{Gilberts Prawn Curry + Fruit & Nut Pilau}

We love a curry around here, I've made another one today, a beef massaman with spuds and carrots and it'll be finished off at dinner time with some peanuts and coriander, yum, its so good I keep sneaking mouthfuls of it, fingers crossed there's enough in the pot to last out the day!

This prawn curry belongs to a delightful character called Gilbert, I came across Gilbert while watching an online SBS series called Harvest. Its about a group of residents who live in an apartment complex with a bad reputation who start a community garden which in turn heals the residents and brings them together.  They are lovely stories, all of them tinged with sadness but they are real stories and all of those involved have a gentleness about them and the love they share for growing and sharing food is inspiring.  

Gilberts prawn curry was taught to him by his mum, its delicious and as long as your little people like prawns it's kid friendly too, it is a gentle, softly spoken curry, just like Gilbert.

..the paste
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp chilli powder (could reduce for kids)
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ginger
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup water

...the curry
1 red onion
6 tbsp peanut oil or ghee
1 tsp turmeric
6 medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
400ml coconut milk
1 kg prawns, preferably with tails on
- Gilbert used cooked prawns but I used raw
bunch of fresh coriander

In a small bowl, add all the ingredients for the paste and stir to combine.

Chop the onion into halves and roughly slice.  Over a medium flame add the ghee or oil and when hot, add the slices of onions. When they begin to brown, add the turmeric, cook for a few more minutes, stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add the paste to the pan, and cook for a few minutes and keep stirring. Add roughly chopped tomatoes and bay leaves, coconut milk and stir and cook for five minutes then add the prawns and cook till they turn pink (or if you use cooked prawns like Gilbert just til they are warmed thru).  Sprinkle over the coriander.

...the pilau
1 cup basmati rice
1 medium-sized red onion, halved, finely sliced
4 tbsp peanut oil
1 cup mixed dried fruit and nuts (a mix of peanuts, cashews, walnuts and sultanas)
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves

Wash the rice and leave soaking in a saucepan of water for 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-based pan with a lid. Add the onions and fry until starting to brown, remove onions from pan, leaving the residual oil behind.

Add the nuts, dried fruit and cinnamon to the pan, and gently fry. Drain the rice and add to pan, stirring well.

Add the turmeric, salt, bayleaves, 2 cups of warm water and the cooked onions to the pan.

Cover the rice with a lid and simmer gently for about 12 minutes or until water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Turn off the stove and remove lid when done. Cover the rice with a clean tea towel. Replace the lid and set aside until ready to eat. (The tea towel absorbs any moisture that may collect under the lid.)


  1. I've just pinned this. Prawns are a special treat here, not living anywhere near the water. Looks good, and I do love a recipe with a good story.

  2. Blimey - what a beautiful combination. I have a soft spot for fruit and nut (mostly in chocolate) so to find a savoury alternative...yum.

    Nina x


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