Curry Leaves are my herb pick of the month. Especially after returning from the most amazing trip, and culinary adventure to Indonesia. Here we were spoilt rotten by Mem’s family being pampered and eating the best food for almost a whole month! We came back with a suitcase of treasures and ingredients. Two items I’m so glad we have with us to fight off Indonesian eating withdrawal complaints; a delicious jar of sambal (not like the jarred stuff you buy here), and the most amazing shredded dried fish ‘gold dust’ (my title). Now these two items may not be for everyone, searing hot sambal and smelly dried fish flakes, with toasted coconut, shredded kaffir lime and chilli? Maybe not for everyone but, heaven for me :D Sprinkle this on eggs, rice and veg and you’ll/I’ll be happy.
So here I’ve tried to recreate a dish we had, with toasted coconut as well. Here it’s sweetened with honey and coconut sugar. A simple recipe but really effective and flavourful thanks to the powerful natural aroma of the curry leaves and the sweetness of the coconut.
And just so you know curry leaves, like all herbs and spices are also very good for you. So you see, flavour and health go hand in hand —Kali
2-4 as a main course or starter
dried Kashmiri chili, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, deseeded and quartered
large king prawns, de veined
shredded or grated fresh coconut or dried
Heat a large frying pan and add 1tbsp of the coconut oil, add the garlic and fry stirring for 1 minute until it just begins to colour and take out straight away. Transfer to a plate or tray with kitchen roll to crisp up and drain off some excess oil.
Add another tbsp of oil to the pan and add the coconut, curry leaves, Kashmiri chillies and palm sugar. Fry this for a few minutes while it begins to brown add the honey, stirring for even browning and to stop sticking. Once the coconut is a deep golden brown and evenly coated remove from the pan into a dish.
Add more oil if needed, add the prawns to the hot pan, once they are very almost cooked add the garlic and half the coconut. Heat through, and mix well.
Transfer onto a serving dish and sprinkle the rest of the coconut on top. Serve with steamed rice, a vegetable side and sambal if you like!