1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp bright red paprika, 1/2 tsp ground turmeric, 4 garlic cloves peeled and crushed, 1 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated, 2 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 14 oz can coconut milk well stirred, 3/4 tsp salt, 3 pieces of kokum or 1 tbsp tamarind paste, 1 lb peeled prawns.
In a bowl, combine 10 fl oz water with the cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, garlic and ginger. Mix well. Grind the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a clean coffee grinder and add to the mixture. Put the spice mixture into a pan and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. The sauce should reduce and thicken. Add the coconut milk, salt, kokum or tamarind paste and bring to a simmer. Add the prawns and simmer, stirring now and then, until they turn opaque and are just cooked through. TIPS If you buy unpeeled headless prawns you will need 1 1/2 lb. Kokum is the semi-dried sour skin of a fruit that grows along India's coast. Tamarind paste makes a good substitute.