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Complete Indian Cooking
by Meena Pathak
This is now eaten more in northern India, although it originated on the east coast. It takes its name from the karhai, the round-bottomed, cast-iron pan in which it is cooked.
Serves 4

Prawns In A Spicy Tomato Sauce
(Karhai jheenga)


    • 2 tablespoons oil
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 200 g (7 oz) onions, diced
    • 1 tablespoon garlic pulp
    • 1 tablespoon ginger pulp
    • 250 g (9 oz) tomatoes, chopped
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
    • 400 g (14 oz) large raw prawns, cleaned, peeled and de-veined
    • salt, to taste
    • pinch of sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
    • 1 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
    • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
    • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, to garnish


Heat the oil, add the cumin seeds and when they begin to crackle add the diced onions and fry for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, turmeric and red chilli powder.

Sauté and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with a little water if needed.

When the oil begins to separate add the prawns, salt to taste and sugar and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Add the crushed black pepper, coriander seeds, ground fennel and crushed red chillies. Cook for a further minute and add half of the chopped coriander.

Sprinkle with the remaining coriander and serve with rice or parathas.

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