garlic and salt for 10 minutes, then drain the prawns.
Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and pepper and sauté 2-3 minutes until they start to soften. Add prawns and sauté for 60 seconds or until they start to curl.
Add mango paste, coconut milk and mehti and simmer gently over low heat for 2-3 minutes or more, until shrimp are just cooked through. Serve immediately with some peppers for garnish.
* COOK'S NOTE: I used canned mango pulp instead of paste, which turned out very well.