One of the aromas I find very refreshing in this dish is that of fresh curry leaves. Sadly they are not always easy to find. If you can get only dried leaves mix them into the sauce instead of frying them with the prawns. If you cannot find any, the dish will still taste superb without.
For the sauce
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
1/8-1/4 teaspoon chilli powder or to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander
1 fresh hot green chilli, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
200ml (7fl oz) tinned coconut milk, stirred, or single cream
For the prawns
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
3 garlic cloves
10-15 curry leaves
550g (1 ¼ lb) medium-sized, raw, headless prawns, peeled, de-veined and washed
To make the sauce, put the tomato puree in a bowl and add the salt, sugar, garam masala, ground roasted cumin seeds, chilli powder, green coriander, green chilli, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon water. Mix well. Slowly add the coconut milk or cream, mixing as you go. Set aside.
To stir-fry the prawns, peel and finely chop the garlic, then put 3 tablespoons oil in a wok or frying pan and set over highish heat.
When hot, add the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop – this takes just a few seconds – put in the garlic and curry leaves.
Stir until the garlic turns medium brown and add the prawns.
Stir until the prawns turn opaque most of the way through and add the sauce. Turn the heat to medium and just heat the sauce through until it begins to simmer.
By then the prawns should be completely opaque and cooked through. Remove from the heat and serve.