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Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry

Curry for change!

The ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign is back, and I am very honoured to be collaborating again with Opportunity International Australia for their annual fundraising project. In its third year (you can view details of the previous years here and here); the campaign aims to raise funds to help families in developing countries build income-generating businesses.

A bit of background info for those who are hearing about Opportunity International Australia and the Great Australian Curry campaign for the first time…

Opportunity International Australia provides small loans to families in developing countries to steer them towards a path of financial independence and thereby a better quality of life. Founded in the 1970s by David Bussau, Opportunity has come a long way since offering innumerable families a new lease of life.

Opportunity works through a unique system of microfinance, community development, training, local presence, technology and rural outreach programmes. And the ‘Great Australian Curry’ campaign is a great way by which food lovers like us can contribute in a meaningful manner towards poverty and diminishing its impact.

Opportunity International Australia

But why curry?

Most of Opportunity International Australia’s work is concentrated in the Asian countries and a curry is perhaps the most iconic dish to have come from the region. And Australia loves curry – Vindaloo, Rogan Josh, Massaman, Thai green curry…the list is endless.

This year’s campaign was launched last week with a Curry Cook-off between veteran Chef (and MasterChef judge) Ian Curley and MasterChef 2017 winner, Diana Chan.

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry- thespiceadventuress.com

Chef Ian Curley said that he is looking forward to cooking up a curry with Diana. “It’s one way we can give a hand up to families less fortunate than ours. It’s important for us to not lose focus of how lucky we are, just the simple fact of where we live. I’m very blessed to have a healthy family and to live In Australia with the opportunity to do the work I love.”

Diana agrees too and she says that it will be an honour to share space and cook alongside Chef Curley. “I am so impressed with the work that Opportunity does to help families end poverty. “I also love that I can contribute towards the same through my cooking skills.”

Oppoyle Prawn Curry

There are so many different ways through which you can participate in this year’s Great Australian Curry Campaign;

Plan a Curry Night – Time to dig out your favourite recipes and invite your friends and family for a curry feast at home. Be generous and plan the entire dinner yourself or make it a curry potluck (so much fun!); even better would be a curry cook-off. If cooking is not your forte, head out for a curry night to your favourite restaurant and let the professionals feed you.

Create a Fundraiser – Once you have planned out the night, set up a fundraiser page and encourage everyone to make a donation. The fundraiser page can also be set up without hosting any curry event. All the details for setting up the page can be found here.

Spread the Word – Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to show support by making a donation or host their own curry fundraising event.

And this year, the Great Australian Curry campaign has another proud supporter – Herbie’s Spices, the artisan Australian spice business.

Since all of you get my fascination for good quality spices, I was thrilled when Herbie’s Spices gifted all the spices that I needed to create this lipsmacking delicious Kerala style Prawn Curry. This is not the first time I am using Herbie’s Spices; it has been one of my go to brands whenever I need to stock up my spice pantry.

The first 20 people to sign up to host a Great Australian Curry fundraiser will win a ‘Flavours of India Spice Kit’. Also Ian and Liz Hemphill, who established Herbie’s Spices 21 years ago, will also give out ‘Pantry Spice Kits’ and their ‘Herb and Spice Bible—Third Edition’ as prizes for an upcoming Facebook competition promoting the campaign,” Learn more and participate in the competition here.

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry- thespiceadventuress.com

Ian Hemphill is enthusiastic to be giving a boost to the Great Australian Curry. “As most spices originate from developing countries, we’re keen to support a campaign that strives to improve the lives of people in these spice-producing communities.

Speaking of spices, here is a deliciously creamy and coconuty Kerala style Prawn Curry that you can make for your fundraising curry night.

This year, I wanted to make a seafood curry. Seafood, especially prawns is hugely popular during the spring-summer months in Australia leading up to Christmas and New Year. And I also wanted to make a curry that is light yet packed with flavour that’s perfect for our warm days.

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry- thespiceadventuress.com

The title ‘Kerala style Prawn Curry’ is rather generic because there are so many different styles of making seafood curries in Kerala. This particular one is more popular in central Kerala, as coconut milk is used liberally in curries making it light yet so creamy, coconuty and packed with flavour. As for spices, I have kept is simple again and used spices that are familiar to most people.

I used tiger prawns for making this curry and if you can source it fresh, then I highly suggest you do so because then this dish is nothing short of an indulgence. And pair it with steaming hot long grained rice; that’s all you need. Maybe some pappadoms on the side….

So let’s get cooking this fingerlickin’ good Kerala style Prawn Curry….

Kerala style Prawn Curry

But before that, here are a few curry recipes for hosting your Great Australian Curry fundraising campaign….

  1. Cambodian (Khmer) Chicken Samlá Curry
  2. Massaman Curry
  3. Duck Kurma
  4. Jaffna style Goat Curry
  5. Hyderabadi Shahi Macchi Kurma (Fish in a Creamy, Saffron induced Yoghurt Curry)

Kerala style Prawn Curry

Ingredients:

  1. 800 gms tiger prawns; deveined and deshelled (but retain shell at the tail end)
  2. 3 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tbsp for tempering
  3. ½ tsp mustard seeds
  4. ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  5. 2 small red onions; finely sliced
  6. 1 tsp ginger paste
  7. 5 green chillies (whole)
  8. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  9. 1 tbsp red chilli powder (adjust to heat preferences)
  10. 1 ½ tsp coriander powder
  11. ½ tsp garam masala
  12. Salt, to season
  13. ½ tsp Freshly milled black pepper
  14. 2 dried Kashmiri red chillies
  15. 4-5 sprigs curry leaves
  16. 400ml coconut milk

Method:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a deep pan (use an earthenware pot, if you have one).
  2. When the oil gets warm, add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
  3. Then add the fenugreek seeds, half of the curry leaves and green chillies.
  4. Next add the ginger paste and sliced onions; sauté till the onions are softened and translucent.
  5. Then add the turmeric, chilli, black pepper and coriander powder; mix well to combine and reduce heat to avoid the spices from burning.
  6. Add the cleaned prawns and 300ml coconut milk (reserve the remaining). Season with salt and mix well. Bring to boil and then simmer gently on low heat till the prawns are cooked.
  7. Once the prawns are cooked, add the remaining coconut milk and mix well. Adjust seasoning and remove from heat.
  8. In another small pan, heat coconut oil and add the remaining curry leaves and dry red chillies. Fry for a few seconds and add this to the prepared prawn curry. Keep covered for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  9. Enjoy over steamed long grain rice.

And let’s not forget to join hands and support Opportunity International Australia’s commitment to help fight poverty. Start your own Great Australian Curry fundraising campaign today!

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry- thespiceadventuress.com

 

Disclaimer – This post has been bought to you in association with Opportunity International Australia and all the spices were kindly gifted by Herbie’s Spices.

 

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Afghan Rahimi Restaurant and Reception (Dandenong) – a Review

A visit to Rahimi has been on the cards for such a long time, but it didn’t quite happen till now. Guess Melbourne has too many good food joints that a lifetime does not seem to be enough!

This restaurant is a stone’s throw away from where I live and pass by the place almost every week. But the realization that this is one of the best Afghan restaurants to dine in Melbourne came after reading a review by Matt Preston (Masterchef fame).

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The first thing that struck me walking into the restaurant was the ornate décor….. deep red brocade curtains, richly decorated wooden tables and chairs set in a large space and the low lighting which set a very inviting ambience to the whole place.

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Rahimi Baryalai, the owner of the restaurant, greeted us on entering and after enquiring specifics, we were seated and the menus bought out. While there are many a la carte dishes, it was the banquet option that caught my eye. And I would totally recommend this to anyone who is visiting Afghan Rahimi for the first time. Very reasonably priced, there are several banquet options ranging from $35 to $55 depending on the number of dishes and people; this is the ideal way to experience the best dishes that the restaurant has to offer.

We went for Banquet 3 (Afghani) priced at $45.00 which is a five course meal. The dishes are bought out one by one to the table and soon you have a banquet to feast on.

The bread and dips arrived first. I don’t think I have appreciated Afghan bread so much before (have had plenty of it); it was soft and the perfect carrier to scoop the dips and chutneys. There was a simple tomato and cucumber salad, a carrot based dip, a cucumber based yoghurt dip and a chutney. The perfect way to start off a meal exciting your tastebuds for the remaining meal….

Afghan bread, dips, salad and condiments

Afghan bread, dips, salad and condiments

The next dish to arrive was Mantu (Traditional Afghani dumplings steam cooked, made from pastry, mince and onions topped with yoghurt and tomato gravy). Perhaps, the most famous dish at Rahimi and Matt Preston’s absolute favourite. I don’t think words do any justice to what these dumplings do to your tastebuds. Melt-in-your-mouth, soft, creamy, juicy….oh, it’s an experience. Get yourself to Rahimi just for this.

Mantu (Traditional Afghani dumplings steam cooked, made from pastry, mince and onions topped with yoghurt and tomato gravy)

Mantu (Traditional Afghani dumplings steam cooked, made from pastry, mince and onions topped with yoghurt and tomato gravy)

Next came a plate of Borani Banjan (Fried eggplants covered with a fresh tomato and yoghurt sauce). I am not too fond of eggplants but this dish has converted me. The flavour was so bespoke that I happily forgot that I was eating eggplants.

Borani Banjan (Fried eggplants covered with a fresh tomato and yoghurt sauce)

Borani Banjan (Fried eggplants covered with a fresh tomato and yoghurt sauce)

The Afghani traditional rice came next. Now I have seen a zillion recipes claiming to be Afghani rice on the Internet; if you want to experience the real deal, visit Rahimi. Perfectly cooked rice with a generous topping of carrots and raisins with a subtle hint of spices.

Afghani traditional rice

Afghani traditional rice

Along with the rice came Meatball/Kofta curry (Lamb mince marinated with diced onions and herbs, curried in a delicious tomato and pea gravy). Yet another delicious dish; I think I have repeated delicious enough number of times by now and I don’t intend to stop.

Meatball/Kofta curry (Lamb mince marinated with diced onions and herbs, curried in a delicious tomato and pea gravy)

Meatball/Kofta curry (Lamb mince marinated with diced onions and herbs, curried in a delicious tomato and pea gravy)

Next to arrive was the Chicken Tikka and Lamb backstrap skewers. Loved the flavour on these meat skewers and it was delicious but would have preferred the meat to be slightly more tender.

Chicken Tikka and Lamb backstrap skewers

Chicken Tikka and Lamb backstrap skewers

Followed soon by the fried fish preparation (I couldn’t get the name of this one). Mr. Baryalai personally bought it to our table saying that it is a special preparation that he enjoys very much. Now most of you know my obsession with seafood but it would be perfectly fair to say that I have not eaten a more beautifully cooked fish preparation before. Subtly spiced and absolutely succulent and flaky fish; it is to be experienced.

Fried fish preparation

Fried fish preparation

The meal ended with a glass of traditional green tea that was flavoured with organic saffron and cardamom accompanied by gulab jamun (Dough balls are fried and soaked overnight in a sugar syrup) and another milk based sweet (which we call ‘peda’ in India but couldn’t get the Afghan name) and a bowl of vanilla icecream drizzled with honey for my little one. He got the ice cream for being a wonderfully behaved child and eating all his food. What a little personal touch…this is what customer service is all about.

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Reading so far, you would have an idea of why this spread is called a banquet. A thoroughly delicious experience, one which I will want to return to over and over again.

The customer service is exemplary; to have the owner of the restaurant taking care of every need of yours is not a common thing. Mr. Rahimi was telling us about how the popularity of his restaurant has gone up which makes it a hot destination for those living far but the locals of the suburb seem to have forgotten the place. You would easily find cabinet ministers and the elite dining at the next table to yours at Rahimi.

Quality food at an affordable price for all to enjoy is what Afghan Rahimi is all about. Perhaps the closest that many of us would get to experience true Afghan hospitality and the richness of the cuisine.

Rating – 9/10

Afghan Rahimi Restaurant and Reception

23/29 Walker Street
Dandenong
Victoria

Phone no: 03-97939981

Website: http://www.afghanrahimirestaurant.com/

Opening Hours:

Tuesday – Thursday: 4.30pm to 10.00pm
Friday: 12.00pm to 10.00pm
Saturday – Sunday; 4.30pm to 10.00pm

Afghan Rahimi Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer – Not a sponsored post; all was paid for by me.

Beetroot and Curry Leaf Rice

This has been the decade of reality culinary shows and being the fanatic foodie that I am, spent countless hours watching many of these. But the only show that impressed and inspired me was Masterchef Australia – simply because the show helped me understand and learn several new cooking techniques, ingredients and also a completely new outlook to food. Just like many other countries, India too joined the bandwagon and started Masterchef India 3 years ago. To say that I thoroughly disliked the show would be an understatement – it started off as a Bollywood movie with drama, twists, turns etc. (the show has redeemed its reputation largely this season)

But there were some recipes that did capture my attention especially the beetroot and curry leaf rice, which is super simple to make and a great twist to regular rice preparations. The beautifully rich red colour of the beetroot gives the whole dish a wow appearance!

Ingredients:

1. basmati rice – 2 cups
2. vegetable oil – 2-3 tbsp
3. Butter – 1 tsp
4. mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
5. urad dal – ½ tsp
6. ginger – 1 tsp, chopped
7. green chillies – ½ tsp, chopped
8. curry leaves – 3 sprigs
9. shallots – 3-4, sliced
10. beetroot – 1, finely grated
11. lemon juice – ½ tsp
12. salt – to taste

Method:

• Boil the basmati rice, drain and keep aside.
• Heat oil in a pan, add a little butter and crackle the mustard seeds.
• Add the urad dal, ginger, green chillies, curry leaf and sauté for a few seconds.
• Next, add the sliced shallots and cook till soft.
• Add the cooked rice and mix well.
• Add the grated beetroot, lemon juice and salt and mix well.
• Saute till all the ingredients are mixed well.

beetroot curry leaf rice

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