Kolambi Masala

250gm big prawns shelled and deveined
½ tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
For the gravy
2 tbsp vegetable oil
10 curry leaves
1 tsp green paste
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp chilli powder (Add a little less or more if you prefer)
1 tbsp strong kokam water
Pinch of sugar
50mls coconut milk (It's easier to use Maggi coconut milk powder)
Fresh coriander for garnish
For the spice powder
4 dried red chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds
1" cinnamon stick
4 cloves
5 pepper cones
1 star anise
1 tbsp coriander seeds
4 green cardamom (seeds only)
2 black cardamom (seeds only)
For the paste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion finely sliced
25 gms fresh grated coconut
25 gms dry kopra
Place the prawns in a bowl. Add turmeric and salt. Mix well and set aside while
you make the spice powder and paste.
Heat a small frying pan and roast all the spice powder ingredients for 7-10
minutes on a low heat. Stir every few minutes until they start to release their
aroma and change colour. Cool and grind to a fine powder.
To make the paste, heat oil in a frying pan. Fry the sliced onion on medium heat
for 7-10 minutes. As it starts to turn light brown add the grated coconut and
grated kopra. Fry for 12-15 minutes stirring frequently. The coconut will start to
change colour to a light brown as well. Turn the heat off. Cool the mix and add to
a blender with some water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
To make the curry, heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add half the curry
leaves letting them splutter for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry on a

medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Once it turns brown, add the green paste and fry.
Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes till it softens. Add
the spiced powder along with the chilli powder and stir well frying for a couple of
minutes till the oil clears. At this stage add the coconut paste and fry for 15-20
minutes till the mixture thickens and releases oil from the sides of the pan.
Now tip in the prawns and cook and simmer for 5-10 minutes until they start to
turn opaque and get cooked. Add the kokam water, sugar and check for
seasoning. Also add the coconut milk and the remaining curry leaves. Simmer for
a further minute. Turn the heat off garnish with fresh coriander & lemon juice.
Serve with a choice of Indian bread or steamed rice.
Notes:


50 gms of freshly grated coconut can be used instead of 25 gms of fresh
coconut and 25 gms of kopra.
1 tsp of ginger-garlic paste can be used instead of 1 tsp of green paste
The same gravy can be used to make chicken or mutton as well. But in
that case, the meat needs to be marinated with turmeric, red chilli powder
and ginger garlic paste.