Sunday, September 20, 2009

Prawns & Greens, Expressly

For the first time ever, I listed the ingredients before I wrote out the story. And I'm glad they made the cut. They are ten in total but salt and chillies don't count, neither does the tadka, nor the water. And it's not something that I make everyday; in fact, this is the first time I'm making it. I have the vague impression that's it's a home-style/rustic dish, actually not even sure it existed till I went through a couple of cookbooks. I am late to the party but in the virtual world, attempts at a fashionably late entrance don't work as everything is subsumed in the round-up, so have I been late at all? ;)

Chukkakoora is my favourite variety of greens but a receding one - the shops in my neighbourhood that carry it have either closed down or stopped selling it. A meeting took me a little further away this past week and I found bunches of this in a large supermarket in the vicinity. Knowing that I couldn't use all of them, I regretfully restricted myself to buying only two. One bunch was used for dal and the leaves from the other were plucked and stored in the fridge. This morning, we used it up by pairing it with some prawns. It's nice and tangy, and don't omit the curry leaves.

Prawns: 250 gm
Onion: Chopped, a fistful
Chukkakoora/Ambat chukka/Khatti palak: 2 cups, washed (Chopping - optional)

Green chillies: 2, chopped
Red chillies: 2
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Salt, chilli powder - to taste
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seed: 1/4 tsp
Garlic: 3-4 cloves, crushed
Oil: 1-1.5 tbsp

Wash prawns, smear with chilli powder, salt and turmeric. Place in a pan and heat till the water oozes and evaporates. This takes just 2-3 minutes. (You'll have a hard time keeping your hands off the prawns till you go on to the next step, believe me.)

Simultaneously, cook the greens in another pan with chilli powder and the green chillies. You can sprinkle a little water if you like. Let it cook till it gets mushy (2-3 minutes).

By now, the prawns too would be cooked. Put them aside but in the same pan, add the oil and fry the onions, red chillies, garlic, curry leaves and fenugreek. Put the prawns back in, and add the mushed greens. Mix. Check for seasoning and take off the heat. This can be served with rice.


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  1. You are so lucky to have so many varieties of greens!

    Late-shate - doesn't matter as long as you got there! Thanks for this express healthy dish - looks delicious! What should I serve with it - roti or rice?

  2. I won't mind having some of this with some roti and big cup of tea for breakfast this morning.

  3. What a delightfully different recipe!
    I'm definitely going to be trying this one out.
    Does the chukkakoora impart a flavor and taste similar to gongura? Or am I not making much culinary sense here? :)

  4. Is the tanginess coming from the greens? I don't think I am familiar with the greens then. Also, are you dry cooking the prawns? No oil? Won't that stick?

  5. Wish i could grab that bowl from my screen. Delicous. I wish i had this for my dinner.

  6. Sra,
    we make prawns with puin/malabar spinach ...goes well with rice , but i even like eating it with rotis... although i am not sure how well i can handle the sour/tanginess of this green :)....anyways ,greens are always good :)...
    hugs and smiles

  7. Anita, smaller towns are better in that they have an even bigger variety - I miss my hometown when it comes to buying greens, and the quality of vegetables is bigger too! I've recommended rice - updated the post - but I'm sure it tastes good with rotis too!
    Cynthia, our breakfasts tend to be vegetarian and less spicy than lunch so whenever I'm served something this spicy as breakfast, it feels like I've had a full meal! :)
    Shwetha, you know, it was rather like gongura but not quite.
    Sivakumaar, yes, it's tangy from the greens. And yes, the prawns are dry cooked. I also worried that they might stick or the pan would get burnt but they start giving out water right away - you have to supervise, of course, they take v little time to cook.
    Happy, I wish you could have come over - the Spouse didn't like it so it was all mine!
    Jaya, this is not that kind of sourness that sets your teeth tingling, try it!

  8. We cook our prawns with greens, mostly spinach & pohi & love it:-D what green is this? do you have any other name? looked kinda like pohi for a second, but i think the pohi is thicker. hot & spicy with garam garam rice, right?

  9. Prawns and Greens....nice!! By the way, these greens are available in plenty at yeses.

  10. My mom does prawns and green with certain green variety (usually the bitter one), never seen this green variety! I would love to taste it!

  11. Sra, I am drooling over this. I have a recipe for prawns and greens together in my blog too. But thats a spicier version. With a rasam and piping hot rice I am already in heaven!

  12. Prawns and greens looks like a winning dish :) Looks yummy!

  13. are right the prawns wouldn't see the greens if I was solely in charge :-) I have never seen this green, and anything with prawn is fit for a party

  14. So many things I can't get - but it sounds so wonderful! I may have to look for substitutes.

  15. I don't think I've tasted that green. Looks great!

  16. Nice recipe with prawns..looks delicious as well....

  17. Soma, I ate it just like that, but yes, rice will be good. My book of greens says it's called Chuka Palang in Bengali. In Hindi, it's Khatti Palak.
    Rachel, yes! ;)
    Cham, never heard of chukkankeerai?
    Ni, have to check it out, will do
    Homecooked, it was v tasty
    Bong Mom, you bet!
    Katie, do blog about it - would love to see what you come up with.
    Mandira, thanks.
    Sushma, It was delicious, and tangy.
    Puspha, yeah, have you tried it already? Do!

  18. WOW. I mean seriously wow this looks like. WHY dont you adopt me? pleaseeeeeeeeee

  19. Hmm looks lovely! The green leaves look like the paan leaves! The dish looks fantastic.

  20. Chookakura and prawns is very new combo to me..never tasted this before....looks yum...

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