January 15, 2010

Methi Palak Prawn

I made this dish first time for the Durga Puja this year. I planned to cook prawn. It is a fish available here easily, and also simple to cook. Moreover, I really like prawns. My wish was to cook a not common preparation of prawn, and was thinking of making up something on my own. Spinach I thought was a good choice to make the gravy with, something similar to palak (spinach) paneer, a popular Indian dish. However I did not like the idea of using the usual whole cumin seeds. Though I like the flavor of cumin very much and like to put it in almost everything possible, it was puja and I was in mood of trying some new flavors and combinations. Therefore, I decided for fenugreek seeds. It is a seed used in Bengali vegetarian cuisine sometimes along with a few other whole spices or alone. I don’t use it too often and so thought why not give it a try with prawns. I must admit the result was quite surprising. The rich aroma of fenugreek seeds blended perfectly well with the taste of prawns and spinach. A lot of fenugreek and a bunch of spinach worked wonders with the prawns!! It turned out as some unconventional dish that can be cooked when guests are invited.

500gm prawn
1 bunch spinach (palak) - coarsely chopped
2tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 big tomato - chopped

1. Heat oil in pan, enough for both frying prawns and cooking.
2. Fry the prawns until they turn gentle golden, and set aside.
3. In the same oil put fenugreek seeds. When they turn black, take them out.
4. Now in the oil put tomato and spinach together.
5. Add salt, sugar and pepper.
6. Cook in low heat for 5-10 mins so the tomato and spinach get cooked and form gravy like consistency. No water is required.
7. Now add the prawns, mix well and add a few table spoons of water. Cook for another couple of minutes.

This preparation goes well with rice.
Fry the prawns and cook in the same oil, this will give the flavor of the prawn in the preparation.
The fenugreek seeds are taken out after frying, as if left behind it will give a bitter taste when chewed. If you take the seeds out, it gave the flavor without the bitterness, and you can use it in large quantity.
You can add a bunch of fresh fenugreek leaves along with spinch.

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