This one is not for the faint hearted.
You have to love prawns and spice, in that order. One of the Pathare Prabhu favourites, to be savoured over a Sunday lunch with some delicious rice and hirve kaalvan and of course, some fried fish.
Mum used to send us a hot lunch every day of the school week. Home was 5 minutes away but we weren’t allowed to leave the premises. So lunch was delivered to most of us. Hot food, lovingly packed, only to be polished off in a hurry so that we could spend the lunch break playing with our friends. Not so on Saturdays (fish market days!). Saturday mornings were spent looking forward to the fish that would invariably arrive in our tiffin. Lunch was an unhurried affair, lingering over the fish and when we had this prawn pickle, it took even longer. Each bite was measured, play was forgotten and I am ashamed to admit it now but I tried to sit far away from my friends so that I didn’t have to share this with anyone.
Back to the task at hand. What you need are some fresh jumbo prawns, some pickle masala, oil and lemon juice. What it turns into is pure magic. Give it a go!
350 grams (about 15-18 ) jumbo prawns or tiger prawns (shelled and deveined)
1/4 cup oil
salt to taste
3-4 fenugreek seeds
2 -3 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped tablespoon pickle masala (Bedekar’s)
a quarter of a lemon (about 1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice)
1. Marinate the prawns with the garlic paste, salt and turmeric. Keep aside for about 15-20 minutes.
2. Heat the oil in a deep pan. Fry the prawns until just done. Drain and keep aside.
3. Reduce the heat. Then in the same oil, add the fenugreek seeds and the pickle masala. Stir well. Add the lemon juice.
4. Add the prawns back and cook for another 3-4 minutes, on very low heat.
5. Serve hot.
1. You can also use pomfret or any other firm, mild fish for this pickle. Simply substitute for the prawns and follow the steps above.
2. These keep well in the fridge for about 2-3 days. Actually, I think,these taste better on day 2 when they have absorbed all those lovely flavours. The only question is – how long can you keep them away from prying fingers?