Every time I cook traditional Saraswat Brahmin Dishes from Goa/ Konkan belt I get transported to my Aai’s (Mum’s Mum) Kitchen. Such wealth of recipes she has that I have been very fortunate to grow up on. Delectable, tasty and extremely healthy. As you might know that traditional recipes from Goa make use of the natural resources that are available in abundance locally. Hence you will notice that Coconut is a key element in Goan cooking.
Goan Saraswat Brahmin (a community) food gives equal importance to pulses and legumes as it does to fish and other proteins.
One of my most favourite dish is Aamti (pronounced as Aam– tea) There are two major types of Aamtis – Masala Aamti which constitutes roasted coconut and roasted whole spices and the other type is Ras and Gholi Aamti which has no garam masala in it. I will be featuring a lot of Aamtis in the blog ahead.
Today I will feature my most favourite Aamti – Prawns Aamti or Kolmi Aamti – Prawns in a lightly spiced coconut broth gravy. What a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day !! I dedicate this post to my Mum and Aai for everything they have done for me and taught me about life.
Ingredients needed are
- Prawns – 350 gms de-veined
- Turmeric – 1 teaspoon
- Coconut Cream Can- 200 ml
- Lite Coconut Milk Can- 400 ml
- Finely Grated Fresh Coconut- 150 gms
- Peppercorns- 5-6 in no
- Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon (can reduce or increase the quantity as per taste)
- Onions- 2 medium sized finely chopped
- Tamarind – golf size ball soaked in warm water.
- Oil- 1.5 teaspoon
- Salt to taste
- Rice flour – 1 teaspoon (Optional)
Method of Preparation
1) Getting the Coconut milk ready – or the RAS
If you want to make coconut milk at home – you need to scrape a fresh coconut using a coconut scraper and then add some warm water to the scraped coconut. Then run it through a mixer and then squeeze the milk from the coconut using the palm of your hands. Use a strainer to strain the milk. This is the first press of coconut milk- thick coconut milk.
The Easy method- Go to your super market – get a can of coconut cream. We will be using 200 gms of coconut cream.
Thin coconut milk – is the second or third press of the coconut milk strained.
The Easy method – Get a can of lite coconut milk – add a bit of water to dilute the same. This is your thin coconut milk ready in seconds. We will be using 400 gms of lite coconut milk.
2) Getting the Gholi Ready – Ground ball of coconut and spice
Take about 150 gms of freshly grated coconut / frozen grated coconut. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric , peppercorns, half teaspoon red chilli powder and salt. Add a bit of water grind into a thick paste. Make a ball out of it and keep aside. This is the Gholi ready.
3) Soak the tamarind in warm water and make pulp.
4) Prepping the Prawns – Wash and De-vein the prawns and apply 1/2 teaspoon turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder and keep aside.
5) Making the Aamti
Take a Non stick wok. Add just 1.5 teaspoon oil. Once it heats add 1 teaspoon chopped onion and let it brown. Then add the remaining onion and marinated prawns. Add enough water to cover the onions and prawns. Cover with a lid and let it cook on low flame.
Point to note – The Aamti does not use a lot of oil. The onion and prawns cook in water and release their own juices. This gives the Aamti a very good flavour.
In about 7-10 minutes check on the prawns, once they are nearly done add the thin coconut milk mixed with 1 teaspoon rice flour and salt and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.
Then mix the Gholi with the thick ras. It should look like this.
Now add this mixture to the Aamti. Add the tamarind pulp at this stage and mix well. Check for salt and spice. If needed you can add more red chilli powder. Let it get to a boil. Then switch of the flame and let it rest for atleast 30 minutes before serving.
The more the Aamti rests the better will be the flavour as tamarind infuses over a period of time. Remember to heat it again before serving.
Your Prawns Aamti/ Kolmi Aamti is ready to be gobbled. So next time your friends come over delight them with this absolutely traditional recipe.
My Kitchen Secrets are now yours !!
Recipe and Food Styling – Sharvari P Mehan
Photography – Ankit Mehan
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