Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Malabar Seafood Curry with Prawns, Mussels & Squid

Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar first tried this dish in Kerala served with crayfish, but converted it to lobster for his Malabar Lobster Curry which is served at Benares, one of the top Indian restaurants in London. The recipe, featured in his cookbook 'Atul's Curries of the World,' is just as delicious with a medley of mixed seafood such as tiger prawns, mussels and squid. A mild coconut milk-based curry, delicate enough not to overwhelm the seafood, was soft and sophisticated in flavour, perfect served with a steaming bowl of Jasmin rice.

Michelin-starred Chef Atul Kochar, one of the most critically acclaimed chefs in Britain f
or his take on modern Indian cuisine

Prawns shells sautéed in a vegetable oil until lightly browned and fragrant, provides an aromatic foundation for the oil - the shells are then discarded

Chopped onion, black mustard seeds and kari leaves sautéed in the fragrant prawn oil for about 8 minutes

Grated ginger, minced garlic, red chili flakes and seeded green chili are added and sautéed for a minute

Ground spices are added to the mixture with 2 tbsp of water...

...and stirred until well blended

Chopped tomatoes and the tamarind water are added and cooked until the tomatoes soften, 
about 5 minutes

Coconut mile is added and mixed until well blended

The mussels are added first, and cooked covered until the shells are partially open, 
then the other seafood is added

South Indian Malabar Seafood Curry
Serves 4
Adapted from Atul Kochhar’s ‘Atul’s Curries of the World’ 

3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
12 curry leaves
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh rated ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 green chillies, slit open and seeded
1 dried red chilli
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp water for the ground spices
2 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tamarind paste 
1/2 cup water
2 cups coconut milk 
2 lb mussels - these were from Newfoundland
2 whole squid 
16 tiger prawns - these were sweet Argentinian prawns
1/2 cup cilantro, for garnish

Dissolve the tamarind paste in 2 tablespoons of hot water, and set aside. Wash the prawns thoroughly then shell and devein, reserving the shells. Place the mussels in a large bowl of water to allow them to disgorge any sand; debeard if necessary.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the prawn shells and heads until lightly browned and fragrant, about 7-8 minutes. Remove fried shells and heads and discard. Then, sauté the mustard seeds and curry leaves until fragrant and then add the chopped onions for about 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add the chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies and dried red chilli sauté for a minute.

Add the ground spices with about 2 tablespoons of water and cook over medium heat for about 1 minute until the spices are cooked, adding a little more water if the spices start to brown. Add the chopped tomatoes, tamarind water and 1/2 cup of water, and simmer until tomatoes soften and become pulpy, about 5 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and mussels then cover and cook for about 6-8 minutes until the shells start to open, then add the prawns and cuttlefish and cook until  the prawns are opaque and the mussels have all opened. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and a steaming bowl of Jasmin or Basmati rice.

Atul Kuchar's 'Atul's Curries of the World'