Our menu at Kappa Chakka Kandhari, of which this recipe is a part, is a tribute to the food I grew up with and to mothers’ cooking. A mother’s recipe is a pathway to childhood memories. It is created not through well-documented notes, but through spontaneity and estimation.
Prawn Kizhi is a twist on Prawn Peerapattichathu. It evokes the goodness of grated coconut, just as Prawn Peera, but takes things a step further. The prawns are steamed in banana leaf parcels, giving them a distinct flavour and making them attractive to serve.
- 20 small prawns
- 100 gm sliced shallots
- 25 gm ginger, chopped
- 25 gm green chillies, chopped
- 20 gm garlic, chopped
- 25 ml coconut oil
- 1 cup grated coconut
- 2 tbsp Kudampuli water (Malabar kokum soaked in water)
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 strips of curry leaves
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Banana leaves
- Salt to taste
For Prawn Filling
- Wash and clean the prawns well. Marinate with a little turmeric powder, lemon juice, salt and set aside.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds till they crackle. Toss in the shallots, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves, and sauté until the shallots turn soft and transparent.
- Tip in the chilli powder, turmeric powder and pepper. Sauté well.
- Add the marinated prawns and cook till 3/4 done. Mix in the grated coconut and kokum water mix.
- Check the seasoning and remove from fire.
For The Kizhi
- Take 8 medium-sized round-cut banana leaves and blanch gently on the fire.
- Smear a little coconut oil on each leaf and place in it 4 pieces of prawn with the masala.
- Pull together the edges of the banana leaf and tie the top with fibre from the banana stem to form bundles.
- Steam for approximately 10 minutes.
- Serve hot.