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Mother’s Day – Celebrating the memories of our Mother’s

Ten year old Fazila who was born in England and being only once to Bangaldesh tells us about her mother’s speciality.

Now there’s another reason to look forward to the weekend because of ‘Mothers Special (saag prawn).’ The whole family loves it; all the flavours and spices make our mouth water. Nothing gets us faster to the dining table then this famous dish. I like the Saag Prawn dish because of the delicious flavour the spinach has, and the succulent taste of the prawns. It’s the same with my sisters, and my father who loves everything about the way that my mother prepares it. He says that she has a special touch.

During our short visit to Bangladesh we watched from the banks how fishermen catch fresh prawns and a cocktail of fish, which my grandmother brought for us and my aunties cooked that day for dinner.

It combines the versatility of prawns and the healthiness of spinach. It’s also quick and easy to make. We hope you try out this dish and enjoy it as much as we do!

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A loved spicy recipe

The requirements for this dish are:

4 large garlic cloves (crushed),

2 small onions,

1 tbsp of cooking oil,

2 bunches of spinach,

6 green chillies,

1 kilogram of frozen peeled prawns,

2 tsp of salt,

1 tsp of turmeric,

1 tsp of powdered zeera,

2 tsp of chilli powder,

2 tsp of curry powder

1 small tomato.

Heat cooking oil in a medium saucepan or wok.

  1. When the oil is hot add crushed garlic, when the has browned.
  2. Add the sliced onions.
  3. Immediately add the salt, tumeric and zeera stir into the onions, until the onions are soft, on a medium heat.
  4. Then add chilli powder and curry powder stir into the onions.
  5. Continue stirring the onions and spices for five minutes on a medium heat.
  6. Now add the prawns to the mixture and stir
  7. Add the chopped tomato.
  8. Stir in the sliced green chillies
  9. Add 1/2 a cup of water, cover saucepan and cook for seven minutes on a medium heat.
  10. Uncover the saucepan then add spinach (remember to wash the spinach and cut down into small slices or you can buy the ready to use fresh spinach from a local supermarket 2packets are recommended) cook for five minutes until the sauce has thickened.
  11. My mother’s special saag prawn has now cooked, turn the heat off and serve with white rice.
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MAA’S KITCHEN perfect for Mother’s Day!

A mouth-watering, spicy-sweet mango curry from Kerala, a Mother’s day recipe!

When the mango season starts in April, Mrs Sundari Vinay’s phone doesn’t stop ringing. Her family and friends are all asking when she’s going to cook her special mango curry. “There’s a long waiting list,” she laughs. And no wonder. Over the years Sundari, who lives in South India, has perfected the art of this mouth-watering sweet and sour dish.

Fortunately, fans of Sundari’s Keralan speciality don’t have long to wait – April is the Keralan New Year and the celebrations are usually the first outing for her prized creation. “We have a traditional feast at home and all the food is served on banana leaves on the floor. The mango curry is the centrepiece – it’s a real delicacy.”

Sundari learnt this dish from her mother, and remembers eating it as a child in her grandparents’ house in Kerala. “We never had to go out to buy the fruits from a shop,” she says. “There were so many mango trees in the back yard.”

The curry has all the basic ingredients of Keralan cuisine – mustard, fenugreek and cumin seeds along with the ubiquitous
coconut. It’s best with rice and, if you have time, a dry dish, too. Sundari insists that when cooking the curry you should always include the stone and its surrounding pulp; she says this is  where the strongest flavour of the mango lies. So don’t be afraid to eat

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INGREDIENTS
3 large ripe mangoes (out of season tin mango’s will need to be used but can be a little sweet)
¼ fresh coconut, with the flesh broken
into chunks
½tsp whole cumin seeds
500g curd (if not available, use 500g
natural yogurt)
Salt to taste
¼tsp turmeric
1tbsp sugar (or add more to taste)
2tsp red chilli powder
2tsp cooking oil
½tsp fenugreek seeds
½tsp black mustard seeds
3 dry red chillies cut into half
10 -12 curry leaves, fresh if available

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Serves: 4
Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour
METHOD

  • Wash the mangoes, then massage them until you feel the flesh inside become soft. Peel. Squeeze the mangoes over a deep pan until most of the flesh and juice has come away. Add the stones to the pan. Using a knife, scrape any remaining flesh from the skin.
  • Put the coconut and the cumin seeds into a food processor. Grind for half a minute, then add enough water to make a paste. Grind again for half a minute. Set aside.
  • Put the curd or yogurt into a clean blender. Blend for 15 seconds. Add salt to taste. Set aside.
  • Add the turmeric, salt, sugar and chilli to the mango pulp and stir through. Cook for 10 minutes on a low heat, stirring continuously. Add the coconut paste. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a low heat. Add the blended curd or yogurt. Stir on a very low heat for three minutes, taking care not to let the mixture boil. Remove from the heat.
  •  In a separate shallow frying pan, heat the cooking oil on a high heat. Reduce to a medium heat and add the fenugreek seeds. When they start to crackle and turn golden brown, add the mustard seeds. When these start to crackle, add red chillies and stir until they become dark brown. Add curry leaves and stir until they turn dark green. Remove the mixture from the heat, setting aside a small portion. Add the large portion to the curry, mixing it through. Use the small

Words & Pictures: Gargi Shastri & Martin Philp

 

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