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Vegan Prawns in a Spicy Tomato Sauce

I found this recipe in Meena Pathak’s Flavours of India cookbook long time ago and it is called Karhai Jheenga. As Mrs Pathak says and I quote:

“It takes its name from karhai, the round-bottomed, cast iron pan in which it is cooked.”

I used to have one. I remember buying it from Fiji Market in Newtown when I first came to Sydney. However, because of that round bottom, I can’t use it on my electric stove. It’s a shame because food tastes better when cooked in karhai. Even deep-frying is a total bliss but it just doesn’t work on a flat electric stove unfortunately. Anyway, you could use a non-stick, electric wok instead. That’s what I do.

vegan prawns in spicy tom sauce (1280x956)


8 Lamyong Vegetarian Prawns, thawed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
Ginger (about 3cm), peeled and grated
2 medium sized tomatoes, peeled and diced (try to reserve its juice)
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
A handful fresh coriander, chopped finely

• Cut the prawns into two and then put them in a pot with enough water. Boil the prawns until cooked fully. Drain and set aside.
• Heat the oil, add the cumin seeds and when they begin to crackle add the diced onions and fry for 10 minutes. Add crushed garlic and grated ginger and fry for another minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, turmeric and red chilli powder.
• Sauté and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with a little water if needed.
• When the oil begins to separate, add the prawns, crushed black pepper and chilli flakes. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.
• Remove from the heat and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve immediately with basmati rice.

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