Prawn and Couscous Salad recipe

Prawn and Couscous Salad Recipe:

Prawn and Couscous salad with Vietnamese dressing, a weight-watcher’s healthy summer lunch.

The temperature is soaring in Delhi by the day, and we are now  into the days when one does want to gorge but on fresh and light food only. While light food as you know is quite difficult given the awesome spicy  curries that’s inherent to our Indian cooking, I just try (you’d better associate to the word ‘TRY’ if you’ve read my previous post) to keep my lunches light, fresh yet hearty.

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Salads are simply the best summer lunch to me especially when I am alone or with my favourite girl friends. Salads come handy as we together stumble and crawl towards a lifelong mission (read half-successful mission) to eat healthy and low fat food as far as possible.  So, this afternoon I made one such refreshing and wholesome salad lunch all to myself.  Now, all you weight-watchers must try this ‘Prawn and Couscous Salad with a Vietnamese dressing’ recipe and tell me what do you think about it.

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Ingredients (Serves 1 for main meal or 2 for starters):

  • 1 cup Couscuous
  • 250 gms peeled & deveined Prawns
  • 1 medium Spring onion, bulb diced into rings along with entire greens
  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil (I prefer extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp butter or 1 small cube
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • Salt to taste
  • Juice of half a lemon

For the Vietnamese Dressing:

  • 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed or grated
  • 1 tbsp full fine thing ginger strands
  • 2 hot red or yellow fresh Thai chillies or any other fresh red chillies(I had neither but hot yellow Thai chillies preserved in Vinegar & castor sugar )
  •  3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Castor Sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

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Preparation:

  1. Cook couscous as per the instruction on the packet or here’s what I do; boil 1 cup water with 1 tbsp oil and 2-3 pinch salt. Remove from heat and stir in the couscous and allow to rest for 2 minutes, then stir in 1 tbsp butter and cook again for 5 minutes on low flame. Turn off separate the grains using a fork, stir in the fish sauce and set aside to cool.
  2. In a frying pan (I used a gastop grill pan)heat 1 tbsp oil and grill the prawns on high flame for 3-4 minutes depending on the size of the prawns (do not overcook just cook untill it just turns pink), sprinkle salt and turn off heat. Squeeze the lemon juice and set aside to cool.
  3. The Vietnamese Dressing: Mix all the ingredients together, you may just pound it once or twice in a mortar and pestle to incorporate the flavours completely. Simple, isn’t it!
  4. To plate up, mix half the dressing with the Couscous and plate it at the base of a the salad bowl/plate, add half the spring onions and then add the prawns on top and mix lightly, finally drizzle the remaining dressing on the top of the prawns and serve.

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Dos and Don’ts:

  • Make sure that the couscous is cooked properly, do check that it is soft inside before removing from stove and also to whisk with a fork to separate the grain occasionally.
  • Cooking prawns for only the optimum amount of time is essential, for a suggestions on cooking prawn read the comment on an earlier post here

 

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