What I can serve with this prawn curry?
This hearty curry dish can pair wonderfully with many sides dishes, either from Jamaican cuisine or less traditional ones.
Classic Caribbean side dishes include rice, dumplings, yams, and pigeon peas. For the rice, you could opt for a bowl of plain steamed rice or go for more flavourful variations such as coconut rice, yellow rice, or mushroom rice.
Dumplings are a staple in the Jamaican cuisine, and they're prepared with all-purpose flour dough, then boiled or fried. You could make the balls then add them right to the simmering curry, cooking them along with the other ingredients. We have a tasty gluten-free dumpling recipe here.
Yams are a starchy vegetable root similar to sweet potatoes, and you can prepare them the same way you would for potatoes. They're great boiled, sautéed, or roasted.
Pigeon peas are another staple ingredient in Caribbean culinary traditions. You can cook them with rice or separately and then serve them with the bananas curry.
Bread, like flatbread, naan, or coco-bread, is also a great addition to this shrimp dish as it doesn't require any extra cooking.
Finally, if you are watching your waistline and want to keep the carb content low, then simply serve this coconut stew with greens, like cabbage, or grilled vegetables, as pumpkin, or with a simple green salad.
Is banana the same as plantain?
We have prepared this prawn curry recipe with bananas instead of the traditional plantains as we wanted to give a sweeter flavour to the dish and balance the scotch bonnet chilli spiciness.
Also, as plantain is somewhat harder to find in supermarkets, we have opted for bananas so that you could prepare this recipe no matter what.
Plantains are less sweet and tougher than bananas due to their higher starch content. They are mainly used for preparing savoury recipes in Caribbean and African cuisine.
While you can eat bananas both raw and cooked, plantains don't taste good raw.
At nutritional level, if we compare one cup of sliced plantains (148g) with one cup of sliced bananas (150g), we can see that plantains have a higher glycemic load (19 vs 12), more sugars (22g vs 18g), slightly fewer fibres (3.4g vs 3.9g), and more carbs (47g vs 34g), .
However plantains have twice the amount of vitamin C and fifteen times more vitamin A. In fact, a cup provides 45% and 33% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) respectively, against 22% and 2% RDI for the same amount of bananas , .
Can I use frozen prawns?
If you can't find fresh prawns, you can still prepare this delicious curry using frozen prawns, either uncooked or pre-cooked ones.
Leave them to thaw overnight in the fridge or on your kitchen counter in the morning for a few hours to get rid of the protective layer of water glaze.
If they're uncooked, then add them to the curry following the instructions in step 4. If, instead, they're already cooked, tip them in the stew at the very end.
Frozen prawns are cheaper than fresh ones and can be stored in your freezer for as long as you need before preparing this dish. Raw ones, instead, can only last one or two days max in your fridge, so you'll have to buy them on the same day you plan to cook this Caribbean recipe.
Fresh shrimps, however, will yield a more flavoursome curry without a doubt, as they will release all their juice when simmering in the coconut stew, enriching the dish with a fragrance you might not get from the frozen counterparts.