Every so often -- generally in fall and winter -- I get a mean hankering for a thick, spicy curry. With the cooler weather we've had this week, it definitely feels as though autumn is just around the corner, and my body was craving stick-to-the-ribs comfort food.
A while ago I swapped cookbooks with one of my girlfriends -- I lent her two of my Giadas (Everyday Italian, Giada's Family Dinners) and she lent me one of her Nigellas, Nigella Express, recommending a few of the recipes inside including the Red Prawn and Mango Curry. Taking a look at the ingredients, which included cubed butternut squash and sweet potato, I decided I didn't want quite as much starch -- it is still August, after all -- so I subbed in zucchini, red pepper, and sugar snap peas. And rather than fresh coriander as the garnish, I finished the dish with whole basil leaves snipped from my balcony pots (Why buy herbs when you can use what you already have on hand?).
It was so satisfying. Shrimp and mango go together so nicely, and the heat of the curry was balanced by the creaminess of the (full-fat) coconut milk. Serving this over basmati or jasmine rice would've been nice but I happened to have some black rice on hand (from Rube's at St. Lawrence Market) so I used that. The only time I'd ever had black rice, sometimes referred to as forbidden rice, before was years ago at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in New York City's Lower East Side. It was served in a coconut milk-rich dish that also featured shrimp and fresh basil, so tonight's meal was somewhat reminiscent of that one. If you can get your hands on black rice, it adds an interesting visual element to a dish, and it's reportedly high in antioxidants. It's also very tasty.
Red Prawn and Mango Curry
Adapted from Nigella Express
1 tbsp safflower oil (or any flavourless oil)
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 tbsp red Thai curry paste (or according to taste)
1 400mL can coconut milk
250 mL chicken stock
2 tsp fish sauce
1 red pepper, cored and thinly sliced
A couple handfuls of sugar snap peas
1 zucchini, diced
12 jumbo prawns, peeled and deveined
1 tsp lime juice
1 mango, diced
Fresh basil leaves for garnish
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Fry the onion until soft, then add the curry paste.
Whisk in the coconut milk, chicken stock and fish sauce and bring to the boil.
Tip in the red pepper, sugar snap peas and zucchini and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
Tumble the prawns into the pan, letting the sauce come back to the boil. When it does, add the lime juice and diced mango and cook for another minute or until the prawns are cooked through.
Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve over rice.