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25/10/ 2011 Prawn curry-off!

I mentioned last week that my newest cook book (Comfort and Spice - Niamh Shields) had a tempting sounding prawn curry recipe in it.  I also mentioned that my family have a tried and tested prawn curry recipe that my Dad has been making for about 40 years!  He got the recipe when he attended a cookery course when he was at college and was given an Indian cookbook by the lady who gave the class, it has been one of our family staples and I’ve very fond memories associated with it……

Well, last night I put the two recipes to the test and cooked them side by side – putting our family’s good name on the block, all in the name of research.  Oh, the pressure.  So, it is now with a heavy heart that I have to report that we lost! I’m in still in shock.  But the result was unanimous with all two of us judges agreeing that Niamh Shields’ recipe just pipped us at the post.

On a happier note, BOTH curries were fabulous and there’s definitely a placed for both of them in my life (phew), and I’ve included both recipes below.


The ingredient list for my Dad’s curry is quite short, with lots of store cupboard ingredients making it very practical. In his 40 years of practice Dad has decided that frozen prawns work the best in this curry, he’s found they give it a much deeper prawny flavour.  More positives are that it’s very quick and very healthy as well if you don’t use as much butter as the recipe.  This tomato based curry is really nice and light and the flavour from the poppy seeds is really unique.

On the other hand Niamh’s recipe will give you a much richer curry – the coconut milk results in a thick and creamy curry which feels quite indulgent.  I have to say, I tasted the sauce before I put the prawns in and I thought Dad had the cook-off in the bag – the final flourish of lemon juice and seasoning really just lifted it to another level though.  I really enjoyrf making this curry as well, I hadn’t got my pestle and mortar out for a while and loved getting stuck in. A deserving winner and a great recipe.
On a final note, I would like to thank my independent judge – star.