Sometimes we crave for a dish that we have tasted long ago somewhere. At least I do that often 🙂 In most cases, I also remember the ‘where’ and ‘when’. Yeah I am a little weird like that. I remember what some folks would call as ‘trivial’, unimportant details such as what dress I was wearing that one day 15 years ago when I visited my aunt’s place or what dish were served at a family party 10 years ago. So last week, when I saw the picture of prawn masala on a FB page, I was instantly reminded of this spicy prawns dish that my uncle would make sometimes when he visited us.
I was a teenager around then and I was already very interested in cooking. This uncle of mine was my best buddy – you see he was a bachelor all his life until he passed away two years ago. So we got along great and I would always tag behind him everywhere. So we started with going to the fish market to buy fresh jumbo size prawns. And then I helped him with the chopping, roasting and powdering spices etc. And I stood next to him absorbing every bit of culinary advice that he had to offer! This uncle of mine whom I loved to death was unlike any ‘normal’ person. He had an interesting personality. He was an artist after all – unconventional, reckless, ‘rebel’ sort of. So of course, when it came to cooking too there was no one recipe that he would adhere to. Just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Whatever spices he felt a particular fancy for on that day would go into the pan. He was sort of a ‘minimalist’ and believed in simple, fresh ingredients. Whatever he did, he would always finish with a drizzle of pure coconut oil on the top and some fresh curry leaves. And he was always able to create magic in the kitchen every single time he cooked – the dishes were all ‘out of this world’! I remember him making really ‘gourmet style dishes and we would come up with interesting names for those like ‘ black chicken’, ‘white chicken’ and other similar interesting ones! How I wish now that I had done some note taking those days.!
Anyways, so that’s what happened to me last week – I went down memory lane to reminisce about my dear uncle and his shrimp dishes and I had to create one. So drawing from my memory, I tried to re-create his ‘prawn roast’. In kerala ‘prawn roast’ or ‘egg roast’ or ‘chicken roast’ are dishes which are spicy and dry in nature – just spicy masala without a wet gravy. The technique is important here. First cooking the shrimp without any water and then sautéing the cooked shrimp with other ingredients.
How I miss you dear maaman. I am grateful for all these wonderful memories. I couldn’t taste this shrimp since I am on a restrictive anti-inflammatory food diet to control my RA. However, without question all this reminiscing and consequently creation of this recipe was very well received by my family 🙂
Bringing this spicy shrimp dish to Throwback Thursday where my rice noodles and chicken curry was a feature last week! Yay! Also Linking to Fiesta Friday this week where Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Scarlett @ Unwed Housewife are co-hosts this week.