Monday, March 16, 2009

Boarding school and Prawn Pickles

Sis and me studied in a boarding school, a convent up in the hills. We had three holidays a year when we could go home and when we came back we were not allowed to bring any food stuff (we called it 'grub') except bottled jam, ketchup and milk flavours. The nuns were very strict about this and the night before school reopened all bags and baggages were checked and all the illegal grub found would be confiscated. All those years I broke this rule and used to take to school banana chips and a bottle of Prawn Pickle that my mom made. Mom was party to this, probably because she thought it helped me deal with my home-sickness. (She packed me four large bottles when I left home after getting married :) !!! )

Well I never got caught even once, because as soon as I reached school my buddies would be there asking if I had come with the 'pot of gold' and soon it would be whisked away to secret places and hidden safely. I remember it being hidden inside the grandfather clock also once. Sometimes I'd even thought my buddies loved my mom's prawn pickle more than me...;)!!! Finally all the grub would come out of hiding on the first saturday after we reached school. Either in the orchard or in a corner of the playground we used to have banana chips with prawn pickle. The party would have lasted less than five minutes...and then again the long wait till the end of the next term and holidays.
So this is for all my school buddies who would do anything for their 'pot of gold'....

Prawn Pickle

1. Prawns - 300 g. (shelled, deveined and cleaned)
2. Vinegar - 1 tsp.
3. Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp.
- Cook the prawns in little water, salt, vinegar and turmeric powder and keep aside.
4. Ginger - 3 dsp.
5. Garlic - 3 dsp.
6. Fenugreek - 1 dsp.
7. Mustard - 1 dsp.
8. Cummin seeds - 3/4 dsp.
9. vinegar - 1&1/2 cups.
- Soak the above in vinegar for about 3-4 hours. Grind to a paste. Add more vinegar (not water) if required for grinding.
10. Gingelly oil - 3/4 cup.
11. Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp.
12. Chilly Powder - 2 dsp.
13. Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
14. sugar - 1 tsp.
15. Salt - to taste.

- Heat the oil, fry the prawns till brown. Drain and keep aside. In the same oil put the curry leaves and the ground masala and fry till the oil floats. Add 1/2 cup of prawn stock and salt. When it boils add the fried prawns and simmer till oil comes on top. Remove from fire and add sugar. Adjust salt & vinegar according to taste. When cold, store in a clean dry jar.

For all those of you who haven't had a banana chip-prawn pickle sandwich, trust me you'll be left asking for more...!!!


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