This beautiful dish from executive chef at The Cinnamon Club, Vivek Singh, usually appears at celebrations, making it the perfect choice for your Shine for ShelterBox feast night. To bring even more light to your evening, the balchao can even be cooked on a barbecue or over a cosy open fire. This is, and will always be, a show-stopper.
- Vivek Singh
PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 30 MINUTES
- 4 tbsp vegetable or corn oil
- 3 red onions, finely chopped
- 10 fresh curry leaves
- 2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 3 green chillies, chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp malt vinegar
- 15-18 large king prawns, head on, slit open and left on the shell
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
FOR THE SPICE MIX
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds, dry roasted in a pan
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
For the spice mix, mix together the roasted cumin seeds, peppercorns and red chilli powder in a food processor until fine.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and curry leaves and stir over a medium heat until golden brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and green chillies and stir for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, followed by the spice mix and sauté for 3–4 minutes until the spices are cooked. Add the salt, sugar and malt vinegar and continue cooking until the oil separates (less than 5 minutes).
Remove and cool the mixture. If making for later, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. If using immediately, smear the cooked paste onto the king prawns on the flesh side and marinate for 20 minutes while you get your grill or barbecue hot. Simply cook for 3–4 minutes on each side, and serve immediately squeezed with lime and sprinkled with coriander.
Indian Festival Feasts by Vivek Singh is published by Bloomsbury, Hardback £26.