There are some dishes in our country that are so deeply ingrained in the food culture of that region that they become synonymous to that region viz. Vada Pav, Dabeli of West India, Sarso ka saag-Makke ki roti, Tandoori Chicken from North, Dosas and Idlis from South of India and many others. The recipe that we are discussing today is deeply associated with Mangalorean cuisine.
Though the dish hails from Mangalore, my first encounter with it happened several hundred KMs away in a fine dining restaurant in Pune whose menu had “Prawns Ghee Roast” marked as a Chef recommended. I was reading and hearing about it from the floor manager for the first time, but the pair of red chilies icon neatly printed beside its label got me affixed (dear readers you must be aware of my obvious leaning towards spiciness). The restaurant was sparsely populated at that hour of evening and it did not take long enough for chef to put together the dish that bore his recommendation.
Did it impress me? Yes it did. It was a perfect synergy of various contrasting flavors that seemed to be playing a balancing act in the plate. The dark brown color of the masala reflected on the fact that tamarind paste had been used to impart sourness to dish. This sourness was balanced by sweetness of Jaggery and hotness of chilies and this concoction of flavors had neatly blended with succulent prawns making the dish a mouthwatering fare. During our dinner we found out that the recipe hails from Mangalorean cuisine which prompted us to add it to our list of “must-try” dishes during our food excursion that we had planned to do in the Mangalore. You can read about our exciting trip to Mangalore Trip Day 1 and Mangalore Trip Day 2
After our return from Mangalore, we have spent a considerable amount of time attempting to create culinary gems of Mangalorean cuisine. We have shared few of those recipes already and will continue to share few more under the section titled Mangalorean recipes
Ghee Roast is a signature dish of Mangalore and several different forms of this dish exist ranging from chicken ghee roast, mutton ghee roast, prawns ghee roast, crab ghee roast and for vegetarian brethren there is a paneer ghee roast. I have already defined all the prominent flavors that this dish boasts of, however a flavor and aroma that I found missing in Pune, which I chanced upon in Mangalore that added to its rich flavors was the flavor of ghee. The aroma of ghee that permeates in the air as the dish lies in a plate placed on the table is overwhelming and gets you salivated in no time.
Follow this recipe and enjoy the flavor of Mangalore at your home. This tangy and spicy affair is worth trying.
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- 250 grams prawns (cleaned and deveined)
- 3 byadagi chilies for red color
- 4 guntur chilies for hotness
- ¼th cup curd
- 10-12 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- ¼th tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- ¼th tsp mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 4-5 cloves
- ½ tsp black peppercorn
- ¼th tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 inch diameter tamarind ball
- 1 tbsp jaggery powder
- Ghee(clarified butter)
- Soak red chilies in warm water.Soak tamarind ball in 4 tbsp warm water.
- Let's marinate prawns.Put curd in a large bowl.Add red chili powder, turmeric powder, lime juice.Add pinch of salt.Mix all the ingredients of marinade.
- Add prawns and coat them evenly with the marinade.Let the marination rest for 15-20 minutes.
- Preparing masala for ghee roast.Heat 1 tsp ghee in a pan.Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds,fenugreek seeds.Add black peppercorns, cloves and coriander seeds.Roast these spices for a minute.
- After a minute, turn off the flame and let spices cool down completely.
- Empty the contents of pan in a grinder jar.Add garlic, soaked red chilies and tamarind pulp.Grind them into a fine paste.
- Heat 2 tbsp ghee in a pan.Add prawns to the pan.We will cook prawns for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, remove prawns from the pan.
- Add the grounded masala paste to the pan.Cook the masala.
- After 3 minutes of cooking on low flame, add jaggery powder.Add prawns, salt to taste.Cook prawns for 4-5 minutes.
- Post 5 minutes of cooking, add 1 tbsp ghee. Stir in the ghee and turn off the heat.Prawns ghee roast is ready to be served.
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