Here’s a recipe for the adventurous. It’s for the Goan Prawns Xacutti served at Mynt in Winter Park and Saffron on Sand Lake Road’s Restaurant Row. Both restaurants, along with Madras, are owned by Sunny Corda, who shares this recipe in celebration of Saffron’s 10th anniversary.
This one is presented as a no-recipe recipe. That is, it isn’t in the conventional format with exactly measured ingredients at top and strict instructions for the procedure. That’s because xacutti, which refers to a blend of spices, is open to interpretation and improvisation. You’ll need to feel a little comfortable with tasting and adjusting as you go.
But watch Corda prepare the dish in the video, then gather up the spices and prawns (large shrimp are fine, too) and have some fun.
Goan Prawns Xacutti
Prawns 6-7 pcs
About 10 curry leaves
Dried grated coconut or coconut milk
Cinnamon ½ inch stick
Poppy seeds if you have it
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder ¼ teaspoon
Oil 2-3 tablespoons
Onions finely chopped 2 medium
Ginger-garlic paste 1 tablespoon
Coriander-cumin powder 2 teaspoons
First we will heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan, add curry leaves, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, cardamoms and poppy seeds and sauté for a minute. Add coconut and sauté further for a minute. Cool and grind in a food processor, with sufficient water, to a coarse paste.
Heat remaining oil in dutch oven, add onions and sauté till translucent. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté further for a minute. Add ground paste and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
When sauce begins to boil, add prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add coriander-cumin powder and mix well.
Add ½ cup water and mix well. Cook for 5-7 minutes.
Ready to serve on basmati rice.