My Spice Drawer

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Oliver's Thursday Night Curry with Prawns

Oliver is the son of talented artist duo Anna Gustafson and Paul Burke of Blue Horse Gallery on Salt Spring Island. He comes by his cooking talents honestly ... everyone in the family is a brilliant cook! He sent me this recipe to inspire you to break out the curry any night of the week!

 1/2 tsp asafoetida (optional)
 2 tbsp ghee
 1 yellow onion, finely julienned
 1 tsp fine sugar
 Sea salt and black pepper
 4 dried red chilies (optional, for more heat)
 5-6 garlic cloves, crushed
 1 inch thumb ginger, grated
 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
 4 tomatoes, diced
 4 new potatoes, diced
 2 tbsp Moghul Curry
 1 carrot, chopped
 1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
 1 can coconut milk
 1 red pepper, diced
 1 tbsp Punjabi Garam Masala
 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

For the Prawns
 1 tbsp ghee
 20 prawns, shelled and deviened
 1-2 tsp Tunisan Harissa

 Balkan yogurt and Cilantro

Place a heavy bottom pot on high heat, add 1 tbsp ghee then add 1/2 tsp asafoetida and let sizzle for 15 seconds then add the yellow onion. Turn down heat immediately to medium and stir onions so they don't burn. Add the sugar, pinch of salt and some freshly ground pepper. For a hotter curry, crush 4 dried chilies in a mortar and pestle and add to onions (if you want curry hotter add more chilies). Add the crushed garlic and grated ginger and give the pot a stir. Cook down onions for fifteen minutes or so. Keep an eye on the onions and stir to prevent sticking. At about the ten minute mark or when onions start to stick, add 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Turn heat up a little and reduce all liquid to next to dry. At this point the onions should be dark, sticky and slightly sweet. Reduce heat to medium.

When the onions begin to stick again add the diced tomatoes and new potatoes. The potatoes can be rough chopped, but to allow them to be fully cooked they must be no bigger than 1.5 inches. (Potatoes can also be pre-blanched to ensure they get cooked, however this leeches some of the nutrients and so I choose to let them fully cook in the curry.) Stir until juices from tomatoes start to release. Add the carrots, cover and cook for 15 min. Stir occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking

Add the Moghul Curry, stir to combine then add the chick peas and coconut milk. Bring curry to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 45 minutes. The curry is cooked uncovered to allow it to reduce and thicken up. If it is not reduced enough, cook over medium heat for another 10-15 minutes. (While the curry is reducing, devein and peel the prawns.) Five minutes before the timer goes off add the red pepper and Punjabi Garam Masala and some rough chopped cilantro.

When timer goes off turn off heat and allow curry to rest. While curry is resting prepare couscous according to package instructions and cook the prawns.
In a frying pan on high heat add 1 tbsp ghee and wait for it to start to smoke, add prawns and 1 tsp Tunisian Harissa (be sure not to inhale the vapours!), cook for 1-2 minutes per side until prawns are just cooked through.

Plate curry over couscous with prawns piled on top. Garnish with dollop of Balkan yogurt and cilantro.