Saturday, April 4, 2009

Jharkhand Shrimps in Mandarin Curry

The idea originated in Ranchi. Mommie-in-law got hold of these huge, extremely well fed prawns (nope I didn't particularly inquire into what they were feeding on) and made them Chinese style. Naturally, when I found matching sized ones (in Bangalore) I couldn't help but try to replicate the Jharkand Mandarin curry, though technically mine spoke Kannada.

We had our whole evening and extended evening planned around the shrimps - Sushi and I. First, there was to be vodka/beer for him and her. Beer we stuck to the standard, but replaced Smirnoff with Fuel. I have gone about telling folks since then that Fuel is "much much smoother", but honestly, I just found the bottle really cool - shaped like a 3D trapezoid and with tape measure markings down the front. 'Course there was "chakna" to go with the drinks in the shape of mutton Kebabs..frozen and only needing a couple of minutes in the microwave.

At this point, the shrimps were to make their entry, we planned on cleaning and putting them to marinate "whilst" we polished off our appetizers and drinks. We had counted without the newly purchased game of Lexicon though, which we thought it might be a good idea to try out in this whole party for two scene.

See, Sushi and I can't play any game online or offline without sledging each other to the point of fisticuffs..and that is where the whole dinner schedule went awry. Picture this, we are a vodka and beer down each, he's questioning the existence of a word called "lug" and I'm challenging him to officially challenge it and suddenly our tummies give a tiny rumble each in unison.

That's when we decide the time was ripe to give the prawns their bath. A tip though, it aint enuf to simply scrub them well and wash 'em ..u must pull out the black nerve that runs down where their spine should have been. If not, you get this strange crunching sound under your teeth when devouring, which is quite unsettling.

Then comes the marination, simply slather them in lots of g-g paste and vinegar and salt and let them be for the next half an hour or so and return to your game of lexicon.

10 p.m.
We play on. I am ready to clinch it with "SNOB" and am holding my cards with barely suppressed glee. That's when he finishes it with "US". Aaaarrrghhhhh!

10:45 p.m.
It's past the time strictly needed for marination, but we have resolved our Lexicon differences. We are focused on the task at hand - to coat the shrimps in a layer of egg. For that, you need to knock their shells off taking care to not let the white and yellow run away. A good plan would be to have a little bowl in position before you set about de-shelling the eggs. The you swirl the whole thing around with a fork so the yellow is indistinguishable from the white. After that you let the shrimps swim in it for a bit before taking them out and frying them in a pan. The remaining egg may be poured over the frying prawns, doesn't hurt the dish but adds to the thickness of the curry...mandarin curry.

At this point, you should have a lot of garlic, ginger, green chili chopped and ready to be thrown into any empty utensil that happens to be standing around. Okay..lemme slow down a bit. I am now talking of making the curry. For that you grab a utensil - pot/pan/ whatever..remember, time's getting on? Well, then you put the pot/pan/whatever on fire (on the stove), pour in a wee bit o' oil (butter might be nice too if you are in a reckless mood), then throw in the afore-mentioned garlic-ginger-chili. When it starts to grow golden (it does by the time you have located the sauces), you pour in some soya sauce, and ketchup and..I donno...Worcestershire ..more the merrier, that's the point. Then it might be necessary to dilute with some water, pinch of sugar, some salt, the pot/pan/whatever starts bubbling a bit and you are done ..well almost. This is where you put in the fried shrimps into the curry...and yeah, now you are done.

My curry looks a bit translucent, where mommie-in-law's had been on the opaque side and pinkish in colour. I suspect that might have been because she used g-g paste instead of the chopped g-g + chili. And the pink might have been some play with the ketchup.
Anyway, if you check the time stamp on the pic below, you'd know why we don't have a detailed analysis of the discrepancies.

Yep! we are missing soup bowls.


  1. Similar treatment of Tiger Prawns is something we can try out. And, btw, you forgot to mention that I won 2 out of the 3 games during our Lexicon session! HAHAHA!

  2. Wha..? I don remember nothing!

  3. You lost Scrabble :-o