King prawn curry with wild rice
- Serves: 4
- Preparation time: 15 minutes
- Cooking time: 30 minutes
- Total time: 45 minutes
- 400g/16oz uncooked king pawns
- 2 large white onions, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 3 small fresh chillies, finely chopped
- A handful of fresh coriander
- 1 can (400g/16oz) chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups of rice
- ¼ tube tomato puree
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- Naan breads (As a side dish)
- A handful of garden peas to add to the curry
This has to be the meal I cook most often, it's my go to when I have hungry people to feed at short notice. It's usually my counter to demands or desires for a takeaway, and always goes down well.
This meal strikes a good balance between home cooking and convenience, I use a few shortcuts to save time and expense - but not to the detriment of taste.
I am a big fan of frozen king prawns, in the UK they are almost always on offer and can be bought for £2/$4 for a 200g bag. These can be bought in bulk and kept in the freezer until needed.
The fresh chillies determine the heat of the dish, one will add a kick but should be mild, two will make a medium heat and three or more will make for a very hot curry - especially if you use something like naga chillies - I myself use (And grow!) apache chillies on my kitchen window and use those. Everyone has their own threshold for heat, but please be conscientious of your guests an note it's easy to make it hotter but very difficult to cool it down - so take it easy!
I would also like to draw your attention to rice; rice is usually regarded as something so basic that any will do - but that couldn't be more wrong. A quality basmati, brown or wild rice has a big impact on the nutritional value and the taste of this meal.
My preference is a mixture of wild and basmati rice as; basmati looks too plain and lacks the nutritional benefits of wild rice. Brown rice I find has quite a strong earthy flavour, looks bland and is not to everyone's taste. Wild rice tastes great, but again can take some getting used to and the grains are distinctive - it's also quite expensive – so I find a mix of wild and basmati rice works best.
The king prawns should have the shell removed and be de-veined if fresh, if frozen they should be thoroughly defrosted, if you are short of time put then in a bowl of cold water to defrost quicker.
- Peel and dice the onion then cut and dice the bell pepper in to small strips and place both in to a bowl.
- Remove the top of each chilli, half lengthways then finely chop the chillies – including the seeds and leave them on the chopping board.
- Put the rice in to a saucepan and cover with 2cm/1in of cold water and bring to the boil then simmer. The rice should take about 20-25 minutes to cook.
- Whilst the rice is cooking, place the onions and bell peppers in to a pan on the hob with a splash of oil (I use olive or groundnut oil) and cook at a medium heat until the onions start to soften.
- Next add the uncooked king prawns and the chopped chillies straight to this pan and cook together until the king prawns go pink.
- Mix one and half teaspoons of the curry paste base with the king prawns and vegetables – I myself use a Jalfrezi or a Bhuna base which works well. Add the green peas if desired.
- Once the curry paste has mixed in add the chopped tomatoes, a dollop of tomato puree to keep the thickness, and the coriander. Cover and leave to simmer on a medium/low heat.
- The rice is ready when all the water has boiled away an been absorbed. If timed right you won't get burned rice and you won't need to rinse it either through a colander. Just before the rice is ready switch off the heat on the pan cooking the curry and let it cool and thicken.
- Empty the rice in to a colander and let any remaining water drain away – but don't rinse it.
- Plate it up and serve with a naan bread and a pinch of coriander.