I made an epic prawn bhuna the other day and I’ve had a few people asking me for the recipe, so here it is. It doesn’t have to be a prawn bhuna, you can make it with any meat, or tofu, vegetables, paneer (Indian cheese) for vegetarian/vegan options.
I make mine dairy free, so I use coconut yoghurt or coconut cream instead of usual yoghurt, but if you don’t mind dairy, feel free to use lovely thick Greek yoghurt. I also use fresh tomatoes because the produce here in Perth is outstanding, but feel free to use tinned tomatoes if you wish.
This is how I skin and prepare my tomatoes – it’s quick and easy and by the time you have chopped your onions and garlic, the tomatoes will be ready to peel. I boil the kettle, and with a sharp knife I cut a shallow cross in the top where the stem was and again on the opposite side. Then I place them in bowl of boiling hot water for about 5-6 minutes.
Be careful when you remove them because they’ll be hot. The skin should come away easily just by rubbing it slightly, if it doesn’t then they need a bit longer.
I also remove any thick inner stem and the fibrous part where it attached to the plant. For this recipe I also remove most of the watery seedy part so that the final product is chunks of skinless tomato flesh.
This recipe is enough to serve 6 people, you can also freeze portions of sauce to use later then you can add fresh chicken, vegetables, or prawns on the day that you serve it.
a quarter of a teaspoon each of:
black mustard seeds
2 onions (chop one and a half of them and puree the other half in a blender)
2 teaspoons of garlic (either crushed or pureed with the onion puree above)
2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger (or from a tube if that’s more convenient)
4 large ripe tomatoes
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 teaspoons of chilli paste (or 1 teaspoon of chilli powder)
4 teaspoons of medium curry powder (I use Clive of India but choose your favourite brand or make your own)
300mls of chicken or vegetable stock
2 generous heaped dessertspoons of Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt or approx (150-200ml coconut cream)
4 tablespoons of tomato puree
2 teaspoons of garam masala
oil – vegetable, groundnut or something else with a mild or no flavour
salt and pepper
1. Get everything chopped, pureed, and ready:
2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pan and add the whole seeds.
3. Once you hear them pop and crackle, add the onions, ginger, and garlic and stir to coat them in the spicy mixture.
4. Once the onions start to soften, add the turmeric, chilli, and curry powder.
5. Give everything a good stir, cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes and tomato puree
6. Cover and cook for approximately 10 – 15 minutes then stir in the yoghurt and the garam masala. The garam masala will make the sauce take on a brown colour. Once the tomatoes and onions are soft and a bit mushy, turn the heat off and leave the sauce covered to cool down in the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. If it’s too spicy, add a little sugar to balance the spices. Freeze in appropriate portion sizes.
7. If using the same day, reheat the sauce and add the protein of your choice e.g. raw prawns, chicken, lamb, tofu, veggies and cook until the protein or veggies are cooked through. I used lovely fresh large raw jumbo tiger prawns and they were delicious.
8. Bhuna tends to be quite a dry curry, so use as much sauce as you like that suits your needs. I prefer more gravy so I tend to be quite generous with the sauce. If you reheat it uncovered, you can reduce the sauce if you prefer a thicker, richer flavour.