Oct 23, 2006

Prawns Masala (sungaTa paNNa upkari)

paNNa upkari is a popular konkani side dish. Its same to like batate song, but when made with seafood, its called paNNa upkari. I donno why. It usually made very spicy and tangy with a good balance between red chillies and tamarind which are the only spice ingredients in the dish.

paNNa upkari can be made with fresh or dried prawns, small fishes or pomfrets too. Sardine paNNa upkari is the best. This time made it dried prawns.

Prawns Masala
Dried Prawns Panna upkari

The first time I had dried prawns was at my cousins place. She had made a pulav which was more like ghee rice. And the pulav was served with a prawns paNNa upakri. It was a wonderful combination. Dried prawns have a typical smell, very unpleasant to the beginners.

2 medium onions
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 inch cube tamarind
2 tsp oil
1 cup dried prawns
1 tbsp coconut, optional

Clean the dried prawns. Konkani people usually do like to remove the head and tail of the prawn. That leaves behind only a tiny amount of prawns left behind. You can leave the head and tail intact of you wish to. That will not a difference in the end result. The trimming job can take a good 1 hr hence its good to clean the prawns ahead and store.

Wash the dried prawns in water. Soak it in water for 10-15 minutes. Rub the prawns between fingers, this will wash away any sand particles in the prawns. Rinse till all the sand particles are washed away.

Soak tamarind in half a cup of water. Squeeze out the fibers and keep the pulp ready.

Heat oil in a kadai. Stir in the onions and keep frying till all the onions are turned golden brown. Its very important to get the onions fried evenly to golden brown. Do it on a low flame for a better result.

Frying onions

Add prawns and fry till they turn pink. Add coconut and fry for 5 minutes. Add red chilli powder and fry till its aromatic. Add tamarind pulp and salt. Simmer on low flame till the prawns are cooked.
The dish should not be completely dry. Keep some liquid.

Serve with plain rice or ghee rice or jeera rice.


Sanjana said...

Hi. Very good recipes.
I tried this sungta phanna upkari but it gave a brick red colour and no gravy. How did you manage to get a dark brown/black colour?? My husband loves sumgta phanna upkari but wht i make tastes sumwht like batat song ;-)

Manjula said...

Hi Sanjana,

The dark color comes from the tamarind & the red chillies. Its very important to fry the onions totally dark brown. Do this on low flame so that they are evenly browned. Also fry the chili powder in oil till its aromatic and little dark.

Try it again and let me know if you like it


Sanjana said...

Thanks Manjula. I'll try it this weekend and let you know.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Do you roast(fry without oil)the dry prawns before you add it to the dish ? Normally dry fish/prawns is roasted before using it. I am new to cooking..so please let me know :)