Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Prawn Balti

For years I was so anti-curry. Didn't like the spice, the taste, the texture, anything! So I decided to teach myself how to make a curry...and now I can't get enough of them! This is one of my favourites, my Prawn Balti.

Serves 2
400g Frozen Prawns
Tin of Coconut Milk
300g Basmati Rice
1 tbsp of Balti Paste
1 White Onion
Bunch of Coriander
3 Red Chillies
2 Naan Bread (what's a curry without a Naan?!)

I don’t have nearly enough time, patience or money to go around hunting for Fenugreek or Kaffir Lime Leaves, so I’d recommend buying a few jars of different curry pastes, instead of muscling away at a pestle and mortar. They last for ages, are relatively cheap and are extremely versatile! Your guests will most probably have different tolerances to spice, so I’d also recommend making a mild curry with a little heat, but leaving a small bowl of chopped chillies around so people can customize their own dish, this adds to the fun too!
Get your kettle on, pop the oven on at 200c, get a small pan for rice on the back burner on a medium heat, and your big frying pan on the front on quite a high heat. Once your kettle has boiled, pour 600ml of water into the small pan, add your rice and a pinch of salt. NEVER stir your rice. Drag through it with a fork. If you do stir it, your rice will be more like a sludgy pudding and not nice and fluffy. If you have a cardamom pod, pop this in too!

Finely chop up your onion and throw this in the frying pan with a little oil and the curry paste. Straight away, drop the temperature down to a medium high. Once the onions are nice and soft put your prawns in. Prawns are very delicate and you never want to undercook these, so you’re better giving them longer on a slightly lower heat. Once the prawns have gone a little tough and they’re completely opaque, they’re cooked!
Empty your tin of coconut milk into a mixing bowl. I found that if you whisk the milk first and get everything the same consistency, you’ll get a much creamier and smoother curry! Once this is done, pour this into your frying pan with the prawns, onions and balti paste, mix together, and let it blip away for a while.
Get your Naans out, (again I would love to have a lifestyle that gave me enough time to make these, but I don’t, and most likely, neither do you!) sprinkle with a tiny handful of water on both sides and get them at the top of the oven. If you want to get the kids involved, get them to sprinkle the Naans with water, their hands are the right size!

Once they start to crisp the tiniest bit, flip them over and they’re half way done already.
Now, try the rice out, if it’s just the right texture, you’re ready to go!
Drain this with a sieve and serve between your two dishes.
Split the Prawn Balti, between you (no cheating, half the prawns each!), roughly chop up the coriander and chillies and customise your dishes. Get the Naans out of the oven and you’re ready to tuck in!

Thanks again for reading, this dish genuinely means a lot to me and was the first curry i ever cooked! If you have any questions, comments, tips or tweaks for of from your own recipe, please leave comments below!


  1. Dan, a good tip for the rice is .75 cup of rice is 2 servings. Add 1.5 cups of water. cover the pan and let the water come to the boil then simmer. Correct don't stir the rice but leave it to gently steam. When the water is all but gone the rice is cooked to perfection. No need to drain.