Andhra is supposed to be the spiciest state in India. So most of the NV dishes are all spiced up to the core. Andhra style prawn/shrimp curry is no different. Usually the dry spices like cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, cloves are not accompanied with the Seafood varieties. But this prawn dish is an exception. It gets its unique spice flavour from the crushed cinnamon and cloves. Also a generous amount of ginger garlic paste makes this dish a real spice of Andhra.
Growing up mom never use to make it so spicy. she never added the garam masala powder and sometimes even omitted the GG paste. So I used to taste this special prawns curry sometimes in take outs or restaurants. I remember one such occasion where the taste of this prawn curry had left its memory with me..
Here I tried to duplicate that taste...
2 lb shrimp or prawns - medium size, deshelled, deveined
2 Tbsp oil (Vegetable/Canola/Sunflower)
2 large tomatoes or 1 cup tomato puree
2 large onions finely chopped
5 -6 green chillies slit
12-15 curry leaves
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
2 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp turmeric power
1 tsp finely crushed cinnamon + cloves or garam masala powder
1/2 cup finely chopped coriander leaves.
Salt to taste
Place the cleaned shrimp/prawn in a bowl and add enough salt, turmeric and chilly powder.
Allow to marinate for 5 - 10 min.
In a Kadai/pot, heat oil add the seasoned prawns and saute till prawn smell is gone and a wonderful aroma starts to come, the prawns are almost cooked here...
Remove from the kadai and keep aside.
Add more oil to the kadai and after the oil heats ups, add the crushed cinnamon + cloves, saute' till nice aroma is smelled.
Add cut onions, green chillies, curry leaves, and saute' till onions are fried and cooked fully.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute till raw smell is gone.
Add crushed tomatoes and cook till smell changes.
Add red chilly powder, salt and cook till oil leaves the thick gravy.
Add the sauteed prawns and mix well to coat them with the masala evenly.
Add a bit of garam masala powder now.
Once the red color is achieved, and the gravy is very thick sticking the prawns add the finely chopped coriander leaves and remove from heat.
Serve with hot rice and sambar.
This prawn curry dry is best accompanied with sambar though you can just mix the thick gravy with plain hot rice.