In India, there appears to be hundreds and thousands curry varieties. My Fijian Indian friend told me that while Fijian-style curry tastes almost the same wherever you eat, homemade Indian curry never tastes the same. I think I understand what she meant, having spent a few weeks with a lovely Indian woman called Rani.
Rani is originally from New Delhi and migrated to Australia decades ago. She still keeps her tradition of making curry in the new land. For the last two weeks, she cooked curry almost everyday, but they tasted all so different! Basic ingredients such as turmeric, garlic, ginger and chili seem to be the same, but she utilized various spices and ingredients to create her beautiful curry.
At some point, I thought, curry to the Indians is like miso soup to the Japanese. You can be very creative when you cook miso soup. You can throw in any vegetables you like. Seafood and meat is also welcome. Curry is the same. In India, curry is called masala meaning spices. My prawn pea masala may not be traditional Indian style, but it tastes super good and very pungent. Don’t omit curry leaves and mustard seeds as they play a pivotal role for the masala.
This is not a spicy curry, so feel free to add some red chillies (preferably fresh) if your chili tolerance is high. This curry goes perfectly well with light, crisp and summery white wine such as pinot gris or riesling.
Peel and devein the prawns. Wash thoroughly and toss them in 1 tbsp of white wine and season with a pinch of salt.
Heat cooking oil in a frying pan and sauté garlic until lightly brown. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves and sauté until pungent.
Stir in frozen peas and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add prawns and turmeric and sauté until the prawns turn pink. Add water and cook for a few minutes. Add some more water if necessary. Squeeze a lemon and season with salt. Serve with Japanese or basmati rice.