Sometimes it feels as though the zucchini has sent shockwaves through the food industry.
Down at the insert the name of your favourite brand of spiralizer <<HERE>> factory it’s all smiles, champagne and caviar for lunch, and excited chatter about doubling capacity to keep up with demand, while round the corner at the dried pasta plant, the talk’s of downsizing and forced redundancies.
The zoodle is indeed a versatile and magnificent thing, it has to be said, but let us not forget that the zucchini has considerably more than one string to its bow.
One particular favourite of ours comes from Italian maestro Antonio Carluccio. This recipe, which we found in a magazine, slowly fries zucchini strips in olive oil until golden and tender, and then marinates them in more olive oil, garlic, white wine vinegar and mint. Fan-bloody-tastic, it is, and that’s swearing.
Here, though, we use the zucchini’s ability to soak up flavours to our benefit, as we slowly simmer it in a deliciously minty, spicy, lemon and tomato based sauce.
This is kind of a mash-up recipe, combining a prawn and mint dish with a prawn and zucchini one.
To be honest, I can’t for the life of me work out why I never tried it before, because like the blending together of the Beatles “Within You Without You” and “Tomorrow Never Knows“ from the “Love” album, it produces something quite new and rather nice.
Prawn And Zucchini Curry
- 800g pre-cooked prawns
- 2 medium zucchinis / courgettes
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- a 2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 Jalapeño chilli, finely chopped
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp dried mint
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- lemon juice
- coconut oil
- tomato purée
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- a little chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- a few finely chopped chives
- hot chilli flakes
- Top and tail the zucchinis. Cut them into thirds, then halve the thirds lengthways. Using a teaspoon, scoop out the soft centres, containing the seeds. Slice the hollowed out thirds into strips, the size of chunky matchsticks. Set aside.
- Place the turmeric, paprika, dried mint, and salt and black pepper to taste in a small bowl. Add just enough water to produce a thin paste. Stir well, and set aside.
- Heat 4 tbsp of coconut oil in a non-stick lidded pan over medium heat. Stir fry the onions for 5 minutes.
- Add the ginger and chilli. Stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic. Stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Add the spice and water paste. Stir fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato purée and 3 tbsp of lemon juice to the pan. Stir well. Add just enough hot water to the pan so that you obtain a sauce. Cook the sauce, covered, on a low simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the zucchini / courgette strips to the pan. Stir well to coat with the sauce. Return to a low simmer, and cook until the strips are just tender, about 15 – 20 minutes should do the trick, but keep a close eye on them after the 10 minute mark, adding a splash of hot water if required.
- Once the zucchini / courgettes are tender, add the cooked prawns to the pan. Return to a low simmer, and cook just long enough to heat the prawns through – 1 – 2 minutes at the very outside.
- Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice, and the Garam Masala. Stir well.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Garnish with the chopped fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped chives, and a scattering of hot chilli flakes. Serve, with a side of cauliflower rice.