Recipe: Shrimp madras curry with Durban inspired masala

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Prawn madras curry with special Durban masala! Served with basmati rice topped with coriander and home made naan bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds jumbo or large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Curry Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 24 fresh kari leaves, cut into chiffonade; or 1 tablespoon dried kari leaves, coarsely powdered
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, fresh or canned
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 bunch watercress, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
  • basmati rice (proportion depends on amount you like having with curry)

Ingredients (naan bread):

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling, see Cook’s Note*
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kalonji (nigella seeds), optional, see Cook’s Note**
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, optional, see Cook’s Note**
  • Melted butter for slathering on the finished naans
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. In a large glass, dissolve the dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water. Let it sit on your counter until it’s frothy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.
  3. Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and add the kalonji and fennel seeds, if using, and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. It will feel like there isn’t enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky and pliable dough. As soon as it comes together, stop kneading. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let it sit in a warm place for 2 to 4 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare your shrimp madras curry. Place the shrimp in a bowl. Add the Curry Powder, Garam Masala, kari leaves, garlic, and oil and crumble over shrimps.
  5. Heat a frying pan over high heat until very hot. Add the shrimps and sear, shaking and tossing, for 1 minute, or until they begin to turn pink and curl up. Whisk the tomato paste into the coconut milk and add to the shrimps. Continue to cook until the sauce is reduced to a glaze and the shrimps are cooked through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and lemon juice and turn off the heat.
  6. Spread the watercress on a plate and mound the shrimps on top of it. Keep warm until serving time.
  7. 20 minutes should have passed now. Now cook the basmati rice, and once cooked, keep warm.
  8. Once 4 hours has passed since laying out the naan dough, start preparing to roll the naan. When you’re ready to roll, make sure you have two bowls on your counter: one with extra flour in it, and one with water. The dough will be extremely soft and sticky. Separate the dough into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.
  9. Shape the naan. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a teardrop shape, narrower at the top than at the bottom. Once you’ve formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it; the dough’s own weight will stretch it out a little. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.
  10. Warm a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it’s nearly smoking. Make sure you have a lid large enough to fit the skillet and have a bowl of melted butter at the ready.
  11. Dampen your hands in the bowl of water and pick up one of your naans, flip-flopping it from one hand to the other to lightly dampen it. Gently lay it in the skillet and set your timer for 1 minute. The dough should start to bubble.
  12. After about 1 minute, flip the naan. It should be blistered and somewhat blackened, don’t worry – that’s typical of traditional naan! Cover the skillet with the lid and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
  13. Remove the naan from the skillet, brush with a bit of butter and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.
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