This is probably the simplest recipe yet in 15 years of writing about movie star recipes (I’m not counting the Dean Martin Burger).
I am as pleased as punch that I discovered some shortcuts for making Donald’s curry that meant even though I was SMASHED on beer after an afternoon at the pub with Mr R, it was in the oven within minutes after our return and on the table 15 minutes later.
We ate this alongside a screening of the classic (and possibly the best ever) episode of Columbo which features Donald Pleasence, Any Old Port in a Storm.
Of course, we had to have some LIQUID FILTH with it.
Possibly my favourite line in any Columbo show, and that is saying something. We were celebrating 4 years since the Cooking With Columbo book came out and what better way to do it?
I have a lovely Donald Pleasence-related story to share, but if you are just here for the recipe, scroll down to the very bottom. My top tips for making this EVEN EASIER are to use powdered ginger (Donald doesn’t specify but in my drunken state I couldn’t even be bothered to grate fresh ginger) and to use pre-cooked prawns. I have made this with fresh prawns and it doesn’t take too much longer but with cooked ones there is LESS WASHING-UP! You can even make the sauce BEFORE you go to the pub and then stick the prawns in, and pop it in the oven when you get home. Dhaniya is coriander and for info, if you are a Brit you want prawns…
not teeny tiny shrimp.
I won’t go into all the ins and outs of shrimp/prawn/scampi nomenclature because it does my head in. Use the big fellas.
One of the absolute nicest things about writing this blog is when I am contacted by a reader, either in a comment or via the contact page. I get lovely emails sometimes which make me deliriously happy and a couple of weeks ago I got this one.
In the seventies and eighties, my mother had a cookbook of film and TV stars favourite recipes. One of the recipes was Donald Pleasence’s “No Name Curry”. It was delicious. And quite possibly my first introduction to spicy food. The book got lost during a house move, Mum could never remember quite how to make the curry, and I could not find a copy of the book … so finding the recipe on your website was fantastic! I am looking forward to eating it again after all these years!!!!”
Can you imagine the joy that brought me?! The No Name Curry is slightly different to Donald’s Shrimp Curry, as he uses salmon in the No Name one – you can find the recipe for that here.
Prawns/Shrimp/Salmon? Up to you, but whenever I make the salmon version, I’ll be thinking of Annie and hoping she has made this again, and it tasted just as it did in the 70s and 80s. Cheers!
For now though, here’s the one with shrimp/prawns. A simple, genius little recipe! Keep it up your sleeve!