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How Do I Make ... ?
Prawn and Courgette (Zucchini) Curry
Indian style curry is definitely not on any Chinese restaurant menu. Neither is the curry sold in any Chinese restaurant or takeaway in UK! Foshan City boasts one proper Indian restaurant that is run by a couple of great Indians from Birmingham UK, albeit a tad expensive - the food is Pukka!

I do make curry in China using a composite Madras curry powder I bring out from UK. However, in UK I would actually make the curry powder or paste from grinding seeds or using a combination of separate powders specifically for each recipe. China does not allow me such luxury, so what can Expats do about it?

Answer: Well without any form of curry powder you are basically stuck! Chinese supermarkets do sell "curry powder" and "Curry Paste" in expensive fancy jars that cost a bomb! The curry powder works, but is rather bland. Otherwise China doesn't do anything remotely similar - except in Hong Kong, and at specialist food cities like the one in Guangzhou. However, Madhur Jaffrey may just supply something that is very useful and easy to make given ingredients available in any Chinese wet market. I have adapted this recipe over the years, and recently adapted it for use in China. I proceed in hopes that this great Chef and International Film Star will not mind me presenting you with my personal version of her recipe...

Prawn and Courgette (Zucchini) is a very light curry that does not lie heavily on the stomach. It is quick, simple, and can be made using the Chinese store bought curry powder. The essence of this dish is a combination of delicate flavours and delicious smells.

Recipe Source:
Image: Madhur Jaffrey; International Film Star and most excellent Indian chef Madhur Jaffrey, India  
Not known  
The original recipe is given in the Cookery Book: Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cookery, which was published by the BBC in 1982. ISBN: 0-563-16491-3

Over the years Jonno has adapted this recipe, and this is what is given below:
Let's get started:- Prawn and Courgette Curry
• 1 pound courgette's (Zucchini)
• 1 teaspoon of salt (For preparing the courgette's)
• 1 pound peeled prawns
• 1 wardrobe of garlic, smashed and peeled
• 3 inch cube of peeled wet ginger, smashed and chopped
• Small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped (4oz)
• 1 mini-jar curry powder
• Vegetable oil (Corn or olive oil are best)
• Fresh chopped chilli's to taste - start with a couple of small hot ones
• Juice of 2 lemons (Can use lime or grapefruit)
• 12oz skinned, chopped tomatoes
• Small pinch of turmeric (If you have any?)
• 1 heaped teaspoon Chinese 'Ziran' powder
• 1 cup boiled water
• 2 heaped teaspoons of corn flour, mixed with a little water to form a thick creamy paste.
• Ground black pepper to taste
• Large pinch of salt to fix the final flavour
Image: Prawn and Courgette Curry


1. Chop the courgette's into bite sized pieces = quarter unless very fat, and chop down to 2-inch lengths. Lay out inside up, and sprinkle with salt and rest for 10 minutes. Rinse and use immediately.

2. You can buy peeled prawns in most supermarkets in China, but pay extra for large and good quality ones. Defrost 30 minutes before cooking.

3. Pay extra for good quality tomatoes. To peel them simply drop into boiling water for 30 seconds, or until the skin peals away of its own accord.

4. We are using lemon to 'cut the fat' of the prawns. You can easily use Lime instead, but also try grapefruit and sour oranges - they all work just as well. In particular, sour orange can be sliced wafer thin (Seethrough) and these delicate strips added about 1-minute before serving - adds a real zest to the meal!
Step 1
To a saucepan or wok, add a covering of oil, the garlic and ginger. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat stirring frequently. Do not allow to go brown, otherwise the dish is already ruined.

Step 2
Add: chopped coriander leaves, chillies, Ziran powder, curry powder, turmeric, and black pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Step 3
Add: Courgette's, tomatoes, and lemon juice. Cover and leave to simmer for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. If the mixture is stiff, add the boiled water. This stage demands the mixture be quite runny, as we will later firm this with the cornflour.

Step 4
Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes. Check the flavour and adjust seasoning to suit. Once you are happy with it, add a large pinch of salt to fix the flavour and cook for a further 1 minute. This is for raw prawns. If using precooked packaged prawns, halve the cooking time and interpolate.

Step 5
Prepare for serving: You need to adjust the viscosity of the liquid base using the cornflour. We are looking for the texture of single cream; so add the cornflour sparingly and mix immediately to stop lumps forming. This will also give a slightly glazed appearance to the sauce.

Step 6
Serve on a bed of rice. A side salad works very well with this dish, as does: French bread and/or garlic bread, and dips of lentils or pulses. Chinese supermarkets sell a ready-mixed sesame seed dip which is quite thick and works well also. Garnish with a few coriander leaves, capsicum pepper strips, or whatever is to hand.
Additional Recipes and Information:
Prawns and Courgette's in Black Bean Sauce:
This is virtually the same as the recipe above, but remove the curry elements (Curry powder, Ziran powder, and add chilli's for taste only - as these could easily over power the flavours of this new dish. Still add the turmeric (If you have it). Instead stir in one large spoonful of Black Bean Sauce.
Prawns with Squash:
Using either recipe above, it is very easy to change the courgette's for anything similar, as China has these in abundance. There is a slightly bitter and gnarly sort of cucumber that works excellently with this dish. There are also things that look a bit like courgette's, but aren't.

Mango is pretty standard in Guangdong, and can be used instead, but pay attention to its sweetness. This actually lends itself more to a sweet and sour, as does Papaya and Lychee. There is a long dark green marrow thingymagig sold in all wet markets, and this is ideal if you want a more subtle flavour (And not so hot).
Other Meats with Courgette's or squashes:
We are now entering new territories of culinary delights. You can substitute such delights as: Abalone, crab, oysters, and the large triangular things and use instead of, or as well as the prawns. All of these work instantly with the main recipe except for the crab - which has a heavy flavour unique to itself. Therefore whilst following the recipes above for the other alternatives; I would cook the crabmeat with Mango and extra chilli and/or curry sauce. These Crabs can be served whole of course, and make for a very fine and intense curry.
Note: If serving crabs whole in a curry, provide your dinner guests with simple plastic gloves for the occasion, as this does tend to get a tad 'messy'!
I presume that by now you realise I have been cooking this type of dish for a very long time, and have experimented with it ruthlessly. Since my time in China I have discovered one of the most edible of dishes, which just happens to be a vegetarian (And vegan) curry. I am writing this as a separate recipe, but it does relate to this one in many ways.

However, the final option is to add an egg to this dish (Main recipe above). This should be added one minute before serving by cracking an egg and pouring the contents around as much as possible. Leave a few moments so that it starts to set, and then mix haphazardly with chopsticks as it is setting.
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.

In addition we personally wish to thank Madhur Jaffrey and Jonno for sharing with us all their excellent skills and recipes.
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