When you are nostalgic for a Guyanese meal but you’re far away from home… you just have to dig your heels in and make it yourself!! Spicy prawn curry with coconut milk, jasmine rice, dhal & spinach cooked down in coconut milk.
Curry is not a familiar dish in Haiti. This was quite a departure for me when I first moved here. Indian spices are not easily available and so I would always ask my parents in Guyana to send me geerah, mustard seeds, garam masala, fenugreek and curry powder. My family loves Guyanese- Indian food, so I stock up on my spices when we travel and keep them in ziplock packs in my freezer to keep them fresh. I roast up whole spices and grind them when I need them.
The Indian indentured laborers arrived in the Caribbean British colonies after the abolition of slavery in 1834. Guyana was a British colony and a major sugar producing country in South America. It became the new home for many East Indians who made their way across the Atlantic and remained after their indentureship had been completed.They brought with them their culture and their culinary traditions which are strong and vibrant in our culture today. Curries are a staple in our Guyanese culture and I have a great deal of nostalgia when I prepare them for my family.
Frying up the curry spices.
CURRY PRAWN RECIPE:
3lbs shrimp or prawns shelled and cleaned
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, medium, chopped
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 hot pepper, whole *optional
1 tsp lime juice
2 tamarind pods, optional
3 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 tbsp ketchup
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp oil, canola or vegetable
1 cup coconut milk
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into 8 pieces
1/2 cup water
To season the shrimp, add a tablespoon of my green seasoning, and one tablespoon of soy sauce.
Heat oil in a medium sized deep casserole. Add curry powder, cumin, and salt and fry together for about 3 minutes. Add chopped onions and garlic and mix together in the curry paste. Add shrimp/ prawns and stir fry with the curry mixture for a few minutes until they become pink, but not completely cooked. Remove shrimp from the pot and put aside. Add the chopped tomatoes and potatoes to the pot and cook together with the spices for about 5 minutes.
Add the coconut milk, ketchup, tamarind, whole pepper and 2 tbsp of green herbs. Pour the water and lime juice into the mixture. Cook for about 15 minutes. The potatoes should be tender at this point and the sauce should be reduced. If the potatoes are completely cooked but the sauce has not reduced sufficiently, remove them and allow the liquid to thicken.
Put the sauteed shrimp back into the curry and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp Adjust the salt and black pepper as desired. Sprinkle the remaining chopped parsley and cilantro.
Serve with steamed jasmine or basmati rice