Prawns in sweet and sour kairi stew

I recently subscribed to the BBC Good Food magazine, India edition. Lovely photos and great recipes are bundled up in this colorful magazine. It is a delight to hold and browse through.

Akshay was glancing through the pages, when he saw a photo of prawns in kairi (raw mango) stew. It looked mouth watering and super easy, but unfortunately I am allergic to shellfish.What a shame, I know! Nevertheless, we made these prawns last weekend, and they turned out very well.

The sourness of the raw mangoes gets delicately combined with jaggery and coconut milk to make a rich creamy sauce. Served with rice, it is a staple in many parts of coastal Maharashtra.

Kairi stew prawns

Ingredients :

  • 2 Raw mangoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp jaggery
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 400 gm prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method :

  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet, add the fenugreek seeds and let them splutter. Add the turmeric and mix well.
  2. Add the raw mango pieces and sauté for a couple of minutes. Then pour 1 cup  water over the mangoes, cover it and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the cover, add jaggery and sugar. Stir for another couple of minutes till jaggery and sugar have dissolved.
  4. Add the coconut milk and switch off the flame. Strain the prepared sauce in a strainer to remove chunks of mango pulp.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once they begin to flutter, pour in the mango sauce and mix well.
  6. Add the prawns and some more water (1/4 cup), if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Cook for 2-3 minutes till prawns are creamy white in color.
  8. Serve hot with steamed rice or enjoy with slice of toasted bread.

The prawns absorb the lovely  raw mango flavor. Fenugreek seeds add the slight bitterness to the sauce, balancing the sourness, and shouldn’t be missed out on.

Tips :

  1. There is a very fine line between uncooked and over-cooked chewy prawns. Keep a close watch while cooking prawns.
  2. Prawns do not need marination for this recipe, as the raw mango stew takes care of all the fishiness.

Prawns can be substituted with sauteed vegetables like carrots, french beans, potatoes and onions. I reserved a portion of the sauce to make a vegetable raw mango curry for me. Tasted delicious with a hint of extra pepper.

Try it soon, till raw mangoes are in season!

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