Updated: Aug 30, 2022
I made this recipe for the first time a few years ago and was immediately in love with the dressing and the wonderful flavors. It has been appearing on my table a few times for formal dinners, and everytime it is a hit with the crowd.
The prawns are wonderfully marinated and can be cooked a number of ways, on a grill, broiled in the oven as per the original recipe, or fried briefly in a pan. It does not matter as long as you do not overcook the prawns. I love to make this with jumbo prawns for a visually stunning dish, but it works just as well with medium sized prawns.
The prawns are delicately spiced with the pop of spice from the chilies. The delicately flavored curried dressing is what takes this dish over the top. I like to use Greek yogurt for the dressing and only blend a small portion of the dressing to keep it thick.
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For the prawns:
1 lb prawns, jumbo or large prawns preferred
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2-1 jalapeño chili, or any green chili, finely minced
Juice and zest of 1 lemon or lime
Iceberg lettuce, shredded (optional)
Cilantro, to garnish
For the curry dressing:
2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 shallot, finely minced
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1/2-1 teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey, + to taste
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt, to taste
Mix the prawns in with all the ingredients and marinate for 2 hours in the fridge.
Meanwhile, make the dressing by heating the oil on a very low flame in a small frying pan and adding the garlic, shallot and ginger and frying till the onions are cooked but not browned. The garlic and ginger should also be cooked and aromatic. Add the Madras curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Take off the heat and cool.
Add the cooked ingredients to all the other ingredients in a small blender and purèe to a smooth liquid. Taste, the dressing should be sweet, tart and lightly spiced, you want a mild sauce that is delicate in flavor, not a harsh flavor. Set aside in the fridge till needed.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, one large enough for all the prawns to fit in a single layer. Sauté on medium heat till the prawns are just cooked through, do not over fry and make them tough. Once they have turned white, they are done. Alternately, you can grill the prawns, especially if they are jumbo, or broil them in the oven. Either way do not overcook them.
In a bowl, layer the lettuce and add the prawns on top. Drizzle with the dressing, garnish and serve immediately.