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Prawn Ambot Tik


This delicious Goan curry tastes great with plain steamed or boiled rice. It can also be made with fish or chicken if you so prefer.


  • 1 kg large prawns shelled and deveined
  • 8-10 dry red chillies
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1"piece of ginger
  • Golf ball-sized lump of tamarind
  • 2 medium onions sliced thinly
  • 3 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Soak the tamarind in half a cup of hot water. Keep aside.
  • Heat a griddle or flat pan on a medium flame and gently roast (stirring often) the cumin seeds, peppercorns and dry red chillies till they begin to darken and release a faint aroma. Remove from fire and cool.
  • Heat the oil in a pan on a medium flame and add the onions. Fry till soft and slightly golden.
  • Remove from the fire and mix with the other ingredients (except prawns and tamarind) and grind to a smooth paste in a food processor.
  • Squeeze the soaked tamarind (in the water) with your hand to release the softened pulp. Do this till you have released all the pulp. Strain and keep the juice aside.
  • Put the onion-spice paste back into the pan in which you fried the onions. Fry for 1 minute and add 1 1/2 cups warm water and the tamarind juice. Bring to a boil on a medium flame. Simmer the flame.
  • Add the prawns and cook till done (they will turn from pink to opaque). Do not overcook as they will become rubbery. Season with salt.
  • Serve piping hot with steamed or plain boiled rice or Sannas (steamed Goan rice cakes).
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