Prawn Karanjia (Prawn Turnovers)
MK can’t stand my fisherwoman. I don’t blame him. She’s kind of…insistent. Unfortunately, when she comes in every other morning, I’m usually attending to Avanee’s waking up process (ahem) and am in no position to go to the door and do fish talk. So, MK has to answer the door and deal with her. Problem arises when she insists on giving us an extra pomfret in addition to our prawns. She cuts it up while pretending to throw it in out of the love in her heart, and then adds up the price to the total. If you’re a fish-loving foodie like me, you would brush this act off with pretend annoyance. Not if you’re my fish-hating husband. It’s funny to watch the two—one half-hearted saleswoman and one grumpy fish hater.
Alright, I take that last sentence back. Can’t exactly call him a fish hater after this. Or what happened today.
Prawn turnovers! God invented them, I think. My fisherwoman got me the perfect prawns today. The were just the right size, and I wanted to do something dangerous with them. Something that involved a lot of fat. I had been wanting to sink my teeth into one of my patti samosas for a while now; so, I took off from there and made turnovers or karanjis. They turned out fresh and light, in spite of the deep frying. And not fish-smelling at all. MK ate one right out of the fryer. I mean, ! That’s got to mean something!
For the pastry:
- 1 and ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. fine semolina
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp. ghee/ butter/oil (I used ghee)
- Water to bind
For the stuffing:
- 1 large cup of prawns, shelled, deveined, and chopped
- 1 medium-sized onion, very finely chopped.
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 1 large green chili (or according to taste), deseeded and finely chopped
- A small handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- ½ cup of fresh coconut, grated/scraped
- 1 tsp. cumin seed powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp. + for frying, vegetable oil
- In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil.
- Add the ginger, garlic, green chilies, and onion, and sauté for about 3 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown.
- Add the cumin seed powder and roast for barely a minute, until fragrant.
- Add the chopped prawns and season with salt.
- Turn off the heat when the prawns are almost but not quite done. They will cook through in the frying process.
- Add the coconut and cilantro and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pastry dough by mixing all the ingredients and kneading to soft dough. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Now, heat the oil in a deep fat fryer or wok.
- Pinch off small, lime-sized balls from the dough and roll out to a round, about half a centimeter in thickness.
- Place about one tablespoonful of the filling in the center, and turn over to fold into a half-moon. Press the edges tightly.
- Using a pizza cutter, knife, or similar appliance, trim the excess dough along the edges. Press the open edges again, just to make sure. You don’t want your filling to walk out into the hot oil.
- Gently immerse them, one at a time, into the hot oil, and fry until golden. Drain on a kitchen towel.
- Serve hot, by themselves, or with a spicy green chutney.