One year ago today I was in a plane headed across the world for Delhi. I knew little then of the pleasures India had to offer, in spite of frequent visits to buffets on Ellice Avenue. I knew little as I relaxed for 15 hours in the cool aircraft — watching movies, chatting idly, and eating out of tiny geometric platters — of the variety and intensity of experiences awaiting me.
In a tribute to the year anniversary of our honeymoon, I decided to cook up some curry to honor that wild and indelible trip. Though we didn’t visit the south of India, this recipe is inspired by the cuisine of the southern state of Goa (go-ah), known for its seafood. (The regions we visited boast plates of either Mughal-inspired lamb and chicken or the vegetarian dishes reflecting the Hindu reverance for all life.) Goan food is characterized by the addition of creamy coconut milk and fish to traditional curries.
I found the recipe over at Eat Like a Girl — a pretty blog with a wonderfully cheeky name. Since today was a double-whammy training day, I needed something quick and easy and so used this recipe as a jumping-off point. We had purchased some pre-cooked frozen shrimp (oh the lows I stoop to in the name of a sale!), and so integrating it into this dish was a no-brainer.
Next time I would spend the extra 3 minutes and cook raw shrimp; our little guys tasted a bit like a long-forgotten cocktail ring rescued from the bottom of a freezer. Oh well, chalk it up to cheap post-work out protein.
And thanks to the genius boxes of spice mixtures we found recently at our local Indian grocery store, this little cyclist had no spices to measure or grind when she arrived home starving. Having adapted this recipe to the slow-cooker earlier in the day (not to cook the sauce but simply to keep it warm), all it took to deliver the aromas of India to our palates was tossing the shrimp into the simmering sauce, a pot of my hubby’s perfect every time basmati rice, some fresh cilantro, and a table set with cooling yogurt and sweet chutney.
I was unfortunately too hungry to reflect on it properly then, but thinking about it now, the happy dance of chili, cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, cardamom, caraway and cloves on my tongue will always take me back to that radiant land. A land of scents and tastes and heat unimaginable, a place of passion and devotion, a destination where two young lovers set out on the journey to eat and love (and survive!) in the most important of ways — together.
Good thing I didn’t sacrifice him to the Ganges, otherwise who would’ve made me rice?
Jen’s Quick n’ Easy Goan Shrimp Curry
serves 2 hungry people
1 white onion, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp MDH fish curry masala, or the equivalent in ground coriander, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, salt, pepper, dried ginger, dried mustard, ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom seeds.
1/2 can coconut milk
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
about 40 small cooked shimp or the equivalent large (I advise you to use fresh)
chopped fresh cilantro
plain yogurt, chutneys, raisins and cashews to garnish
- Heat oil (coconut, canola, or olive oil) in a skillet, and cook the onion, ginger and garlic for 1 minute. Add the spice mixture and saute until onions are soft.
- Pour in the coconut milk, stir, and remove from heat.
- Transfer to a small slow cooker and pour in the canned tomatoes. Set on low until you’re ready to eat.
- 10 minutes before serving, add the cooked shrimp. If the sauce is too runny, stir in 1 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder to thicken it. If it’s too thick, add some more of the coconut milk.
- Serve over basmatic rice, garnished with cilantro, and all the curry fixins!
MGB’s “Perfect Every Time” Basmati Rice
Rinse and drain 2 cups long-grain basmati rice in a pot with water. Fill pot so that water is about 1/2 an inch above the top of the rice (place the tip of your index finger on the surface of the rice, and the water should come to the first knuckle…more like the first little crease…on your finger.) Heat on high until the water has boiled down and is no longer covering the grains. There should be some indents forming too. Cover with a tight fitting lid and turn element off. Let stand (on element) for 10-15 minutes, fluff with a fork.
Goan Prawn Curry
250g raw grey prawns, shells removed & deveined
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
1 green chilli (or more if you like it spicier)
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped/grated
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
2 tsp ground turmeric
12 black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp lemon juice
- Fry the onion, ginger and chillies until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.
- Grind the spices in a pestle & mortar and add to the pan. Cook for a minute or so, stirring all the time to temper the spices.
- Add the tomatoes and the sugar and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add half the tin of coconut milk
- Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the prawns and cook until pink — It will only take a few minutes. Take care not to over cook them.
- Add the coriander and 1tbsp fresh lemon juice to lift the flavour. Season and serve immediately.
original recipe from http://www.eatlikeagirl.com