20 April 2011

Crunchy prawns with korma dipping sauce

Every once in a while, there is a dish from a restaurant that sticks with me. One evening, about 8 years ago in Melbourne, I dined with my husband at Circa at 'The Prince' in St Kilda. It was fairly soon after it had opened, and it was still well and truly in its hey-day, a food style-leader in Melbourne, and in fact Australia. That night, among other things, I had a prawn dish, with the most perfectly crisp and delicious casing - knaffe pastry. 

Just recently I purchased Suzanne Husseini's new cookbook, and what did I find in there? Prawns with knaffe pastry. Hers are with orange and lemon rind and stuffed with almonds, and they are amazing. Of course, I can't put her recipe here, so I brainstormed a little - I really enjoyed the sweetness of the almonds with the sweetness of the prawn flesh, and that got me thinking about korma.

Korma is a curry sauce that is made with a cream and nut base - either almonds or cashews. But as far as I'm concerned, the almonds just don't cut it for this sauce - cashews are far creamier. Most of the work is done in the blender, so it's super easy to cook.

For the Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup of cashews
  • 1 large carrot, diced roughly
  • 1 large onion, diced roughly
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup of tinned tomato or passata
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup of cream

  1. whizz all items except the bottom two in a blender
  2. simmer covered on the stove for about 25 minutes, stirring intermittently
  3. Add the final two ingredients, combine well over heat, then serve with prawns.

For the prawns:

  • Knaffe Pastry - about 1/3 of a packet
  • 20 large prawns - peeled and deveined - if you want to use these as a snack, leave the tails on.
  • rind of one lemon, grated
  1. in a bowl, rub lemon rind into prawns, then taking a small amount of pastry (about 10 threads, long), wrap the prawn around and around from tip to tail. 
  2. deep-fry at a fairly hot temperature - the prawns only take about 2-3 minutes each to cook. 
  3. Serve with curry dipping sauce and eat while hot!

Notes on cooking:
The korma sauce is a child-friendly favourite in my house, and so I tend to make up great quantities without the chilli and freeze it. Then I take it out of the freezer and add it to pan-fried chicken breast fillet and frozen peas and serve it with rice. In fact, the night I made these prawns, I served them as a main course with rice and a broccoli salad. The carrot is not a traditional ingredient, but I practice a game in my house called "hide the veggies", and I have found that it is also useful in adding colour to the sauce. The spice mix can be played with, and you might even find a garam masala mix on the supermarket shelf that is similar to the flavours I have used. 

When you are left with remaining knaffe pastry, make baclava!


  1. Ohhhh this look YUMMYYY....i got her book and tried a few recipes. Winner. will def try this.

  2. ah ha! when you mentioned the knafe wrapped prawns in the baklava post, I immediately thought of the pic I'd seen in Suzanna Husseini's book! Great to see you've tested out that recipe...God, I could have a bucket of these drowning in korma sauce right about now.

  3. how did i miss theze sarah....they looked awesome. I wasn't aware you werent allowed to publish recipes from books on the web?

  4. Nope. Copyright. You can ask the author, and if they approve, it's fine. Otherwise you have to tweak it and make it your own.


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