Prawn Curry with Fennel Seeds

I recently went to make this traditional family curry and realised I haven’t previously posted the recipe. So here it is, a quick and delicious curry that is perfect for weeknight dinners with rice and salad or as part of a bigger Indian spread.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes
500g green prawns (shelled and deveined)
2 ripe tomatoes diced finely
1 large onion diced finely
4 cloves garlic and equal amount of ginger, pounded to a paste
1/2 tspoon salt
1/2 tspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder
1/2 teaspoon cummin powder
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
1.5-2 cups water
2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Handful of fresh curry leaves(optional)
1/2 bunch corinader – stems chopped, leaves retained for garnish
coriander leaves to garnish

Heat oil in pan over medium heat.
Add fennel seeds and curry leaves and stir until fragrant, taking care not to burn.
Add onions and cook gently until almost transparent.
Add garlic and ginger paste and mix through onions until heated.

Add cummin powder, turmeric, chilli powder and fennel powder and stir through onion mixture until just heated.

Add tomatoes, chopped coriander stems, salt, sugar and tamarind and 1.5cups water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until tomatoes breakdown creating a chutney like sauce. Add more water if necessary along the way, stirring regularly to ensure mixture doesn’t stick or burn.

Add prawns and simmer for 5 minutes and until prawns are cooked. Taste to see if extra salt is needed.

Garnish with coriander and serve with rice and salad.

Lamb Xacuti – Goan curry

Cooking this recipe was inspired by the beautiful story and recipe posted by The Storyteller’s Kitchen Chicken Xacuti but I made it tonight using lamb. It was certainly very delicious and is easy to make but does involve quite a number of steps for the three seperate spice mixes involved.

I didn’t have any mace so just gave it a miss but the original recipe calls for it to be included in the masala (dry spice mix).

I have added extra coriander and curry leaves and was pleased with the result.

I have also divided the recipe up into the different components into groups to help follow the recipe. Hope it helps!

This is almost like an Indian version of Indonesian rendang except sharper tasting through the use of green chillies and lots of fresh coriander. We had a tangy cucumber, tomato, carrot and spinach salad with it and plain basmati rice. A very More-ish dish!

Prep time: 35 minutes Cooking time: 60 minutes Resting time: 30 minutes


Coriander Spice Marinade:
8 garlic cloves
1.5 cm piece of ginger
6 small green chilies
1/2 bunch of coriander
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate mixed with 1 tablespoon of water
1 teaspoon turmeric

Coconut and onion paste:
1/3 cup of desiccated coconut
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil

Spice Masala:
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
7-8 cloves
7-8 black peppercorns
1 star anise
7-8 dried red chillies
2 small pieces cinnamon bark broken into bits
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder

1kg lamb on the bone – I use 5-6 lamb chump chops with the fat removed and diced into small chunks with the bone left in

Braising mixture:
3 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
Handful curry leaves
1 large onion finely diced
1 tomato roughly chopped
2-3 cups water
1 cup coriander leaves ground to paste

Coriander chopped
2-3 small Green chillies chopped


1. Chop all ingredients for marinade, then grind ingredients into a paste, chop meat, add marinade to meat and marinate for 30-45 minutes

2. Dry roast dry spices for Masala in a small non-stick pan over medium heat until fragrant, allow to cool then grind to a fine powder in spice blender or coffee grinder – set aside

3. In the same pan, dry fry desiccated coconut over gentle heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning, until golden brown. Then add 2 tablespoons oil and fry 1 diced onion until browned. Allow onion and coconut to cool, then grind together in mortar and pestle until onion is melted into coconut into a thick paste. Set aside

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottom casserole pot with a lid, then add curry leaves and fry until just fragrant, then add diced onion and fry until golden brown stirring to ensure onion doesn’t burn. Add tomato and 1 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes have disintegrated and oil reappears.

5. Add lamb mixture and additional ground coriander paste and 1 cup of water to onion and tomato mixture and boil for 15 minutes.

6. Add Masala mix and coconut-onion paste and another cup of water and simmer for another 25 minutes until lamb is really tender.

7. Take off heat, allow to rest for 30 minutes, garnish with coriander and green chillies and serve.

Black Pepper Prawn Curry

The sharpness of  black pepper, bite of the green chill and sweetness of the prawns are all melded together in buttery goodness, along with ginger, garlic, curry leaves in this simple curry.

Take the time to make the prawn stock as it really adds another dimension nod depth of flavour to the dish.

Prep time: 30 minutes (incl making stock) Cooking time: 25 minutes

12-16 King prawns
2 cups water
2 cloves garlic, 2-3 small pieces ginger for stock
1 onion halved, then thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic and equal ginger, pounded to a paste
1.5 tablespoons ground black pepper (best freshly ground in spice grinder)
handful of curry leaves (fresh best but dried ok)
2-3 small green chillies sliced lengthwise – can omit, or deseed
100g butter
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Chopped  coriander and slithers of ginger for garnish

1. Peel and devein prawns, leave tails on, reserve shells for stock.

2. Place prawn shells in pot and cover with water, add ginger and garlic, bring to a boil then simmer gently for 15-20 minutes until water is reduced to about 3/4 of a cup. Drain and reserve stock.

3. In the meantime, slice onions, grind pepper and pound ginger and garlic for paste.

4. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat, then add curry leaves and fry gently until fragrant, then add onions and cook slowly until transparent.

5. Add pepper and butter and mix through onion until butter is melted.

6. Add green chillies and then prawns. Stir to coat prawns in opinion mixture, then add 3/4 cup of prawn stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until prawns are cooked through and stock is reduced and a thickish sauce is created.

7 Taste to see if extra salt is needed.

8 Garnish with coriander and slithers of ginger. Serve with fluffy basmati rice.

Jackfruit, carrot and green bean curry

Growing up in South Africa we would often pass fruit sellers on the road selling these giant fruit. Although they look similar to stinky durian, jackfruit are not smelly and their fleshy texture is a great addition to vegetable curries. Full of great vitamins including Compex B vitamins and Vitamin A, jackfruit is great for your fibre intake. The humble jackfruit is becoming increasingly popular as a meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians, with it’s fibrous texture being used to replicate pulled pork and other meats. It is used in many Asian countries including  in Indonesian soups and curries – which I have enjoyed in Bali. Recently I discovered frozen green  jackfruit in an Indian grocery store in Sydney and made up this curry which was delicious! So, seek out frozen or canned green jackfruit in brine and try  it out!

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

150g frozen jackfruit pieces
1 small carrot diced
100g Green Beans cut into pieces
1 onion finely diced
2 teaspoons ginger and garlic paste
3 green chillies sliced in half
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
Handful of curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cummin powder
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
3 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
2/3 can coconut cream (about 300 mls)
Salt to taste
Coriander chopped for garnish

1. Heat oil over medium heat in a saucepan or pot that has a lid. Add cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and curry leaves and heat until fragrant.
2. Add onions and mustard seeds and cook until onion is soft and transparent.
3. Add ginger and garlic and cook through for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add turmeric, cummin and chilli powder and mix through ensuring spices don’t burn.

5. Add carrots and jackfruit pieces and coat in spice and onion mixture.
6. Add coconut milk and simmer gently for 15 minutes, adding water if curry is drying out too much.
7. Add green beans and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
8. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.
9. Garnish with coriander and serve with basmati rice.


Durban style Indian Boneless Chicken Curry

A staple in any South African Indian family, my version includes a dollop of yoghurt towards the end which makes for a creamier sauce. This is perfect served just with a salad and rice for a very tasty but healthy meal.

Prep time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes

4 medium size chicken thigh fillets, any fat removed and cut into bite-size pieces
2 tspoons ginger and garlic paste (4 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger pounded into a paste)
1 brown onion, cut in half, then finely sliced
1 tomato cut into chunks
2 pieces cinnamon bark or 1 quill
Handful of fresh curry leaves
1 teaspoon cummin seeds
3 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cummin powder
1 tesapoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 tablespoon plain yoghurt
1.5 cup water or chicken stock
Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish


1. Heat oil in heavy based pot over medium heat, and then add cinnamon bark, cummin seeds, cardamom pods and curry leaves.

2. When spices are fragrant, add onions and cook slowly until translucent.

3. Add ginger and garlic paste and mix through.

4. Add cummin powder, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Stir until fragrant but be careful not to burn.

5. Add chicken pieces stirring until chicken is sealed and beginning to change colour.

6. Add salt, tomato pieces and water to just cover chicken.  Simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked and liquid is reduced.


7. Add a dollop of yoghurt and mix through. Bring back to simmer for 5 minutes.

8. Taste to see if extra salt needed. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serves 2 as main dish


Pork Vindaloo with dried and fresh chillies

This pork vindaloo is hot, tangy and tasty with the hotness of dried and fresh chillies balanced by the warm spice mix, tanginess of tamarind paste and sweetness of added sugar.
The recipe is an amalgam of a number of Goan and Keralan versions and as with all of them is best the next day after the meat marinates in the gravy overnight. Many of the recipes advise marinating the pork for at least 4 hours or overnight before cooking, but I find the results are just as good with an hour or so of marination.
You do need to have you Indian spice cupboard up to date for this recipe but don’t be intimidated by the range of ingredients as the method is very simple.
Using pork scotch fillet or pork shoulder which has some fatty tissue produces the best result.
Preparation time: 1.5 hours Cooking time: 1 hour – 1.5 hours

1 kg pork scotch fillet or pork shoulder diced into medium size cubes
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tspn black mustard seeds
1 tspn cummin seeds
1 tspn fennel seeds
1 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 tspn black peppercorns
5 cloves
6 cardamom pods, split and seeds removed
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tspn turmeric powder
5 dried red chillies
3-5 fresh red chillies
6 cloves of garlic and equal amount of fresh peeled ginger
2 medium onions finely diced
Handful of curry leaves
2 sticks of cinnamon bark
3 black cardamom pods
4 tablespoons oil
2-3 cups chicken stock or water
Chopped coriander to garnish

Place diced pork in large bowl and pour over vinegar and salt. Leave to marinade while you prepare spices.

Using a spice grinder, put in 3 of the dried chillies stalk removed, black mustard seeds, cummin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, black peppercorns, cloves and cardamom seeds removed from pod. Grind to a fine powder.
In a mortar and pestle, grind the garlic, fresh chillies and ginger to a paste. Add tamarind and turmeric and mix through.
Add dried spice powder and garlic, ginger and tamarind paste into bowl with pork and mix well through. Allow to marinate for at least an hour and overnight if you can.


In a large casserole pot, add oil and heat before adding cinnamon bark, 2 dried chillies, curry leaves and black cardamom pods. Heat gently until fragrant.
Add onions and cook on medium heat until slightly caramelised.
Add pork mixture and cook, stirring to avoid it sticking, until spice mixture turns colour and pork pieces are “sealed”
Add enough water to cover pork mixture, simmer on medium heat for 1 hour – 1.5hours until pork is tender.


Garnish with coriander and serve with plain or turmeric rice and salads.