Prawn Khichadi (Pulav/Pilaf/Poolav)

This is NOT just a  recipe,it’s a Family Heirloom passed down from generations and cooked with great relish by my mother-in-law and her mum who is now 82 years old and still can stir up a some to-die-for finger licking dishes !

But before I start off rattling the ingredient list , a ”slice” of some history about the origin of this rice and prawn union.Coastal cuisine in the western Indian state of Maharashtra relished by the Maharahstrian community relies heavily on the use of all versions of the coconut , the most potent form being as part of the goda masala. This and of course the abundant availability fresh sea food has given birth to many delicacies many of which most are age-old like this dish.

It’s also my prized comfort food and guarantees a great Sunday afternoon nap 🙂 and will ensure your crowned kitchen queen and master chef of all things nice hehehehe

Ok here goes, the ingredient list – This dish serves 2 adults for 2 meals with 2 generous helpings each and leftovers for the next day.

  1. Prawns or Koolambi as they are called in Marathi – 500gm
  2. Plain rice – I use basmati , I use 2.5 cup measures of my rice cooker measure
  3. Bay leaves -3-4
  4. ”Goda” Masala
  5. Tumeric Powder
  6. Red Chilli powder
  7. Half a slice
  8. Cooking Oil
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Ginger and Garlic Paste
  11. Wet coconut grated and make a fine puree with it – the wet coconut is available as a frozen product at any Indian Grocery store – use about a handful.
  12. Two Large red onions finely sliced
  13. Cinnamon (Dalchini)- 3-4 large bits
  14. Few cloves
  15. Green Masala – Use a bunch or coriander and 2 green chillies and give them a spin in the mixer , store this fine paste in the freezer and use as and when needed, it’s one of the most basic marination masala’s in most Maharashtrian non veg dishes especially sea food.

Method:

  1. On a pan on low heat saute one finely chopped onion and the fresh wet grated coconut till the onions starts to caramelise, after this cools give it a spin in the mixer and make a fine paste.
  2. Marinate the washed rice in some the above wet grated coconut and onion paste,some goda masala, a squeeze of half of a lime,salt ,ginger & garlic paste and some Cinnamon. Keep Aside.
  3. De-vein Prawns , wash under tap water and marinate with red chilli powder,turmeric and green masala.
  4. Take oil in a vessel and saute the marinated prawns for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Heat Oil in a vessel big enough to cook the rice and prawns together that will hold the water as well , add the cloves , remaining cinnamon and one very finely chopped red onion, add the marinated rice and stir it , do this on a low flame .
  6. Then add the marinated prawns and water , for rice dishes water is always double the measure of the rice used so for 2.5 cup measures of rice use 5 cups of water.
  7. Cover and cook on a low flame.
  8. Serve piping hot with curd or pickle .
  9. I generally serve this with a spicy Curry.

Spicy Curry

In a pan heat some oil and add asafoetida one pinch , add puree of 2-3 large red onions and one tomato and puree of 1 handful of wet grated coconut , season with red chilli powder , turmeric,salt, green masala, goda masala and cook on a low flame with enough water to ensure a thick curry , Amp up the red chilli powder and green masala to your level of tolerance of spicy food !

Do let me know via comments if any of you made this dish and what you though of the recipe !

P.S: Forgive the poor image quality , I have a Simple Canon Camera which I am unable to use too well  and add to that the total lack of any photography skills but well the food   tasted awesome :), that’s what counts right , hehhe!

Update in 2013

A few days after I published this recipe ,A gifted me my first DSLR Camera – a shiny new Canon 600DS and I’ve been clicking away like a happy bunny ever since 🙂

To my absolute delight he helped me add a new lens to my kit and gifted me a 50mm f 1.8 lens this year on my birthday.It’s great for close up food shots and true to it’s reviews it works well in low light conditions.

Here’s an example:

The image below is from my kit lens where am struggling to fit everything in frame and focus on the prawns, I have sharpened the image,adjusted light and cropped it using Picasa 3.

Ingredients for Prawn Khichadi with old lends

 

Now see the difference in the image below, I love how the prawns are in sharp focus and how am able to easily adjust and fit everything in the viewfinder.I have adjusted light and sharpened the image very slightly, I am truly pleased with the results 🙂

prawn khichadi with new lens

bay leaves n cinnamon in pan

prawns sautee with khichadi spices

 

prawn khichadi plated n styled

 

To learn Food Photography and hone your skills ,why not join in the Bloggers Buzz Photography Club? I have been to two sessions and there’s a celebrity blogger to give expert advice after each session for the assignment. It’s a fun learning experience! Click here for details!

Experiments with Food Photography

Inspiration for posting some Splendid recipes from the  secret closet of my mind or some hand me downs from my mother , mother in law ,grand mother or a close friend have been waiting to come onto this blog , but I have been lazy , though now it is time , so I have decided to bombard my readers with these rocking recipes that can add some serious fun to your kitchen adventures !

I know that at times it takes a lot to inspire one to get out of a rut and get there , so I take these food pictures from time to time to keep looking at whenever I need a little nudge !

Hope they work their magic on those hidden culinary desires inside you as do so work their magic on me !

P.S: I shall keep adding pics as and when I get to click some yummy images,slurrpp !

Olympics 2012 Hightened Excitement !

Didn’t want this blog post to languish in my drafts folders , I wrote it on the day I saw the Olympic Flame at Ealing Broadway- 24th July 2012 Tuesday ,ALSO wanted to post pcitures of the 2 Olympic events and blog about the excitement surrounding the Games,so had to start somewhere……

I was relatively unaffected by all the BUZZ surrounding the Games,almost immune in a way , but I guess what turned things around almost 360 degrees inside my brain was watching the Olympic Flame along with a large crowd ….

On the 23rd Monday the flame was set to pass by through Wimbledon , I did manage to just catch a glimpse and was rather disappointed as the crowds moved off and I didn’t get any pictures. So with steely determination and a purpose in mind I set off the next day to see the flame near Ealing Broadway .

I set off early, the weather was unusually amazing , the sun was shining brightly ,in fact a bit too bright for me as I spent over 2 hours toasting under the direct heat just to watch the flame pass by .

But if ever there is a shared experience with a bunch of strangers that I shall cherish then it is this … and of course in the next 2 days am off to see some events at 2 different venues , but this particular experience makes me go all quite and i can replay the scenes in my mind over and over again ….

The crowds had just begun to get in and throng the sidewalks leading to a public park close to the Ealing Broadway station, I stood at one such sidewalk , thanking my stars that I had arrived early and had found space to lean against a railing . I had for company a primary school teacher who was very nice and chatty (thank god !)and a rather grumpy looking lady on my right who wasn’t too pleased by my arrival as she had to ”make space ” for me on the railing , sigh, it takes all types to make the world now doesn’t it ?

No sooner had I settled and Ms.Teacher and me were discussing the current political situation , that there was a large influx of crowds , the Sun decided to turn up the heat by several notches and a large group of police men and women started patrolling the streets .

The first sign that the torch bearers were to arrive ! yay !

An old lady then came and I quickly helped her squeeze in next to me (on my right of course 😉 !!!) , she was very , very ,well, very chatty 😉 but very sweet all the same, then came along 2 boys aged 9 and 6 ,extremely fidgety and with their old aunt and decided that Ms.Tecaher and me were perfect people to chat with , so as they enlightened us about how the world appears to them and their opinion about almost anything , we started taking it all in.

Vendors hopeful of selling BG flags, balloons and all other bits and bobs were trying their best to tempt their wares .

At this point I really thought I would faint and was so grateful for The Metro I had picked up earlier at the tube station , it was my cap and was my shield   from the Sun and it’s persistent HOT HOT HOT presence.

Loads of cars and buses kept passing by the road making me wonder how the cops would manage the crowds and the other vehicles of the sponsors that were to pass by as they headed towards the public park for the evening celebrations – a mass public party so to speak !

Let me count down the minutes to when the flame actually arrived by way of sharing the pictures I clicked …

It is an event that celebrates human spirit and brings together the world like no other and what better way to make bring closer to the people of GB, than giving us all a chance to be a part of the Games if only as spectators to watch the flame pass us by ….For this chance am ever so grateful and I know this is a memory I shall cherish forever and share with all my loved ones as I have shared with you