Deep Fried Prawns in Spiced Cashew Batter & the Po’boys of Kerala

Mustard Seeds & Hot Chilli Powder

I’ve been thinking about this dish for a while. I’ve been concious that I’d not posted any recipes or food for a while so I wanted to make a bit of an effort. We have the Borders Union Show on this weekend and I will be holed up in the food hall on our stall for the duration, so getting anything new up will be a challenge. On the Plus side I will be able to go around the stalls of some of my favorite producers and get some great ingredients for next weeks entries.

Garam Masala & Fenugreek

The accompanying pictures are of the constituent parts of the marinade I created for the Prawns I cooked. I’ve used roughly a heaped tea spoon of each spice, though I was a little light on the chilli powder adding only a half  tsp. All of the spices I’m using are going into a pestel and mortar – I’m doing things the old fashioned way… or trying to.

Turmeric & Ground Black Pepper added

I probably should have used ground white pepper but there was none to hand – I was kind of winging it. I had a stash of cashew butter base left over in the fridge from last week and I’d thought it would be nice to use them with some prawns after having read about Po’boys on another blog, the dish in that case was a personal take on the original Po’boy dish as described on Cooking The Books Blog. So in not really knowing how to get to my end culinary destination and feeling the need to use some of the goods I had previously produced I set about cannibalising a recipe I had found with the vague hope of creating an Indian Influenced Po’boy and maybe a starter dish I could serve at a function.

Add a couple of cloves of Garlic and about a cubic inch of Ginger

I decided to deep fry the prawns rather than cook them Tandoori style as the original recipe suggests and further more my batter would be much more of a batter and less of a crust… or croute if we’re getting fancy. Anyway, back to the marinade. I added a glug of sunflower oil to the mix and the juice of 1 lime. I swiftly set about beating the hell out of the mixture and crushing all the mustard seeds. I did it all in a very Steven Seagal in Under Siege kind of a way and felt pretty good about it. I thought to myself, “Be like Steve”… “Be Zen, Serene… at one with the the marinade but ready to kill at a moments notice.” This sort of tempered urgency whilst preparing food is what I’d like to think of as called being “in the Zone” but in reality it’s probably more borderline psychotic… here’s a picture of the lime I squeezed with ninja precision:

It didn't even hear me coming. Whoooosh. Slice.

Once I had the marinade prepared I took half of it and used it to flavour the prawns. I put them in a bowl and let them absorb the flavours in the fridge for about an hour.

The Batter:

I took a couple ot table spoons of my preprepared basic cashew butter and started bashing it in the pestle and mortar to make a fine paste. I had begun to feel tired as I do not actually have the strength and stamina of Steven Seagal in Under Siege so I turned to my Food Processor to finish the job. Into the processor I placed the butter, the remaining marinade, two eggs, a tbl spn of creme fraiche and a tbl spn of plain flour. I then blitzed the be’jesus out of it until it had all come together – I tasted it… no dice. A whole, fresh mild chilli was de-seeded and added. Blitz again. Result. The batter was then decanted into a bowl and placed into the fridge. Just before I battered the prawns I added 150ml of tonic water and whisked it in to make a light velvety consistency. Batter up, you could say.

I heated 500ml of Sunflower oil to 190°C in a wok and got ready to deep fry.

The prawns were taken from the marinade, dusted and tossed in plain flour then dipped and allowed to drain of any excess batter. One by one the spicy coated prawns fell to the bubbling oil, I counted them all in and I counted them all out – golden, crispy and ready for assembly.

Deep Fried Prawns with Cashew Batter on a bed of Kiwi with Sour Kiwi Chutney

Like a true Scotsman - I can not resist deep fried food

I had made some Kiwi chutney earlier in the week so I put that on the side as a condiment for the dish. It’s a pretty standard chutney recipe and I’ll post it up in my next blog entry for you – today is about the prawns but here’s peek at the chutney anyways:

It made a nice accompaniment  and it was also dolloped into my Kerla Po’boy as you’ll shortly see.  I have no idea if anyone from Kerala would recognise my dish or if anyone in New Orleans would make the connection with their own famed Po’boys. Here you are though, my attempt, of someone else’s attempt, at some else’s attempt at making a Po’boy. Let’s call it the Inception Po’boy – the chilli in the batter could be the kick. (You’ve seen the film Inception, right? You Get what I’m saying… this isn’t just the ramblings of a chef intrigued by social and cultural memes?)

Kerala Po'Boy under construction

I topped the prawns with a Raita I threw together and some salad leaves and the chutney. The  components were laid on a warmed Chapatti and rolled to form a tube of Sub-Continental Po’Boy awesomeness. This was then scoffed by me.

No too much poor about this Po'Boy in the end.

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5 responses to “Deep Fried Prawns in Spiced Cashew Batter & the Po’boys of Kerala

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Deep Fried Prawns in Spiced Cashew Batter & the Po’boys of Kerala « Any Excuse to Party -- Topsy.com

  2. Love the spices that you use for the prawns. Prawns are my favourite. The wrap looks awesome….just delicious…mmm.

  3. Love the po’boy vibe! Keralan food is possibly my favourite…pretty much of an inspired idea!

  4. Thanks for your kind comments!

  5. Pingback: Kiwi Chutney and the importance of spreading yourself thickly! | Any Excuse to Party

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