Spicy Prawn Curry & Aloo Gobi

Marinated King Prawns pan-fried before going into the delicious curry sauce

Prawn Curry

Aloo Gobi (cauliflower and potato curry)

Mother Nature’s amazing bounty, the sacrificial radish and hot water bottles for tomato plants.

Notes from diary late November 2008. A miracle! The warm weather and perhaps all the organic feed and remedies I provided last time have worked. The young veggie plants look really good, and although development has probably been slowed a little by the fungal affliction, everything has grown since we were last here. Still no sign of the aubergines, but the carrots have finally emerged, the grass has all but stopped growing (thank goodness) due to the hot dry conditions. But alas, most of my fence protection has been blown off by the hot, strong winds.

Examining each bed as I am compelled to do, I observe an interesting phenomenon. Little green caterpillars, probably of the cabbage white butterfly, have taken residence on the radish leaves. Some of the radishes have virtually all the leaves nibbled away although the radish itself isn’t affected. The lettuce hasn’t been touched, neither has anything else. I’ve planted some radishes in just about every bed and although I didn’t know it at the time, I’ve since found that radishes will attract caterpillars, keeping them off other more valuable crops, and this is exactly what appears to have happened. Sacrificial radishes! Mother Nature never ceases to amaze.

I’ve transplanted the heirloom tomato plants that I started off in Sydney several weeks ago. Tomatoes don’t like being disturbed and these have been disturbed twice. Once when I got them out of the pot they were germinated in and into a pot to transport to Windera and again out of that pot and into a bed. They are looking a bit sorry for themselves so I give them some liquid seaweed which helps with transfer shock. The typically cool nights we have here are going to be a bit of a shock for them too. Tomatoes don’t like night time temperatures below 12°C and we are getting lower than that. To top it all, the next day we get a cold strong south westerly wind all day and they are flattened. I give them some more seaweed. The following day we get a cold easterly all day long and they are flattened in the opposite direction. I give them some manure tea. I spend an hour putting tall stakes around the tomato plants and wrapping cling film (well that’s all I have and it is remarkably strong) around the stakes to provide some protection. I also fill plastic bottles with warm water and place one next to each tomato plant. These will warm with the sun each day and release gentle warmth around the tomato plants at night to alleviate the cold temperatures. I spend another day fixing up the wind protection around the fence and re-jigging the watering system. The flies are terrible.

Just before Christmas - we are cooking turnips nearly every day, baby crook neck zucchini every other day, there’s more rocket than we can eat, a few snow peas and several lettuces, heaps of rainbow chard and radishes that are now the size of golf balls and still tender and tasty.
Not wanting to waste them, I even bake some radishes with the roast goat for dinner and they are delicious.

This crook neck zucchini will be ready to harvest in about a week

Just picked vegetables to be steamed and served with the roasted rump of goat (from what has become my favourite shop - the recently opened TOTALLY LOCAL - supplying wonderfully fresh, locally produced food)

The beans aren’t ready yet, the melons and pumpkins look a bit slow, the beetroot is sparse but the carrots are doing well, and there are lots of herbs that I have used as companion plants. December 23rd and back to Sydney for Christmas, laden with fresh vegetables. We won’t be back until January the 5th. Let’s see how we go.

Spicy Prawn Curry

We made a great discovery this trip - Orange has a visiting fish man every Friday, refrigerated truck and all laden with fresh fish from the Sydney fish markets. What's more it's a hell of lot easier (and cheaper without paying tolls and parking in Sydney) than going to the fish markets. Orange is looking better all the time.

Serves 2 - 3

12 King Prawns
Small knob of ginger, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 red chilli
1/2 tsp turmeric
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 quantity curry sauce
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1 tbsp double cream
1 tbsp chopped coriander
  • Peel prawns and place in a bowl. Finely chop or process ginger, garlic and chilli and add to prawns with the turmeric, ground pepper and half the olive oil. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a large, deep fry pan and add the curry sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the garam masala and chilli powder if using, leave to simmer gently while cooking the prawns. Add a little water if the sauce becomes to thick.
  • Heat another heavy based fry pan over medium heat. Stir the salt through the prawns and cook them for about 2 minutes each side until opaque.
  • Add the prawns to the sauce and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Stir through the cream, heat through, sprinkle with coriander and serve with rice and nan.
Note: make extra curry sauce if you plan to make the Aloo Gobi too.

Aloo Gobi

This is probably the most popular vegetable side dish (apart from perhaps Chana Aloo - Chick Pea and Potato curry) served in Indian restaurants. It's certainly popular in our household. Make it with the freshest cauliflower you can find.

If you don't have curry sauce add 2 extra onions and an extra clove of garlic to the recipe below. You will probably need a bit more oil too - you can't cook a good curry without using a generous amount of oil or ghee.

Will serve up to 6 as a side dish

2-3 tbsp olive oil (or ghee)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1-2 hot green chillies, finely sliced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 small cauliflower, broken into florets
1 cup curry sauce
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp chopped coriander

  • Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and add the onion. Fry onion over medium heat, stirring now and again for 5 minutes or until softened and starting to brown at the edges.
  • Stir in the garlic, chilli and ginger and stir fry for a minute or two until aromatic.
  • Stir in the turmeric and salt followed by the tomatoes. Turn the heat down, coer pan and cook the tomatoes for 4-5 minutes until pulpy and the oil rises to the surface. Add more oil if necessary .
  • Add the potato and stir well to coat with oil and spices. Stir in the curry sauce, bring to a simmer and cook covered for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the cauliflower and curry sauce, mix well and cook over low heat, stirring now again until potatoes are soft and cauliflower just cooked (the cauliflower shouldn't be allowed to go mushy) - about 20 minutes.
  • Stir through the garam masala, cook for a further minute and serve sprinkled with coriander.