Spicy Shrimp Masala
Black pepper, garam masala, Thai green chiles and Kashmiri red chile powder make this shrimp masala a multi-layered delight of spices — fiery and smoldering simultaneously — while lemon juice and cilantro add brightness and bring some relief. In coastal cities of South Asia like Goa and Karachi this preparation is typical and perfectly suited for crunchy, sweet shrimp. That such complexity comes together in 30 minutes feels like a small miracle.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 ½teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- ¼cup ghee or neutral oil
- ½teaspoon ginger paste or freshly grated ginger
- ½teaspoon garlic paste or freshly grated garlic
- 1medium red onion, finely chopped
- 1teaspoon Kashmiri red chile powder
- ½teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2to 3 Thai green chiles, finely chopped
- 5plum tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼cup coconut milk, stirred (optional)
- 1to 2 tablespoons lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
- ¼teaspoon garam masala
- 1to 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- Roti or pita, for serving
Step 1Pat shrimp dry, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon pepper and set aside.
Step 2Heat ghee over medium heat in a wok or large (12-inch) frying pan until it has melted, about 30 seconds. Add ginger, garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 3Add chile powder, cumin, turmeric and Thai green chiles. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have broken down and start to stick to the wok, about 15 minutes. Add coconut milk if you like it saucy.
Step 4Add shrimp. Stir so that shrimp are evenly coated, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally so the shrimp cook evenly, until the shrimp turn pink and appear firm, 4 to 5 minutes.
Step 5Turn off the heat, sprinkle with lemon juice, garam masala, cilantro and remaining ½ teaspoon black pepper. Serve with roti, store-bought pita or by itself.