Food & Drink Magazine

Flavor Explosion! Tellicherry Pepper Prawns from Southern India

By Weavethousandflavors

Tellicherry pepper prawns-02

I love India’s version of stir fries.

From the North Indian tomato laden Kadhai’s to this fragrant kari leaves and black pepper version from the Malabar coast of Kerela. Jumbo prawns are quickly stir fried in a thick masala paste made with fresh ingredients like ginger, garlic and spices – turmeric, red chilly powder and of course Tellicherry pepper corns.

Some of India’s finest pepper corns hails from Tellicherry on the Malabar coast. These pungent, full flavored peppercorns are considered the black gold of the region. In this recipe, the black peppercorns are roughly broken down and then ground with the remaining ingredients to make the paste.

Beware! Do not substitute for ground peppercorns in the same proportion. The masala paste will be so spicy that you’ll pop a nerve! That is unless you have a lead lined tummy. Ha..ha…

This is a spin off of my favorite chicken that I had posted a while ago – you’ll find that here.

But I love this prawn version because a) it’s prawns  b) can be put together in a few minutes flat c) great for potlucks

And did I mention delicious?

Hope you’ll give it a go!

Gather the ingredients,

1-1/2 lb jumbo prawns, 1 medium yellow onion (to yield 1-1/2 cups chopped), 2 stalks kari leaves, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 tbs coconut oil & 1-2 tbs chopped cilantro for garnish

Masala {Spice} paste:

½-3/4 tsp red chilly powder, 3/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1 to 1-1/2 tbs Tellicherry peppercorns (use accordance to tolerance to spicy heat), 1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1-1/2 tbs chopped garlic, 1 inch piece fresh ginger root, 1-1/2 tsp salt & 6 tbs water

Tellicherry pepper prawns-collage1

Prawns - Peel, de-vein and set aside.

Ginger - Roughly chop

Cilantro - Wash leaves, discard stems & finely chop. Place in a bowl of water till ready to use. Discard water & drain before using as a garnish

Masala {Spice} Paste- In a grinder capable of making fine pastes, add the peppercorns and breakdown. Add the ginger, chopped garlic, turmeric powder, red chilly powder & salt. Add the water and grind to a fine paste. Add 1 tbs more water only if required.

Yellow onions – Peel, discard ends and finely chop.

Tellicherry pepper prawns-collage2

In a kadhai or sauté pan heat the vegetable oil until fuming. Add the chopped onions, ½ tsp salt & the curry leaves which will sputter in the oil. Sauté over medium heat for Approx 7-10 minutes until the onions are soft.

Add the masala paste and sauté for about 5 minutes until the fat leaves the sides and paste is fragrant. Add the prawns and on high heat sauté for a minute or so and add coconut oil – continue sautéing until the prawns turn pink and curl.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat, sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves and serve immediately with steamed rice.

 

Tellicherry pepper prawns-1

 

Recipe for

Telicherry Pepper Prawns

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

Shopping list:

1-1/2 lb jumbo prawns

yellow onions (to yield 1-1/2 cups chopped)

2 stalks kari leaves  

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tbs coconut oil

1-2 tbs chopped cilantro for garnish

Masala {Spice} paste:

½-3/4 tsp red chilly powder

3/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 to 1-1/2 tbs whole Tellicherry peppercorns (use accordance to tolerance to spicy heat)

1-1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1-1/2 tbs chopped garlic

1 inch piece fresh ginger root

1-1/2 tsp salt

6 tbs water

Preparation:

Prawns - Peel, de-vein and set aside.

Ginger - Roughly chop

Cilantro - Wash leaves, discard stems & finely chop. Place in a bowl of water till ready to use. Discard water & drain before using as a garnish

Masala {Spice} Paste- In a grinder capable of making fine pastes, add the peppercorns and breakdown. Add the ginger, chopped garlic, turmeric powder, red chilly powder & salt. Add the water and grind to a fine paste. Add 1 tbs more water only if required.

Yellow onions – Peel, discard ends and finely chop.

Method:  

In a large sauté pan heat the vegetable oil until fuming. Add the chopped onions, ½ tsp salt & the curry leaves which will sputter in the oil. Sauté over medium heat for Approx 7-10 minutes until the onions are soft.

Add the masala paste and sauté for about 5 minutes until the fat leaves the sides and paste is fragrant. Add the prawns and on high heat sauté for a minute or so and add coconut oil – continue sautéing until the prawns turn pink and curl.

Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat, sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

Enjoy with steamed rice.


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