1. Shell and devein 1 kg giant tiger or freshwater prawns, leaving the flavourful head intact. you may remove the stomach of the prawn, located near its head. we are leaving the shells on, but you may peel them off if you like.
2. Coat prawns with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, and set aside.
3. In a grinder jar, add 200 gms onion and blitz them to a fine paste.
4. Also extract 500 gms coconut milk, reserving 300 gms from first-press (thick) and 200 gms from second-press (thinner) in separate jars, and keep it ready.
5. Heat vegetable oil in a pan. once hot, lower the prawns one by one, and fry them in batches for about 45 seconds on each side. the longer you cook prawns the tougher they’ll become, so remove them from the heat immediately and set aside.
6. Now add 10 gms ghee to the residual oil. temper with 3 dried red chillies, 3 bay leaf, 4 green cardamom, 4 cloves, and 2 cinnamon.
7. Add 200 gms onion paste along with 36 gms sugar, and fry for about 8 minutes until the onions are brown. (sugar helps to caramalize the onions)
8. Add 20 gms ginger paste and fry for another 3-4 minutes. add turmeric powder and 1 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder. stir intermittently so that the spices don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
9. When they do, add a splash of the thin, second-press coconut milk to loosen the mixture up and help fry it. also add three slit green chillies and salt to taste.
10. Once oil starts separating from the spices, beat 60 gms yogurt until it is lump free and add it to the pan. drop the heat and stir vigorously to prevent the yogurt from splitting. cook it for 3-4 minutes.
11. Add 200 gms second-press (thin) coconut milk and simmer for about 2 minutes before adding 300 gms first-press (thick) coconut milk. once it comes to a boil, add the fried prawns.
12. Allow the prawns to bubble in the curry, covered, for no more than 5 minutes.
Finish off with 1/2 tsp bengali garam masala before serving.
1. First press coconut milk is made by grinding freshly grated coconut with hot water and squeezing out the liquid.
2. Second press coconut milk is made by grinding again with hot water to extract remaining milk after first press is complete.