This is a fairly mild curry, but certainly packs enough of a punch to be interesting. It’s more of a peppery heat, rather than a chilli type heat so Korma lovers, don’t fret. Garam Masala is a wonderfully peppery, smoky spice that has an intense complexity to it. Traditionally, it’s a blend of Black Pepper, Cumin Seeds, Cinnamon Sticks, Black Cardamom, Nutmeg and Cloves. Typically, when using this spice, you want to use some at the start once you’ve cooked your onions, to give the peppery, smoky background heat to the curry. Once you’ve finished cooking ensure to add a sprinkling at the end – this last-minute sprinkle gives the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom a chance to shine, ensuring they aren’t lost in the background at the beginning of cooking!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Spices Used: Sweet Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Coriander Seeds, Turmeric (Gunpowder Chest), Garam Masala, Fenugreek (Silk Road Chest).
Appox. 500G raw prawns, it doesn’t matter if you have slightly more or less
3 tbsp Vegetable/sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 cm of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Sweet Paprika
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
½ tsp Turmeric
½ tsp Fenugreek
1 tbsp Garam Masala (plus a little extra for garnishing)
3 small fresh tomatoes, chopped or 2 medium sized
250mls Coconut Milk
1 1/2 tsp salt
Chop your onions, garlic, tomatoes and grate the ginger. Crush the Coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar until powdery.
Add 2 tbsp of oil to a pot. Heat to medium then add the onions. Sweat for a minute before adding the garlic and ginger. Fry for a few minutes, ensuring nothing burns, this is the base for the whole dish so keep a sharp eye on it!
Add the chopped tomatoes and mix. Fry gently for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat (to ensure the spices don’t catch at all when you add them), add the crushed Coriander Seeds Turmeric, Cayenne Pepper, Paprika, Garam Masala and Fenugreek. Mix with all the ingredients already in the pan and bring everything together as one mixture.
Put this mix into a blender and allow to cool for a moment. Add the water and blend until well incorporated into what resembles a loose paste.
Put the paste back into the pot and add another tbsp of oil. Add the Coconut milk and salt, mix until combined with the paste.
Bring this mixture up to a medium heat before adding the prawns. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Serve with some chopped fresh coriander a pinch of garam masala and fragrant basmati rice.
The word Garam means Hot and Masala means mix – therefore Garam Masala essentially translates to ‘Hot Mix’ in English. Bear this in mind when you are making a curry! Understanding the provenance and meaning of words gives you far more insight into what to use the spice mix for and thus more freedom when making your own curries at home! As I said earlier, Garam Masala is a blend of Black Pepper, Cumin Seeds, Cinnamon Sticks, Black Cardamom, Nutmeg and Cloves. You’ll find many producers will chop and change the traditional mixture for some reason, especially with the Cardamom. Black Cardamom is vastly different from Green, providing a far smokier and warmer feel to the blend. You’ll be able to pick up on the difference in complexity when you compare our blend to others as we stick to the authentic blend.