Pipengaille with dried prawns
1 kg pipengaille
100 grams dried prawns,
1 medium onion finely chopped,
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley,
3 tablespoons finely chopped thyme,
2 tablespoons crushed garlic,
2 tablespoons crushed ginger,
2 medium ripe tomatoes quartered,
4 tablespoons vegetable oil,
1 cup chicken stock,
Salt and pepper to taste.
Wash the dried prawns and soak in luke warm water overnight. Place a saucer on top to make sure that all the dried prawns are immersed. Use fresh dried prawns that look like the ones in the photo.
Using a sharp knife, cut the pipengaille into 6 inch (150 mm) lengths. Slice off with a very sharp knife the green skin of the pipengaille and put aside the peels. (We can make a chatini with the pipengaille peels). Be careful not to overcut. Only slice off the green parts. With a sharp knife cut the white pieces of pipengaille into 1/4 inch (5 mm) round slices. Put aside.
Drain the soaking water from the dried prawns and wash with cold running water. Drain and put aside.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan big enough to hold all the ingredients, put in 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Allow to heat up.
In the hot oil, put in the chopped onions, finely crushed garlic and ginger. Mix gently and allow to cook until the onions become transparent and cooked. Stir at intervals to avoid the ingredients from burning.
Add the dried prawns and stir fry gently to allow the dried prawns to semi cook.
Add the quartered tomatoes, cover the saucepan and allow the tomato pieces to cook. Carefully crush the tomato pieces to add some extra sauce to the dish.
Add the pipengaille slices, the chopped parsley and thyme and mix well with the other ingredients. Add the chicken stock to enrich the flavour of the dish. Stir in the ingredients carefully, so that you do not crush the pipengaille slices. Uniformly distribute the various ingredients in the saucepan. Cover and allow the pipengaille and prawns to cook over low to medium heat. Check and carefully stir at intervals to avoid the ingredients from burning.
Check and gently stir at regular intervals to ensure that the pipengaille cooks and softens to your preference. Be careful not to crush the pipengaille. You can control the amount of sauce by either uncovering the saucepan to reduce the sauce or add a little bit of hot water to obtain more sauce. If the prawns are not fully cooked, add a little more hot water if necessary to prolong the cooking. Be careful not to add too much water. Taste the sauce for flavour and add salt to taste.
When the pipengaille is cooked and the sauce is to your desired consistency, turn off the gas or remove from heat. Cover and put aside. Sprinkle with some finely chopped parsley to finish off.
Enjoy with rice and a good chatini or pickle.
Madeleine's recipe : Pipengaille with dried prawns
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