Prawn Xec Xec - Goan Prawn Curry
Updated: May 1, 2020
When you think about a happy place, with a no care attitude, loads of great food, cheap booze, sun, sand and the sea - most Indians would say Go Goa!
From planning multiple trips, WhatsApp group discussions, synchronised bunking, carrying laptops to work through a long weekend holiday. I have so many happy memories in Goa with friends, college mates and colleagues alike.
One thing that has always drawn me back to this place, is the long stretch of beaches, wear what you want and no one gives a eff and of course great seafood with Portuguese influence and an Indian twist.
Simple ingredients, easy cooking preparation, fresh produce and tantalising power-packed flavours, which is unique in its own way. Something which pairs amazingly well with that chilled bottle of King's beer, some roti and simple plain rice, as you watch the sunset. That's Goan food to me.
A trip to the Mapusa market is incomplete without buying Kokum, Bebinca, Chorizo and Toddy Vinegar. And then all that fascinating booze collection at Newton's supermarket - who can forget that?
I love prawns and crabs when it comes to seafood. So with the lockdown, cancelled vacation plans and Google timeline throwing up pics about last year's vacation. I was craving to eat something different than what we normally cook up at home with our meats. This is my first time trying out a Prawn Xec Xec at home, it's one of those curries which is pretty much available on most shacks menu's that one would visit for lunch.
And guess what - you do not need any fancy ingredients to make this lip-smacking dish.
One suggestion from my end would be - use a small/ medium prawn variant, they tend to lend a subtle sweetness to the curry, which totally elevates this dish.
Peeled, deveined, medium prawns - 500g
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Oil - 5 tbsp
Cloves - 5
Whole Black peppercorn - 8 to 10
Cinnamon - 1-inch stick
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried Kashmiri Red chillies - 8 to 10 (adjust basis preference)
Fresh Grated coconut - 1 cup
Onion, finely chopped - 1
Tomato, finely chopped - 1
Lime juice - 1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsp (for garnish)
Salt to taste.
1. Clean and devein the prawns. Marinate them with salt, turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste. Set aside for 30minutes.
2. For the masala base :
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and stir fry the whole spices - coriander, cumin, cinnamon, peppercorn, cloves and red chillies on a low flame for 4-5 minutes. Let this cool.
Add it to a blender jar along with grated coconut. 1/2 cup water and blend to a fine paste.
3. In a deep Kadai/frying pan, add 5 tbsp oil, chopped onions and cook until they turn translucent.
4. Next, add chopped tomato and cook until they turn mushy.
5. Add the ground masala base, continue to cook on a medium simmer with constant stirring until the raw smell disappears - this should take about 5-6 minutes. Add 1 cup water, check salt/ spice levels and bring to a boil.
6. Add in the marinated prawns, give the mixture one good stir and let this cook with a closed lid on for 4-5 minutes.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves and drizzle lemon juice prior to serving with plain rice or parathas.