Monday, April 25, 2011

Indian Curried Shrimp


A lot of curries utilize coconut milk as part of the sauce, but I haven't seen a whole lot that use shredded coconut instead. This recipe is based on one I made in culinary school (for a practical exam, *cough* for which I received an A). The shrimp shells are used to make a very simple shrimp stock to add some more shrimp flavor to the sauce. Ground turmeric tints the curry a golden hue, while the maybe less traditional addition of heavy cream balances out the spices. The shredded coconut adds a textural complexity that would be missing if one opted simply to use coconut milk. On a whole, this curry was so popular that my coconut-hating brother-in-law ate it... and helped himself to seconds. Victoria for the win.


Indian Curried Shrimp with Coconut
Serves 6 to 8

2 lbs large shrimp (31 to 40 count), peeled and deveined, shells reserved
1 lemon, juiced
3 cups water
2 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. red chili powder, depending on taste
3/4 cup shredded dried unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Place the peeled shrimp in a medium bowl and pour lemon juice over top. Set aside.

Heat a saucepan over high heat and add the shrimp shells. Mix the shrimp shells around until they turn pink and become very fragrant. Add the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes. Strain the shrimp stock, squeezing on the shells to get all the juices. Discard the shells and set the shrimp stock aside.

In a large, wide sauté pan over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and cook briefly until the mustard seeds start popping. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for a minute longer. Mix in the turmeric, coriander, garam masala, chili powder, coconut, and yogurt. Measure out 2 cups of the shrimp stock and add to the onion mixture in the pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes to thicken a bit and develop the flavors. Add the heavy cream and then the shrimp and cook until the shrimp is pink on both sides, opaque, and cooked through, about 5 minutes or so. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.



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