Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking times: 25 minutes
200 gms prawns, cleaned and de-veined
150 gms shallots, sliced
1 small onion
2 green chillies
2 garlic cloves
1 ½ inch long ginger
2 tbsp chopped coconut pieces
1 ½ tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp pepper
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 dried red chillies
½ tsp mustard seeds
3 tbsp coconut oil
2 sprigs of curry leaves
¼ cup coconut milk (coconut milk powder mix, as it will be more stable to cook with)
Salt for taste
Wash, clean and devein the prawns.
Chop the shallots, onion, ginger, garlic, and green chillies into small pieces and keep aside.
Pound the black pepper in a mortar and pestle and keep aside.
Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a “Manchatti” or thick bottom pan. Splutter the mustard seeds in it.
Toss in the chopped coconut and sauté for two minutes. Then add the chopped ginger, garlic, green chillies, and a sprig of curry leaves. Also, add dried red chillies in small pieces. Sauté all these together for a minute over a medium flame.
Add the chopped shallots, onion and sauté. Add salt to taste. Sauté until the shallots turn light golden brown. It takes approximately 10 minutes.
Add turmeric powder and mix well. Then add the chopped tomatoes. Cook till tomato becomes soft. It takes approximately three minutes
Then add red chilli powder and sauté for a few seconds over a low flame or until the raw smell goes away.
Add prawns and mix well with the masala.
Add half a cup of water and cook with the lid covered for about 4 minutes.
Add 1 tsp of pepper powder and mix well.
Add ¼ cup of coconut milk. Cook for two minutes over a medium flame with the lid covered.
(For a thick gravy, continue cooking uncovered.)
Making the Kizhi
Take a banana leaf, and warm it gently on a pan over a low flame to prevent it from tearing.
Transfer the prawn masala to the leaf. Tie the top edges of the leaf together with a thread or with the plantain fibre in the shape of a ‘Kizhi’ or pouch or bag.
Heat a ‘Manchatti’ or pan and pour one tsp of coconut oil. Place the ‘Kizhi’ in the pan and roast with the lid covered for about 5 minutes over a medium flame. As the leaf browns and softens, the dish is ready to serve.
Recipe courtesy: Sobha Varghese is a homemaker based in Mumbai, India. Sobha runs a popular YouTube blog called ‘Sobha's Kitchenette’ that focuses on authentic and traditional Kerala recipes