Simplicity is the core of Vadvali recipes.
Most of the recipes use a limited bunch of ingredients and spices… that’s precisely the reason the star of the recipe, in this case the Prawns shines through.
Traditionally, my mom made it in a really heavy iron pan, this not only made it more healthy and iron rich but also give it that signature dark tinge.
Cooking in a traditional cookware like an iron pan calls for some experience, especially for new cooks who are more accustomed to non stick cookware. Overheat the pan and you wouldn’t know how to stop the food from burning and if not optimally hot, you’ll land up adding oodles of oil to prevent sticking. The iron cookware needs to be tempered before using. Now a days though one can buy tempered iron cookware online.
I played it safe this time and preferred making it in a non stick pan.
100 to 200 gms Medium sized Prawns (peeled, washed and deveined)
1 large Onion (chopped)
1 medium Potato (cut lenghtwise)
2 Green Chillies
4 to 5 Cloves of Garlic
1 inch Ginger
A handful of Coriander leaves
1 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tbsp Garam Masala (can use fish masala but here we have used homemade traditional vadvaali masala)
4 to 5 Curry leaves
2 to 3 Dried Kokum petals
1 tsp Salt
Make a paste of the ginger, garlic, green chillies and coriander leaves using very little water.
Apply the paste over the prawns and set aside for 15 mins.
Heat oil in a pan (use an iron pan if possible)
When the oil become hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Once they crackle, add the marinated prawns and lightly fry for a few seconds.
Now add the chopped onions and potatoes. Without mixing them add the salt, turmeric and the masala. Mix everything well.
Add the kokums and cover the pan, cook on low heat for 10 mins.
The prawns will release their juices, let the potatoes cook in them. Do not add extra water.
Put off the heat and transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
Traditionally it tastes best with chapatis and rice.