I would like to share with you all my own weightloss and fitness journey. Well, I never thought in my life that a once-upon-a-time skinny person like me would eventually gain so much weight. But unfortunately, it did happen. It happened because of years of zero exercise, clubbed with a high-calorie, high-protein diet. In particular, a good amount of sugary foods contributed to my bloated shape. Because of the weight gain, knee problems, hormonal issues and metabolic slowdown found its way into my system.
Exercise is not my cup of tea—that’s what I convinced myself and moved on with an unhealthy lifestyle. Even a walk down the walking track was a task for me. And then, as you all know, eating out too often (thanks to blogging!) contributed to my increasing waistline. No dress would fit, although I was very comfortable under my skin. Over a period of time, I had to discard my “S” sized clothes and change over to “XL” sized ones.
Then one day somewhere in the beginning of April 2017, I did some routine blood tests and discovered that in addition to being overweight, I developed borderline Cholesterol and Uric Acid. That was the day that I decided to change my lifestyle to a healthy one for an overall well-being, not just to lose weight. For the first time I entered gym. With some discipline, effort and the help of my knowledgeable and dedicated trainer, I have finally managed to hit gym and take my health seriously.
Although I have not reached my goal yet, still I am content that I am on my way to a healthy body. I am glad to share that I lost 9 kg in 8 months, without any dieting. I do not do cardio every day, nor do I starve to achieve my goal. In the process of reducing weight and toning my body up, I never had boring food. I eat a balanced diet. I ate and drank everything, but in moderation. Weight training and an active lifestyle have helped me in toning up my body, and I have now learnt that toning-up is much more important than reducing weight. Today, I am happy that I can slip into M-sized clothes again. I am happy to bid goodbye to my XL-sized outfits. Cheers to 2018, cheers to good health!
Although I have a long way to go to achieve my target, I know I will do it this year. Sharing my happy moment with this Special Prawn Curry. This Prawn Recipe is a family favourite. Mostly, I prefer cooking prawns with shell-on and heads intact. This adds loads of flavour to the curry, without doing any extra bit. You can always remove the shells while eating. Heads can be chewed, if desired.
My tricks to make even a regular prawn curry ooze out with flavour:
- While buying, choose straight prawns. Those are the freshest!
- If possible, always cook prawns with shells on and heads intact. Prior to cooking, you can devein the prawns while cleaning and put-on the shell again. Alternately, as in my case, I slit the shell from the top to devein the prawns.
- Do not overcook the prawns. When the oil is hot, shallow-fry the prawns quickly on a medium flame.
- Keep the fried/cooked prawns away from any heat source.
- While frying briefly, with the help of a kitchen spoon, slightly press down the heads, to avoid ending up with raw insides.
- Always fry prawns in small batches.
- Don’t dump all the fried prawns together on a plate. In that way, the prawns that are at the bottom, get overcooked because of the heat of the ones over them.
- Do not boil a prawn curry too much.
These are some points that I follow while making a prawn curry. As a result, my Prawns are always soft and juicy and never dry and overcooked! Have a look at this easy and delicious recipe of my Special Prawn Curry.
How I lost 9 kgs and the Recipe of My Special Prawn Curry
- Plump and medium-sized deveined Tiger Prawns with shells and heads intact: 25
- Salt for marination: 1.5 tsp
- Turmeric powder for marination: ¾ tsp
- Oil for frying prawns: ½ cup
- Carom seeds Ajwain: ½ tsp
- Asafoetida or Hing mixed with 1 tsp water: ½ tsp
- Medium-sized purple onions finely chopped lengthwise: 2
- Garlic paste: 1 tsp
- Tomato puree: 1 cup
- Commercially available Pad Thai Sauce: ½ cup
- Coconut milk: 1 cup
- Cumin seed powder freshly roasted and ground: 1.5 tsp
- Red chilli powder: ½ tsp
- Slit green chillies: 5
- Warm water: 3.5 cups
- Salt for the gravy: 1 tsp
- Turmeric powder for the gravy: ¾ tsp
- Oil for gravy: 3 tbsp
- Finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing: handful
- Marinate the prawns by opening up the shells a bit and carefully smearing each prawn with salt and turmeric powder, ensuring that salt and turmeric reach the insides of the shells of each of the prawns. Leave at room temperature for 15 min.
- Add ½ cup oil to a shallow non-stick pan. When the oil is hot, reduce the flame to a medium. Shallow-fry the marinated prawns (with heads and shells intact) in small batches. The prawns should be fried for 1 min on each side. Please note that smaller prawns take lesser time. Read “My tricks to make even a regular prawn curry ooze out with flavour” in this blogpost to know how to make the juiciest prawn curry. Rubbery prawns are a big no-no!
- For the gravy, In the same pan, add the rest of the oil and let it reach its smoking point. On a medium flame, add carom seeds and wait for a while. Add the asafoetida or hing immediately. Sauté continuously for a few seconds.
- Add all the garlic paste followed by chopped onions. Sauté till the onions have a nice golden-brown colour.
- Add the tomato puree and the Pad Thai Sauce and sauté on a high flame until the liquids are almost reduced to half. In a few teaspoonfuls of water, make a paste of salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Mix this paste in. Cook until oil separates.
- Reduce the flame to a minimum and add the coconut milk, stirring continuously. Let this come to a slow boil.
- Pour the warm water and the slit green chillies. Cover and simmer for 5 min.
- Add the prawns. Stir evenly. The prawns should partially submerge in water. Add more water, if needed.
- Cover and let the curry come to a rolling boil; stir the contents once.
- Check and adjust the seasoning. Let the curry boil for a total of 10 min.
- Switch off the flame and remove the cooking vessel from fire. Transfer to a serving bowl after 5 min.
- This Prawn Curry is best enjoyed with steamed rice.
Have a wonderful year ahead!
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