For the toasted coconut
100g fresh coconut flesh
2 tsp sunflower oil
For the curry
Thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1½ tbsp mild curry powder
100ml sunflower oil
7 curry leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
3 cardamom pods
6 onion cloves
6 shallots, thinly sliced length-ways
3 tbsp tamarind paste
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
1 tbsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
400ml can full-fat thick coconut milk
24 large raw king prawns, peeled
Handful of coriander leaves* and cooked white or brown rice, to serve
*Available at FairPrice stores
- Finely grate the coconut, then toast slowly in a wok, stirring until evenly dark brown (it will start to smell very strong, but it will work a treat). While it’s still warm, pound to a paste with the sunflower oil using a pestle and mortar. Set aside.
- Finely grate or pound the ginger and garlic together using a pestle and mortar. Make a loose curry paste by adding 75ml water to the curry powder. Heat the oil in the wok until it’s just starting to smoke, then throw in the curry leaves, cinnamon stick, star anise, cardamom pods and cloves and cook for 1 min until fragrant.
- Add the shallots and ginger and garlic paste, cook for around 7 mins until softened and starting to brown, then add the curry powder paste. This is the most important part of making the curry. Ideally, cook over a very low heat and wait until the oil separates and bubbles over the paste, around 10-12 mins. Scrape the bottom of the pan occasionally to remove the crust.
- When the oil has come to the top, add the tamarind paste, pineapple and sugar. Pour in the coconut milk. When the mixture starts boiling, add the prawns and return to the boil, then stir through the toasted coconut. Season the curry with salt, scatter over the coriander and serve with rice.