Prawn curry recipe (vatapa)
- Cuisine: Brazilian
- Serves 4
Ingredients110g (¾ cup) roasted salted peanuts
115g (¾ cup) roasted salted cashew nuts
8 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
400ml coconut milk
500ml (2 cups) good-quality fish stock or water
3 garlic cloves
1 lime, juiced, plus extra lime wedges, to serve
1.5kg fresh green prawns, peeled, cleaned
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 long red chillies, seeded, 1 roughly chopped, 1 finely chopped
80ml (⅓ cup) dendê (palm) oil*
Coriander leaves and steamed white rice, to serve
PreparationProcess nuts in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl. Soak bread in 200ml coconut milk for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Process in food processor until smooth.
Bring fish stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Season with salt and pepper, and add 1 garlic clove and lime juice. Add prawns and cook for 5 minutes or until just cooked. Transfer the prawns to a bowl, reserve 1½ cups stock and discard garlic clove and the remaining stock. Wipe the pan clean and reserve.
Process onion, the roughly chopped chilli and the remaining 2 garlic cloves in a food processor until finely chopped.
Heat oil in the reserved pan over medium heat. Cook onion mixture for 5 minutes or until golden. Add ground nuts and cook for a further 2 minutes or until golden, adding more oil, if necessary. Add bread mixture, reserved stock, remaining 200ml coconut milk and 125ml water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Return prawns to pan and cook for 3 minutes or until prawns are heated through. Season, scatter with finely chopped chilli and the coriander, and serve with rice and extra lime wedges.
* Dendê (palm) oil is available from South American and African food shops, and delis. It is used for its distinctive flavour, bright orange colour and ability to be heated to high temperatures. Substitute vegetable oil mixed with 1 tsp ground turmeric.
DRINK Coconut batida – a shaken cocktail with Sagatiba Pure Cachaça (700ml, $50)
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 9, pg74.
Photography by Derek Swalwell.
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De-glazing a pan
Adding liquid (such as stock or water) to a pan where food has been sautéed or roasted will help to dissolve the caramelised juices stuck to the bottom. This is a great way to make gravy as it allows for the flavours of the roast to permeate the sauce.
A protein in flour which, when mixed with water, gives the dough elasticity and strength.