Raw prawn (black tiger prawn or Japanese tiger prawns)
☆ Cumin seeds
☆ Cinnamon powder
☆ Whole cardamon
◎ Cayenne pepper
◎ Coriander seed powder
Peel the shells from the prawns, devein, and rinse well. Salt and pepper lightly and set aside. Crush the cardamon with a knife.
Mince the onion, ginger, and garlic. Open the tomato can. Optional: If you love spicy curry, remove the seeds and thickly slice the fresh hot chili pepper.
Heat the oil over high heat and add the ☆ spices. Stir-fry so the oil coats the spices and continue until the cumin seed stops crackling.
Add the garlic, ginger, and onion, then stir-fry until half transparent.
If you like it spicy, go ahead and add fresh red chili pepper here and fry.
Add the ◎ spices and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the tomato. If they are whole, crush with a spatula into small pieces.
Stir-fry the onion and tomato for about 3-5 minutes over medium heat. It will thicken and the oil will start separating from the tomato.
Pour in the water and mix the curry paste.
Cover loosely with a lid and simmer over low heat for at least 30 minutes. Lift the lid occasionally and stir to prevent the curry from burning. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, divide the cilantro into two portions. Finely chop one portion, leaving the rest for garnish.
Add the raw prawns, salt, chopped coriander leaves, and garam masala to the curry sauce and mix. Cook over medium heat until the pawns have boiled. Then taste and adjust the saltiness.
Remove whole pieces of spices (eg. cardamoms). Plate and garnish with cilantro.
Story Behind this Recipe
Japan has so much fine seafood. I thought prawns as the best way to bring seafood flavour to curry. Adding scallops is also nice. If you use a little coconut milk, it turns this dish into a south Indian style curry.
Add only 1 teaspoon of salt in Step 12, once boil prawns, taste it first, then add more salt to taste. If you prefer a mild taste, please do not add cayenne pepper. I wrote about how to adjust the spiciness in my diary: June 2010.