Sunday, February 25, 2018

Goan Dried Prawn Kismur - A Goan dried prawn salad

Guys, I finally got down to trying this recipe out myself. I have wanted to make Kismur (pronounced Kis - moor) for months. The only thing holding me back was the availability of dried prawns in Sydney. Most (if not all) Indian stores I've been to, don't stock dried prawns and fish. I had once bought a packet from a Chinese store and I wasn't too happy with it. I was researching Sri Lankan cuisine a few days ago and I read that they use dried prawns too. So yesterday I popped into my local Sri Lankan grocery store, and lo and behold, sitting proud on its shelves were so many varieties of dried fish and prawns. I grabbed a bag and knew exactly what I was going to try with it.

Kismur is a Goan prawn and coconut salad of sorts. It's not your typical salad with dressing, but its more like a stir fry that is served at room temperature. And I use the term stir fry very loosely here as the ingredients are all sauteed before tossing together. In Goa, sun dried fish is very commonly found and used. In the summer, when fresh fish is abundant, they are prepped, salted and sun dried and this fish can then be stored for months at room temperature. You can find big mounds of dried fish and prawns at any Goan market. This dried fish is best purchased in the summer when everything is nice and dry. The fish is then stored for use during the monsoon, when fresh fish is not easily available. A lot of Goan homes serve this dried fish (also called salt fish because of the way it is cured) along with a Sorak (plain Goan curry) or a dal or a vegetable curry as a condiment. You can't really eat as much of the salt fish as you would fresh fish but it makes for a very tasty accompaniment to a vegetarian meal. Dried prawns on the other hand, are used to make warm chilly fries / stir fries, salads and this Kismur. Now that I've found good dried prawns, I see a chilly fry coming up in the near future.

But today, I'm going to share with you a quick and simple version of Kismur. It is ridiculously simple to make and if you're anything like me, you will absolutely love it. Please note, that since this is almost like a salad, the quantities listed below are approximates of what I used.

Goan Dried Prawn Kismur

1/3 cup dried prawns
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated coconut
1 red / green chilly, split in quarters lengthwise
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp red chilly powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Salt, to taste
Lemon wedges, to serve

Wash the prawns under cold running water and drain.

Dry roast them on a pan till crispy again, stirring frequently, so that it doesn't burn.

Tip the prawns onto a plate and set aside.

Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat in a pan.

Add the chopped onion and saute for a minute or so till the onions have only slightly warmed through.

Add the roasted prawns and stir.

Now add the chilly, coconut, turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt. Mix well.

Place into a serving bowl and serve with some wedges of lime for those who might want to squeeze some lime over.

Serve at room temperature with some steaming hot rice and curry. (Fish curry recipe to follow. Watch this space.)


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