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Curry Coconut Prawns

I had a wonderful week meeting up with the Food Bloggers at Food Bloggers Connect 2010. But the highlight of the week started with this hilarious conversation I had with the British officers at the border - me and my Singaporean accent (yes we chatted for quite a while, who cares about the other travellers waiting for their turn, right?):

Officer: So you are staying in London for a week. What will you be doing there?
Me (all excited): Oh, I'm going there to attend FBC. There will be lots of FOOD bloggers at that event.
Officer: I see, FOOT Bloggers you say. So what is this meeting all about?
Me (babbling on): Oh we exchange notes, experience, recipes, take pictures of FOOD, share photography taking techniques, getting to know each other and exchange our blogs etc. I also have my own FOOD blog. (I said rather proudly)
Officer: Oh! So what do you blog about?
Me: Oh about FOOD, a bit of restaurant review but not much. Mainly FOOD, what I cook with, how it tastes, the result of my experience with the recipe, etc.
Officer: FOOT, yeah ??
Me: Yes, you know FOOD like : I show him the hand sign of eating.
Officer: Oh you mean FOOD. I thought you were talking about FEET. I was starting to wonder - recipes, photos and all with FOOT.
Me: Oh, no, not FOOT... Now that would be a bit of too fetish, isn't it?
Officer: Oh, don't worry. We are used to all sorts of things here working in this line. Talking about food, my wife baked 3 cakes last night and it's all for her office.
Me: Oh lucky her. A food blogger's dream - to be able to bake and give it away to others to eat.
Officer: You can say that again. Look at me, I got it all here (pointing to his waist and tummy).
Me: Oh, my husband complaints the same but he can't stop eating what I make. So your wife loves to cook. Do you like Indian food, Asian Food or French Food?
Officer: Oh yes, I love it.
Me: Here's my name card. You can find delicious Indian, Asian & French recipes in there. (So I gave the 2 officers my name card - what a start of a great day!)

Off I went with a big smile on my face to meet Sarka of Cooking Your Dream, Tiina of Sparkling Ink & Giulia of Jul's Kitchen (my bedmate for the weekend) at FBC 10. Sarka was so generous to offer her home for us to stay. We got to know each other better, had brainstorming sessions, exchange camera techniques etc. till late at night. Each night we slept only like 5 or 6 hours. We had a real blast together!

For me, the highlight of the FBC 10 was Friday evening & the Sunday session. Jaden of Steamy Kitchen talks on 'monetizing your blog' was very inspiring with her boundless enthusiasm on how she got started with nothing, worked to cookbook, TV shows after only 6 months into blogging and how she could earn enough by then to pay her household bills. It was truly awesome - every food bloggers dream come true. So much was learnt from Kerrin Rousset of My Kugelhopf & Julia Parsons of A Slice of Cherry Pie on 'how to get published & get feature work'. Thank you for sharing with us your tips and secrets of trade. Kerrin's boundless energy is infectious: she's like an Energizer rabbit - never stop moving. I'm so impressed by Julia's personality: so down-to-earth, open, very friendly and very approachable. Lastly, Niall Harbison's (lively personality with great sense of humour) talk on social media left all of us hungering for more information. I was kinda of disappointed that there wasn't any hands-on photography workshop as I was so looking forward to having one. Instead I found tables of fruits/cakes set up on the table for us to play with our camera mode by ourselves. Other than that, I got to finally meet several bloggers that I have known online for some time and lots of new bloggers!

Sarka's partner, Pavel, came home from his European conference trip and showed me one evening the difference of the aperture and shutters speed hands on with his camera and explained it in details. I greatly appreciated him taking the time to teach me. Now I know the difference. It's one thing listening to talks and reading from the manual, it's totally different when someone actually show it to you. On my last day in London, I cooked dinner for Sarka & Pavel and letting them taste my home (Singapore) & French food - Assam Fish (Singapore Nyonya), Curry Coconut Prawns (Indian - recipe below) & Moules Marinière (French) and last minute whip up dessert like this rich & delicious Lava Coffee Chocolate Cake that only took 10 minutes to make & 8 minutes to bake. Thank you Sarka & Pavel for hosting me for a week.

Curry Coconut Prawns
  • 2 mediume sized yellow onions (finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 800 g - 1 kg prawns (peeled)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (more if you prefer spicer)
  • tumeric powder (a pinch)
  • salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  1. Heat wok or pan with some vegetable oil, stir-fry the chopped onions until lightly brown.
  2. Add in the garlic-ginger paste and stir till fragrant.
  3. Add in the prawns and mix it well with the onions and garlic-ginger paste.
  4. Mix in the coriander powder, chilli powder, salt & a pinch of tumeric powder.
  5. Cook it until it is slightly done and pour in the coconut milk.
  6. Stir to mix well and adjust the seasoning if needed.
  7. Serve hot with rice.
Curry Coconut PrawnsCurry Coconut PrawnsCurry Coconut Prawns
The Verdict

This truly is a great Indian dish, very aromatic and exotic. Unlike some other Indian recipes, this one is really simple and fast to put together, and yet it really taste authentic. The coconut milk doesn't overpower the flavour of the spices.


If you don't want it with too creamy coconut, add half coconut milk and half milk. Add the chilli powder according to how spicy you want it to be. It's always better to start with little bit of chili and add more if needed as we cannot reverse the spicy taste the other around.

To make garlic-ginger paste, just process the same amount of ginger & garlic together in the food process. Keep this paste in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Curry Coconut Prawns
#1, by Sasa (06/14/2010)

Sigh...Sounds amazing. I love Sarka and Tiina's blogs too and it's too hilarious how you got chatting to the immigration dudes - I'm always too freaked out they won't let me in to chat ;P Hope you got your cleaning done - my apartment is *spotless:...but for how long?

#2, by Sarka (06/14/2010)

I've already heard this story, but it's still so funny! LOL I'm so happy I got to know you better and thank you for a fabulous cooking class with The Cooking Ninja! I'm gonna make this recipe again soon, I loved it! Soooo delicious!
We truly had a blast all together with Juls and Tiina. I hope to see you all again soon!

#3, by Sarah, Maison Cupcake (06/14/2010)

That's hilarious, only you would manage to plug your blog to UK immigration guys. I hope you told them to make the brioche;-)

#4, by The Cooking Ninja (06/14/2010)

@Sasa: Normally I wouldn't dare to mess with the immigration officers but they were so friendly and in a happy mood that morning so I started chatting with them. Yes my house is clean now. Tomorrow will be part 2 of house cleaning. LOL

@Sarka: It's my pleasure to show and cook for you and Pavel.

@Sarah, Maison Cupcake: U know what? I totally forgot to tell them that. And I didn't want to push my luck further. LOL! But I did had a delightful conversation with them. Did thought of giving them each a packet of Pralines but it'll be considered as bribery and they can't take gifts anyway from us. You'll be surprised to know who else I managed to give my name cards to in London. LOL!

#5, by Nic (06/14/2010)

Ha ha, very funny! Hope they pop by and leave you a comment. Glad you had a great time in London.

#6, by Heather Davis (06/14/2010)

Love it! I travel across borders alot being an American living in England so will have to remember to pimp my blog to the passport people next time I go. It was a great weekend. Love reading everyone's recaps. Hx

#7, by RJ Flamingo (06/14/2010)

Too funny! Reminds me of the time I got into a conversation with aCanadian customs officer about beer!

#8, by Happy Cook (06/15/2010)

I loved reding the conversation you had with the two officers, hi hi Foot. When my sis came here she didn't knwo which gate to go and they asked were are you going and she said in her Indian accent Brussles and they thought Brazil and they almost send her to that gate:-)
I can believe you girls didnt sleep that long.
Love love this shrimp curry.

#9, by Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf (06/15/2010)

the energizer bunny, love it !:-) so glad our presentation was informative and that you enjoyed. what a great weekend it was overall. can't wait to make my brioche aux pralines !! encore merci ! oh - and so funny that the customs officers are now reading your foot blog, ha ha !

#10, by Mowie @ Mowielicious (06/15/2010)

Hey Pam! That's a great post. How hilarious that he thought you were going to a foot blog conference. Too funny. It was so nice seeing you again and so glad you had a great time. Also, we really wanted to do a hands-on photography workshop but logistically it just didn't work out this year. Beth and I really believe that showing has much more of an effect than telling, and that's what we'll be focusing on at next year's FBC.

#11, by Sunita (06/15/2010)

Pam, this can happen only to you; what a fun conversation! I am still laughing as I type this and can actually visualize the scene:-)What a great start to your trip!

Love the curry!

#12, by Meeta (06/15/2010)

Pam, the exchange between you and the customs officer was hilarious!! These prawns look delicious and lucky Sarka and P for getting to indulge in this.

RE: doing a hands on session for photography would have been a great idea if the group was smaller but with 60+ people a lot of it would have been a bit of chaos. The outdoor session after Mowie & I presented on Saturday was actually aimed for this. Did you miss it?

#13, by Jamie (06/15/2010)

Pam! Hysterical conversation with the customs guy and it sure beats my getting my gift to JP confiscated on my way out of London:-( It was great seeing you hot on the heels of your visit to Nantes. I am sorry, though, that you didn't enjoy our presentation on writing style:-( What was missing? I hoped that we would've had more of an impact on listening bloggers. But so glad you had a great time!

#14, by Jeanne @ CookSister! (06/15/2010)

Oh Pam, you crack me up! That together with your "dirty kitchen secret" will make me giggle every time I think of it.

I hope that you managed to get some benefit from my writing & copyright talks on Saturday too - I would have loved to do a hands-on writing workshop, but logistically with 60 people and limited space available, this was just not possible, but definitely something I would like to do in the future. Lovely to see you again & thanks for this yummy curry recipe:-)

#15, by Ken (06/15/2010)

You are too funny. With the photos from FBC, I can see you working that crowd with your charm. For a moment, I thought the officer has a foot fetish, thus want to know more about your blog.

#16, by Daily Spud (06/15/2010)

That is such a brilliant story - loved hearing it in person too! So great to meet & chat at FBC, would love for you to come and cook curry coconut prawns at my house sometime:-)

#17, by eunice @ heavenwildfleur (06/15/2010)

hahahahahaha pam you are too funny! I'm literally LOL-ing in the office, pple must think I'm mad! I've never met friendly immigration officers before.. they must have loved u!

#18, by deeba (06/15/2010)

Oh the foot fetish again... ROFL Pamela. What a great way to approach the FBC! Loved the conversation and loved the way you related it. Thanks for the wrap on the FBC. Nicely shared, especially for someone like me who missed being there this year! How nice that you cooked for your hosts. Sari is adorable, and how nice of her bf to give you a hands down class in photography! WOW!!

#19, by The Cooking Ninja (06/15/2010)

@Nic: Oh I hope so. It would so wonderful to hear from them.

@Heather Davis: Oh yeah...do pimp your blog. I would love to pimp it together with you if I could.;-)

@RJ Flamingo: I can imagine the funny conversation we have with officers due to accents.

@Happy Cook: Thank you. Thank goodness they send your sis to the right gate. I can't imagine the state she'll be in if she misses her flight.

@Kerrin @MyKugelhopf: I could send u more if you need. Can you get those marshmallow choc bears where u are? Didn't know u love those. I can send some to u.

@Mowie @ Mowielicious: It was great meeting you again and sorry again that we got separated on the last day walk in London. I have to remember to bring you a bottle of speculoos jam next year. I instantly thought of you and Meeta when hub bought a bottle home.

@Sunita: Thanks. Yes everyone said this to me - can only happen to Pam. LOL! All 3 of us (me & the officers) had a good laugh. They were very nice. Really wish I could give them a packet of Pralines (a sincere gift from FR).

@Meeta: Thanks. If you are talking about the outdoor session with plates of food presented on table for us to practice our camera? No, I haven't missed that. I tried taking a few pics like everyone else on my own playing with mode learnt but I don't see the diff on my cam at all. Whereas with Pavel, I could really see the diff. I'm more of a visual and hands on person.

@Jamie: I still don't understand how your mustard (right?) can get confiscated by the officers. Strange. About your presentation, I already messaged you.

@Jeanne @CookSister!: Thanks and do try it. It's delicious, authentic and simple to make. I have lots more dirty kitchen secrets to tell. LOL

@Ken: Thank you. Well, he did told me afterwards that for a moment I had him imagining in his mind us FOOT bloggers photography our FOOT and different FOOT, making something with it, exchanging our FOOT photo on top of that. LOL! Thank goodness we sorted that out or else he would have thought I was a nut head.:-p

@Daily Spud: It was great to meet you finally at FBC. Next time I'm in London, I'll have to extend my stay to 2 weeks. LOL! I would be honoured and my pleasure to cook for you.

@Eunice @heavenwildflower: I have met a few friendly immigration officers even in Singapore, but it's the first time I gave my blog name card to an officer.:-)

@Deeba: I enjoyed my stay with them very much and I was honoured to be able to cook and share with them my cooking skill and home food.

#20, by valentina (06/15/2010)

I love the border story.Border official can be quite intimidating. Fancy you talking about food and blog..fabulous. I have been to Singapore 4 times already for work. I love it there. Might be going again late in the year to visit the friends I made. A couple of them are Singaporean. ;o )

#21, by Little Corner of Mine (06/15/2010)

Looks like you were having a great time London and meeting new bloggers. That conversation with the official was real funny.

#22, by tigerfish (06/16/2010)

This sounds like such an interesting and exciting event and it even started at the border!:-D

I so love Indian food. Will try to make this soon.

#23, by Bron (06/16/2010)

What a brilliant story - hope they leave a comment when they come visit your site.

#24, by lisaiscooking (06/16/2010)

What a great conversation! It's so fun to share your site with new people when you least expect it. Your coconut curry prawns sound delcious. I love how quickly it comes together.

#25, by valentina (06/16/2010)

I love the border story.Border official can be quite intimidating. Fancy you talking about food and blog..fabulous. I have been to Singapore 4 times already for work. I love it there. Might be going again late in the year to visit the friends I made. A couple of them are Singaporean. ;o )

#26, by gastroanthropologist (06/24/2010)

Oh, I love this story. Though it was great hearing it from you in person at FBC! I just had coconut curry prawns out at a Thai restaurant last night - a bit mild and kind of boring, yours however sounds fantastic with spice and richness!