In this A-Z challenge, Journey Through Telangana Cuisine, for R, I have royyala koora (prawn curry). I already have three versions of royyala koora on the blog; shrimp curry with onion paste, shrimp curry without onion paste and shrimp curry without tomatoes, and one might ask what is so special about this one? Last summer when cousin S visited me, I wrote down couple of recipes that she cooked for us, apart from coriander mint chutney I already posted. Today’s koora is her ammamma’s (grandmother) recipe. This recipe has no tomatoes, calls for poppy seeds which I hardly ever use in my cooking and last but not the least, royyalu are pre-cooked before adding to the curry. With so many variations, this recipe needs a separate post in itself.
Growing up, I never use to like prawns until I was 18-19 years old. One reason for the dislike was the smell of the prawns. When I was a little girl, I was turned off by the smell. And later, I never tried to taste it though we get good prawns in Hyderabad. One of my aunts lived near the river banks and sometimes would send fresh Ganga royyalu to cousin S, whenever someone came to Hyderabad. During on such deliveries, I happened to be at cousin’s place and her grandmom cooked this delicious koora. Just the aroma was enough to shove my prawn aversion and give it a try. Since then royyalu/prawns/shrimp have become one of my favorite foods.
By the way, when I said Ganga royyalu, the prawns were not from the the Ganges. River Godavari flows through Telangana and is called dakshina (southern) Ganga. It is considered almost as sacred as the river Ganges. When someone passes away, some of the ashes & bones of that person are first immersed in river Godavari and at a later point, rest are immersed in the Ganges. Some of them immerse all of the ashes in Godavari itself. In fact, some people call it Ganga. When I first heard one can make a day trip to Ganga, I was confused and wondered how that is possible. On further probe, I realized it is River Godavari and not River Ganga in the North. The prawns from river Godavari are called Ganga royyalu by the locals.
Here are the vegetables, fruits and dishes starting with ‘R’.
Rava – This can be godhuma rava / Cream of Wheat, Bombay Rava / Sooji
Ragi Java or Raagula java
Regi pandla pachadi (pickle)
Royyala pachadi (pickle)
- 1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 16 – 20 count shrimp)
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 1 tsp. Chili Powder
- ¾ tsp. Salt
- 3 tbsp. Oil
- ¼ tsp. Shah Jeera (I didn’t use)
- ⅔ cup firmly packed chopped Menthi ~ Fenugreek Leaves (opt)
- ¾ – 1 cup onion chopped (little less than 1 cup) ( it was too much oorpu)
- 4 Green Chilies, split it into two
- 1 ½ tbsp. Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 ½ tsp. Chili Powder (adjust to taste)
- ¼ tsp. Salt (adjust to taste)
- 2 tbsp. Coconut Flakes or Copra
- ½ tbsp. Poppy Seeds
- ⅛ – ¼ tsp. Cardamom Seeds (I used ¼ )
- 1-2 Cloves (I used 2)
- ¼” Cinnamon
- ¼ cup, about 3 ½ tbsp. Yogurt
- 2 – 3 tsp. Kothimeerla Podi ~ Dhaniya Powder ~ Coriander Powder
- Kothimeera ~ Cilantro Leaves for garnish
- Peel, devein shrimp and squeeze as much water as possible.
- Take a pan or a saucepan and heat 2 tbsp of oil listed under cooking shrimp. When oil is hot, add shrimp and saute until shrimp begins to curl up. Add chili powder and salt listed under cooking shrimp. Stir and cook until shrimp is cooked and becomes almost dry. Shrimp we get in the US cooks very fast. It will take less than 10 minutes for this step.
- Grind together poppy seeds, coconut flakes, cloves, cardamom seeds and cinnamon. Keep aside until needed.
- While the shrimp is cooking, take another wide pan and heat oil.
- Add shahjeera if using. Then add menthi leaves and saute until leaves wither and are roasted in oil.
- Add green chilies and saute for few seconds until chilies change color.
- Add onions, saute until soft and light yellowish brown.
- Add ginger garlic and saute until raw smell is gone.
- Add coconut poppy seeds powder, coriander powder, chili powder, salt, turmeric and stir until powders are lightly roasted in oil.
- Reduce the flame to low. Add beaten yogurt and stir immediately. Cook on low flame until yogurt is blended into onion mixture. Increase the flame and cook until oil separates from the sides and the masala (yogurt onion mixture) is brown.
- Add cooked shrimp and continue sauteing on medium high flame until masala coats shrimp.
- Reduce the flame to medium – medium low and cook until the koora is done.
- Sprinkle some chopped kothimeera, stir and turn of the fire.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with remaining chopped kothimeera and serve with rice.
- Spices – I used ¼ tsp. cardamom seeds and 2 cloves. The curry was spicy but we really enjoyed it, getting a kick out of it. Use these spices to your tolerance level.
- Oil – was a bit too much but I did not mind it. Oil was too much but it was not floating. If you feel it is too much, use less oil when pre-cooking the shrimp .
This day in:
2009 – Black & Yellow Chickpeas in Sweet & Sour Spicy Sauce
2010 – Egg Roll
2012 – Fattoush
2014 – Aloo Potala Rasa ~ Pointed Gourd Curry from Orissa
2015 – Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins