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Dhania Jhinga - Prawns in Green Masala

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Easy, delicious Dhania Jhinga is inspired by South Indian foods and a coastal style of cooking. It is a simple dish but full of fresh flavors and comes together in next to no time - no special chef-like skills or hours of cooking required! My suggestion is not to overcook the prawns/ shrimps as they will then become rubbery. I like to use larger prawns (also known as King Prawns) to cook Dhania Jhinga. Just make sure to clean and devein them completely. Serve Dhania Jhinga as an appetizer by itself - skewered with toothpicks - or as a main dish with hot, freshly made Chapatis.

Ingredients:

  • For the masala: 2 tsps ghee
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp urad daal (yellow lentil)
  • 2 green chillies (optional but desirable, so add more or less depending on how hot you want the dish)
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 1 cup (tightly packed) fresh green coriander
  • 1/2 cup (tightly packed) fresh mint
  • 1/2 fresh coconut grated
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1" piece of ginger
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • The rest: 3 tbsps oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 kg prawns/ shrimps, shelled and deveined
  • 2 tbsps chopped fresh, green coriander to garnish with

Preparation:

  • In a small pan, heat the ghee and then hot add the mustard seeds, curry laves, green chillies and urad daal. all the ingredients will splutter so be very careful. I like to use a splatter cover to prevent accidental burns!
  • Fry till the ingredients stop spluttering and turn darker in color.
  • Remove from the fire and add to the coconut.
  • Add all the other masala ingredients and grind together in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed. Keep aside for later use.
  • Heat the cooking oil in a wok/ kadhai or a deep, heavy bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and fry until they turn pale golden in color.
  • Now add the masala made as above and fry. In a while, the oil will begin to separate from the masala and it will turn fragrant. This could take up to 10 minutes and is an indication that it is cooked. Stir almost constantly as the masala could easily burn. Keep heat on medium.
  • When the masala is ready, add the prawns/ shrimps and stir to coat them completely with the masala. Stir fry for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Plate up or put in serving dish and garnish with chopped fresh, green coriander. Serve immediately with hot Chapatis!

Tip: The green masala paste can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or even frozen for convenient use later.

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