Iron Chef Shellie

Spicy Prawn Curry with Pineapple

I hadn’t even heard of Nyonya cuisine until my last few trips to Malaysia. Mum was on the hunt for cookbooks, and I remember looking out for them when wondering into book shops. I never thought I would be able to cook any Nyonya recipes, but after seeing a tempting curry on a recent episode...


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Spicy Prawn Curry with Pineapple
July 13, 2010

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Spicy Prawn Curry with Pineapple

I hadn’t even heard of Nyonya cuisine until my last few trips to Malaysia. Mum was on the hunt for cookbooks, and I remember looking out for them when wondering into book shops.

I never thought I would be able to cook any Nyonya recipes, but after seeing a tempting curry on a recent episode of Poh’s Kitchen, Hamsley and I were both dying to try this particular curry.
I didn’t add all 20 chillies as listed, as I didn’t know how spicy Hamsley could handle; as Nyonya food is usually quite on the spicy side.
It seemed easy enough on the show, but the recipe on the website failed to include tumeric in the ingredients list. It did list tamarind pieces, but failed to say when to add them. So I got the end of my cooking then released I didn’t add them in.

I ended up shelling the prawns as I knew Hamsley wouldn’t really be a fan of getting his hand all icky whilst eating, but left a few shelled for presentation. I found the prawns that stayed shelled to not be as spicy as their un-shelled companions.

Unfortunately our “blender” didn’t grind my spice mix as fine as I would have liked, but it did a good enough job. I’ll be picking up a Sunbeam foodprocessor/blender sooner rather than later after that experience.

The smells coming from the kitchen as I fried the spice mix were amazing! I was immediately transported back to Malaysia. The taste was also fantastic. The spiciness of the chilli, mixed with the sweetness of the pineapple; which helped to bite through the spiciness; then all brought together with coconut cream. So lucious!

Can’t wait to cook this for my family when they come down from the motherland!

To learn more about Nyona:

Spicy Prawn Curry with Pineapple
Chef Florence Tan
1kg big prawns – cleaned
500g pineapple – cut into 6mm triangle shapes
175ml Carotino oil (or organic palm oil; I used vegetable oil)
2 dried tamarind pieces
5 Kaffir lime leaves
350ml thick coconut milk
700ml water
Pounded or blended Ingredients
20 dried chillies – soaked well
300g shallots
3 garlic (big)
5 candlenuts (or macadamia nuts)
3cm fresh galanga
4 lemongrass
2 Β½ tsp belachan (shrimp paste granules)
1 ΒΌ tbs salt
3 Β½ tbs sugar
1 tbs anchovy granules (available from your Asian grocer)
1. Heat oil and fry pounded ingredients until fragrant. (About 10 minutes or until the oil starts to separate)
2. Add pineapple. Cook for a few minutes then add the sugar. Continue cooking for five minutes. Stirring occasionally.
3. Pour in water and bring to the boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add Kaffir lime leaves and tamarind pieces.
4. Increase heat, then add the prawns and seasoning.
5. Bring to boil. Pour in the thick coconut milk. Leave it to boil for a few minutes, then serve with white rice.


13 comments on “Spicy Prawn Curry with Pineapple
  1. duffyallen

    TeeHee . . . Hamsley πŸ˜›
    Just the notion of curry spices paired with pineapple tastes incredible. And pineapple with prawn! forget about it! This dish couldn't look more beautiful either!

    July 13, 2010 at 9:53 am
  2. Ellie (Almost Bourdain)

    I love nyonya cuisine. This prawn and pineapple curry is one of favourites. Love the modern day morter and pestle!! I use food processor because blender can't get the texture you need for curry paste. your curry has a Lovely colour. Must taste heavenly.

    July 13, 2010 at 11:29 am
  3. Forager @ The Gourmet Forager

    Yum – sounds delicious and authentic. A nice tropical summery flavour to counteract all the hearty winter stews we're having at the moment! Love the shot of your poor overworked blender full to the brim!

    July 13, 2010 at 11:52 am
  4. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella

    Mmm that looks fantatsic Shellie! πŸ˜€ I love nonya sweets too! They're so moreish! πŸ˜€

    July 13, 2010 at 12:22 pm
  5. Made2Order

    it looks great. I can already taste the flavors in my mouth as i read it. and believe me. I am drooling..

    I think if i was to do a version of this curry sauce.. I would couldn't have changed a THING except, after i blend it. I would probably strain it. Then to further thickin the sauce if not already thick enough, I would use maybe a potato or two, chopped and boiled with the sauce. That would surely thicken it.. =D

    July 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm
  6. Anh

    That curry looks incredible. I’ve never tasted pineapple in curry before. Will use this recipe!

    July 13, 2010 at 4:37 pm
  7. What's For Tea?

    I saw this on the re-run Saturday morning – looks divine!

    July 13, 2010 at 8:41 pm
  8. Trissa

    LOL! I like your take on the modern day mortar and pestle – if it saves time why not use it? The dish looks fantastic… I can imagine the flavours and smell wafting away in the kitchen while you made this.

    July 13, 2010 at 9:03 pm
  9. Amy @ cookbookmaniac

    Oh my goodness. I hate it when recipes are inaccurate like that, its so annoying. I probably make the same mistake… but that's no the point.

    My boy hates peeling prawns too. He'd rather not eat than peel a prawn.

    ps. I love the pic of your modern day mortar and pestle. It looks so advance!

    July 13, 2010 at 11:28 pm
  10. Iron Chef Shellie

    Hi DuffyAllen – haha πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your kind words! Shall have to curry it up when we eventually meet!

    Hi Ellie – I'll try the food processor next time, I can see how it will work better =)

    Hi Forager – haha, yes the blender had a melt down. It's a crappy one anyways, time to buy a real one!

    Hi Lorraine – Thanks! I must try nonya sweet sometime soon!

    Hi Made2Order – Straining might be a good idea. I liked the consistency of the sauce as it was, but yeah, it probably could have been a little thicker. =)

    Hi Anh – Thank you! Oh you must have pineapple in curry. Lychees are also good in curry.

    Hi What's For Tea? – Tastes divine too πŸ˜‰

    Hi Trissa – hehe, thanks =D Yes, the smells were very comforting!

    Hi Amy – It is annoying isn't it! Yes, the mortar and pestle has come a long way πŸ˜‰ haha

    July 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm
  11. Miss Lucky Piggy

    wow look so yummy sllrrppp hahaha… i just bought Florence Tan's book and will received it next week. Thanks for sharing, I will try this recipe πŸ˜€

    July 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm
  12. Jo - SecondHelping

    I loved the episodes when Poh was IN Malaysia – great TV viewing. The curry looks awesome, as do your pics.

    July 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm
  13. Iron Chef Shellie

    Hi Miss Lucky Piggy – hehe, oh I didn't know she had a book! Thanks for letting me know!

    Hi Jo – Oh I loved them too! Thanks =)

    August 9, 2010 at 1:11 pm
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