RECIPE / From the melting pot

THE Englishman in Athens who cooks Oriental strikes again. Mike Bentall last cropped up here when he sent in a stir-fry recipe. He credits new this recipe to 'the Golden Chopsticks in South Kensington and classes in Indian cookery in Trowbridge'. He will receive two bottles of Pinot Grigio 1992 Borgo Molino, a Gewurztraminer-style wine from the Friuli, supplied by Reid Wines of Bristol.

Coconut and prawn curry

Serves 4

Ingredients: 20 large prawns, fresh, on the shell and whole

1 medium onion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 fresh green chilli, minced

1/2 in fresh ginger, grated

5oz (140g) block cream coconut

1 lime (for juice)

2tbs vegetable oil

1tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp chilli powder

1tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

2 handful of ground almonds

Preparation: Shell and devein prawns. Gather up shells, heads and scraps, crush and cook in slightly more than a pint (about 1/2 litre) of boiling water until reduced to about 1/2 pint (1/4 litre) fish stock. Strain, discarding the remnants. Blanch prawns in boiling water. Heat oil in frying pan. Add onion, garlic, chilli and ginger, cooking until just turning brown. Add dry spices, juice of the lime and salt. Fry quickly, stirring. Add fish stock and coconut, simmer 5 minutes. Liquidise for a smooth sauce if you wish, then reheat. Add prawns and heat for 2 minutes. Thicken with two handfuls of ground almonds. Add prawns, heat through and serve with rice.

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