Tamarind Shrimp With Coconut Milk
Raghavan Iyer has dedicated his life to helping people learn to cook Indian food. He dissects the four main culinary regions of the country into manageable bites, and develops recipes that are simple to make but have complex flavors. In this recipe for puli jingha, he marries shrimp and coconut milk spiked with sambhar masala, a spice blend common in southern Indian kitchens. Nearly every household has its own version, and you can make the one he grew up with quite easily. Serve this curry over lime-scented rice or yellow split peas.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2teaspoons sambhar masala or garam masala
- 1teaspoon coarse sea or kosher salt
- 1teaspoon tamarind paste or concentrate
- 1pound large shrimp (21 to 25 per pound), preferably live-caught in U.S., peeled and deveined but tails left on
- 2tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil
- ½cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 12medium-size to large fresh curry leaves
- 2tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
Step 1Combine masala, salt and tamarind paste in a medium bowl. Add shrimp and toss them with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours. Do not overmarinate, as the acidic tamarind will make the shrimp rubbery after 2 hours' contact.
Step 2Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add shrimp in a single layer. Reserve any excess marinade. Sear the shrimp for 30 seconds to 1 minute per side.
Step 3Pour coconut milk and any residual marinade over shrimp, add curry leaves and stir once or twice. Cook curry uncovered, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are salmon-orange and curled but still tender and the sauce is slightly thick, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve immediately.