Shrimp, Cilantro and Tamarind Soup

Shrimp, Cilantro and Tamarind Soup

Goan cuisine is known for its bold use of sourness, heat and spices. Seafood occupies an important position in Goan food, and, in this shrimp soup, tamarind is used to provide sourness while chiles provide heat. Here, the raw shrimp are cooked slowly over low heat, helping the stock to develop its rich savoriness. But the method also works spectacularly with frozen shrimp, and you can use shrimp with their tails left on, if you prefer. Whatever you do, be sure to avoid using those thick, syrupy tamarind concentrates. They lack tamarind's fruity flavor and carry a noticeable artificial aftertaste. Serve with toasted slices of lightly buttered bread to finish off any remaining liquid in the soup bowl.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Place the shrimp and the water in a medium saucepan. Cook over low heat until the shrimp turns pink, about 10 minutes for fresh shrimp and 15 minutes for frozen. Increase the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Separate the shrimp and the liquid, and reserve both.
  2. Step 2

    Wipe the saucepan dry with a clean paper towel. Heat the oil in the saucepan over medium. Add the onion and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until it turns translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the tomato paste begins to deepen in color. Add the black pepper and tamarind paste, then stir in the reserved cooking liquid and mix until fully combined. Taste and season with salt.
  3. Step 3

    Increase the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Remove from heat and fold in the reserved shrimp, cilantro and green chile. Serve hot.