Prawns Masak Lemak (Prawns Cooked in Coconut Gravy)

Ingredients:   Serves 6

400 g grated coconut
780 ml water
150 ml cooking oil
1 torch ginger bud (bunga kantan), halved lengthways plus extra for garnishing 
600 g king prawns (jumbo shrimps), feelers and legs trimmed
3 medium tomatoes, quartered
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 sprig mint leaves
(Finely ground paste):
20 dried chilies, soaked in water and drained
20 shallots, peeled
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 candlenuts
3 cm fresh turmeric, peeled
1 cm galangal, peeled
2 stalks lemon grass, sliced (use only the bottom white tender part)
2 teaspoons crushed dried shrimp paste (belachan)


Combine the grated coconut with 180 ml water and squeeze out 180 ml thick coconut milk.  Set the thick milk aside.  Add remaining water to the grated coconut and squeeze out 600 ml thin coconut milk.  Set the thin milk aside.  Heat the cooking oil and fry finely ground paste until fragrant.  Stir in thin coconut milk and torch ginger bud.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent curdling.  Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes.  Pour in thick coconut milk and add tomatoes.  Season with salt, and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Garnish with mint leaves and the extra torch ginger bud.
Note:  Bilimbi (belimbing buluh) gives this dish a tangy flavor and can be used as a substitute for tomatoes.