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Prawns in Spicy Coconut Sauce

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Published under: Prawn

14 oz Canned coconut milk
8 Dried, red chile peppers *
2 ts Cumin seeds
2 ts Coriander seeds
1 ts Turmeric
1 tb Grated fresh ginger 6 Garlic cloves, minced
5 tb Peanut oil
1 lg Onion, thinly sliced
1 lb Prawns, shelled, deveined


Do yourself a favor and use canned coconut milk in this recipe. It’s a lot easier and probably better than what you would produce using a fresh coconut. Process the grated fresh coconut or the desiccated coconut with 3 1/2 cups hot water in a food processor. Drape a piece of folded cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the coconut mixture into the cheesecloth. Strain the liquid, squeezing the pulp to extract as much milk as possible. This is thick coconut milk; set aside.

Pour 2 1/2 cups hot water over the coconut in the cheesecloth and squeeze to extract more milk into another bowl. This second extract is thin coconut milk. Set aside.

If you are using canned coconut milk, skip this step and proceed with the recipe. Grind the chile peppers, cumin and coriander seeds in a spice grinder and set aside. Process the thick coconut milk (or canned coconut milk) with the ground spices, turmeric, ginger and garlic; set aside. Heat the oil in a heavy, shallow pan. Add the onions and cook until the edges begin to turn almost reddish brown (about 15 minutes), stirring frequently. Add the coconut-spice mixture and cook until the liquid evaporates and oil separates from the paste. Cook this paste for 10 more minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the reserved thin coconut milk (or 2 cups water, if you have used canned coconut milk) and let simmer until reduced to a creamy sauce. Add salt to taste.

Stir the prawns into the sauce and cook a few minutes until the prawns are just cooked. (Be careful not to overcook). Serve with steamed rice.

1 comment

Avatar of Capt Ray
Capt Ray June 4, 2009 - 5:51 am

I think the prawns need to be sautéed a bit before cooking them with the sauce. Thanks for supplying the recipe for making coconut milk from scratch. Overall a very good and helpful recipe


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