Here’s another recipe from August when I was trying my best to use up the flood of tomatoes coming in from my plot at the community garden. In this case, I also had on hand a few pounds of excellent Gulf shrimp purchased from a seafood truck that drives up from Texas to the midwest every summer. Normally, I would have made malai curry with shrimp this good but, as I said, I had a metric tonne of tomatoes to use up. And so I pulled together a relatively basic shrimp curry. Relatively, because two ingredients give the curry extra depth and bite, respectively: dessicated coconut and Sichuan peppercorn. The heat comes mostly from the black peppercorn in the spice mix, with a Kashmiri chilli [affiliate link] used more for colour. It’s a simple recipe that comes together quickly and delivers great flavour for a weeknight or weekend meal.
- 1.5 lbs large deveined, shell-on shrimp, marinated for 30 minutes with a big pinch of salt and 1/2 tspn haldi/turmeric powder
- 1 large onion, cut in half and thickly sliced
- 2 lbs tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tspn freshly pounded garlic
- 1 tspn freshly pounded ginger
- 3 tblspns dessicated coconut dry-roasted over medium-low heat till evenly browned and cooled
- The following ground to a coarse powder with the cooled dry-roasted coconut: 1″ piece cinnamon/cassia bark; 2 tspns coriander seed; 1 tspn zeera/cumin seed; 1/2 tspn methi/fenugreek seed; 1 tspn black peppercorn; 3/4 tspn Sichuan peppercorn; 1 large dried Kashmiri chillli
- 1/2 tspn haldi/turmeric powder
- 2 cups hot water, fresh off the boil
- 2+2 tblspns of neutral oil
- 2 tblspns chopped dhania/cilantro
- Heat 2 tblspns of oil in a deep pan over medium heat and when it shimmers add the marinated shrimp.
- Stir-fry the shrimp till it has completely changed colour; remove to a plate or bowl and hold.
- Heat the remaining 2 tblspns of oil over medium heat in the same pan and add the sliced onions.
- Saute till the onions have softened and begun to turn a light brown.
- Add the ginger and garlic, mix in and saute till the raw aroma is gone.
- Add the ground spices, haldi and salt, mix in and saute for another minute or so.
- Add the tomatoes, mix in and saute, stirring often till the tomatoes have broken down completely and there’s a thick, aromatic sludge in the pan, with the oil beginning to separate.
- Add the hot water, mix in and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes or so or till it begins to thicken and the oil starts separating again.
- Add the sauteed shrimp back to the pan, mix in, cover, and cook at a simmer for another 7-10 minutes.
- Uncover, mix the cilantro in and serve with rice.
- If you insist on making this hotter, you can add a few slit Thai chillies before covering the pan or add some hot chilli powder along with the haldi and the ground masala.
- If you want to extend the dish a bit you could add some potato. Peel and dice a large potato and saute the pieces in the pan after you’ve sauteed the shrimp, till half-cooked. Then return them to the pan alongside the shrimp before the last bit of cooking.
- Yes, there’s a Reel.