Friday, July 22, 2011

50 Women Game-Changers in Food - #7 Madhur Jaffrey - Prawn Curry



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The weeks are rolling by, and the group of bloggers who are working their way through the Gourmet Live list of 50 Women Game-Changers in food, are focusing on the recipes of Madhur Jaffrey for the week. If Julia Child and Marcella Hazan are credited with bringing French and Italian food to the American table, Madhur Jaffrey must also be recognized for introducing the American and British public to the best of the food from her beloved India. She is a noted chef and expert in Indian cuisine, but, interestingly, she had not planned on a career as a food writer or teacher. When she was 19 years old, she left her home in India to study at England's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She didn't like the food the college provided for its students and there were few Indian restaurants in London where she could satisfy her craving for good Indian food. She began to cook because she wanted to recreate the food of her childhood. With the help of her mother, who sent letters containing advice and recipes, she began to cook the simpler of the dishes she remembered. She became an actress of note, but when Craig Claiborne ran a story about her in the New York Times, she also became known for her cooking and writing skills. She considered her cooking career to be accidental, but she took it as seriously as she did her work in the theater. She has, to date, written 15 cookbooks and one memoir. That's mighty serious.

I've chosen a light but spicy shrimp dish to represent her cooking. The preparation comes from Southern India, and, while it's delicious, it is spiced with a quantity of cayenne pepper that may be too much for some palates. While purists will be unhappy, I suggest that those of you who have a low heat tolerance cut way back on the amount of cayenne used to make this dish. I've found that 1/4 teaspoon is perfect for those not familiar with the fire of some Indian dishes. I also recommend that you toast the coriander and cumin seeds that are used in the recipe. While it certainly is not necessary, straining the sauce before adding the shrimp makes for a more attractive presentation. This is a lovely curry. I hope that you will give it a try. Here's the recipe as it was written by Madhur Jaffrey.

Prawn Curry
...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Madhur Jaffrey

Ingredients:
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon red paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 (14-1/2 ounces) can coconut milk, well stirred
3/4 teaspoon salt or salt to taste
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 pound peeled and deveined medium-sized uncooked prawns (shrimp)

Directions:
1) In a large saucepan, combine 1-1/4 cups water with the cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, garlic and ginger. Mix well. Grind the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a clean coffee grinder and add to mixture.
2) Bring the spice mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and is reduced somewhat.
3) Add the coconut milk, salt, and tamarind paste, and bring to a simmer.
4) Add the prawns (shrimp) and simmer, stirring occasionally, until they turn opaque and are just cooked through. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper as required to taste. Serve while hot. Yield: 4 servings.

The following bloggers are also paying tribute to Madhur Jaffrey this week. I hope you'll visit all of them.

Val - More Than Burnt Toast
Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey
Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney
Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets
Katie - Making Michael Poland Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite
Kathleen -Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen
Sue - The View from Great Island

Next week we will highlight the food and recipes of Judith Jones. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information. Everyone is welcome.

43 comments:

Jay said...

looks especially tasty...awesome click..:P
Tasty Appetite

Ginny said...

I had no idea she was an actress. I don't eat shellfish, but Phil would love this!

Anna A. said...

What a delicious dish! I love the coconut milk involved.

Chris's Gourmet Fashion said...

I love Indian food and this looks just delicious. I'll admit though that that would be a little too much cayenne pepper for me too - I had never heard of Mahdur Jaffrey so thanks for the intro.

Alessandra said...

I read about Madhur Jaffrey when I was living in the UK, and how she found the food hard to believe there :-). I could understand her, I also went to the UK at 19 from Italy... fortunately things are slowly changing there, even if only for those who can afford it, sadly. Fish fingers and chips still rule!

Thank you for talking about Madhur

Ciao
A.

tandysinclair.com said...

how amazing that someones 'not job' turns out so many recipe books :) Have a great weekend Mary!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Mary, this might be your best picture yet. I really enjoy this series. So much to learn about these amazing women.
Sam

At Anna's kitchen table said...

I bow down at the altar of Madhur Jaffrey!
She is amazing!

Rambling Tart said...

I've loved every recipe of Jaffrey's I've ever made, Mary, and so enjoyed learning more about her. Thank you! :-)

Clint said...

I don't know Madhur, but I do know prawns. Love 'em curried or fried or however...

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Once again, I have enjoyed learning about a woman with another amazing life story. And, a recipe, too! blessings ~ tanna

Sue/the view from great island said...

If only we could have a feast composed of all the dishes the bloggers made this week from Jaffrey's amazing repertoire! This looks wonderful, I'm getting seriously addicted to coconut milk.

Pegasuslegend said...

love shellfisth looks awesome!

Miranda said...

This is something that I would definitely make. The dish sounds and looks beautiful!

Anna said...

Curry <3 <3 <3

Jenn said...

Oh, yes, I'll be making this dish for sure! It looks and sounds so delicious!!

FOODalogue said...

Good one, Mary...makes me feel like picking up a fork and digging in.

Young Adventures... said...

I have read Madhur Jaffrey's memoir and some of her cookbooks. My parents are from Southern Indian and this sounds very much like the shrimp curry that my Mom makes. She is a wonderful Indian cook! I will try this recipe Mary, thanks for sharing!

Katie said...

This curry certainly looks delicious, and I do like the suggestion to scale back on the heat. A little really does go a long way!

lena said...

i love indian curries, though i'm not too brilliant in cooking them, i enjoy eating them ! This must be delicious! just for sharing, for the benefit of your readers, if tamarind paste is not available, can try using apple cider vinegar, that might just do a little trick.

Epicurea said...

what a wonderful light dish in this heat! and thanks for the background on madhur.

Wendy Irene said...

I love that there is turmeric in the recipe. I have been reading about the great healthy benefits and healing qualities of turmeric.
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Jeanette said...

Mary, what a lovely post in honor of Madhur Jaffrey - I love Indian curry and will have to give this recipe a try (with the full heat as I like it spicy :)).

Priyanka said...

YUMMY.....
Loved the pic...super tempting

From the Kitchen said...

I had a "personal" Indian teacher when we lived in Charleston. Kuki amazed me with her array of herbs and spices (and, soon, I had the same array). I found it amazing, too, that she could feed eight most deliciously with very little money. I once asked her what one should drink with Indian food. She said the adults in her family drank single malt scotch!!

Have a tasty weekend!

Best,
Bonnie

poppilinnstudios said...

Looks fabulous! I love Indian food, but haven't made it very often. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
-Lynn

That Girl said...

I don't think I've ever had an indian shrimp dish!

girlichef said...

Oh, this sounds so lovely...anything with tamarind paste (um...or shrimp) is perfect by me. I would have loved to have eaten this before my Tapioca Pearl Kheer =)

lostpastremembered said...

This is a great curry and a lovely homage to Jaffrey. Here's was one of the first cookbooks I got in college and cooked from it frequently. Turned out Jaffrey lived right around the corner from me and I would see her often at the market. She is beautiful as well as talented!

Angie's Recipes said...

From the listed ingredients I know this is going to taste heavenly!

Kim said...

Love currys a lot and this version, with prawns, makes my mouth watering... I think I'm hungry...

Janice said...

I remember when Madhur Jaffrey first started cooking on TV in the UK in the early 80's. I still have the book that accompanied the series, her cooking was a revelation. Prawn Curry sounds lovely.

Karen Harris said...

I discovered Madhur Jaffrey while living in England. Her recipes are foolproof and delicious. Just yesterday I sent my niece her recipe for Keema Matar which I plan on highlighting on my blog for a back to school post. I also loved her in Bend it Like Beckham.

Joanne said...

You gave Jaffrey the PERFECT introduction! And this sounds like such a delicious dish. Extra heat for me!

yummychunklet said...

This looks like the perfect recipe to make for my mother this weekend. Great post!

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

Madhur Jaffrey is just fantastic - full of energy and brilliant - I've have enjoyed her for years! Love your post and the curry looks amazing
Mary x

Maris (in Good taste) said...

I have really enjoyed this series and am thankful for such delicious recipes!

Magic of Spice said...

What a wonderful dish to pay tribute! Simply delicious :)

Elaine said...

These prawns look fabulous, Mary. Such gorgeous colors! Have a great weekend!

bellini said...

I just got back from holidays Mary where I had little Internet access as well. Once again thank you for keeping the mometum going, this is a great dish!

Sudden Lunch said...

We used to have this sort of thing on our menu (many, many) years ago and I think it was this one - it was one of Madhur Jaffrey's recipes.

Reading this I really fancy it now even tho its just breakfast time!

Jamie said...

Fabulous! I so love Madhur Jaffrey, love her and every recipe I have ever made of hers is fabulous! She so deserves to be on that list. I am a shrimp/prawn fanatic and this is an incredible recipe!

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