Lobster curry with tamarind, roasted coconut, ginger and coriander

Lobster curry with tamarind, roasted coconut, ginger and coriander

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen
Serves
4

This dish is based upon a style of cooking that is typical along India’s southwest coast, though I have added fish sauce and sugar, which are not traditional ingredients. If lobster seems too extravagant, you could use any clean, firm-fleshed fish – monkfish would be perfect.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 very fresh, live lobsters
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
5cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 red chillies, chopped
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
5 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon caster sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind water
1 1/2 x 400ml cans coconut milk
75g unsweetened dried coconut flakes, lightly toasted

Method

  1. Bring a large pan of salty water to a fast boil, then drop in the lobsters and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and leave until cool enough to handle, then extract the meat. Take a sharp knife and make an incision all the way down the middle of the body. Remove the flesh and cut into medallions, discarding the stomach sac and the dark intestinal thread, which runs the length of the body. Crack the large claws with the back of a heavy knife and gently remove the meat. Save the legs for garnish.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the onions, lower the heat a little and cook gently, stirring every now and then, until they are translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, put the ginger, garlic, chillies, toasted coriander seeds and tomatoes in a blender and whiz to a paste. Scrape out the mixture and add it to the onions in the pan. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water and stir well, then pour in the coconut milk. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked lobster and heat gently for 2–3 minutes until it is just warmed through. Check the seasoning.
  5. Ladle the curry into warm bowls or soup plates and garnish with the reserved lobster legs and toasted coconut flakes to serve.

Note

  • Buy live lobsters from your fishmonger – they will taste all the better for being so fresh. Order them in advance and check they are still feisty when you collect them. Wrap in damp newspaper, keep in a box and cook soon after buying. The kindest thing to do is pop the lobsters in the freezer for an hour or so before cooking – to put them into a deep sleep. Then, bring a large pot of salty water (as salty as the sea) to the boil. Drop in the sleepy lobsters and cook for 8 minutes exactly.
Tags:
seasonal
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