Yesterday’s was a long day. Had been around the town running errands. Grocery, general stores, pharmacy, post office, bank, beauty salon and a book store — I had been everywhere! Though the “getting things done” part at the end provided some solace, but I sincerely can’t remember of any other day that I paid visits to so many of these “points of interests near me”…Ha, at least that’s what my GPS calls them! And then, S had his own lovely plans for the evening. Visiting a friend’s house, a local fair and a trip to a wine store in the neighborhood to pick up a good bottle for us. Travel overdose?? I know, right? How many places can I be in a day? My head hurt with the mere thought. For once, I wished I had half a hundred clones this day.
To top my woes, I got home almost hungry to discover that I wasn’t left with much for lunch and was in urgent need to cook. Back to the million dollar question the nth time…What should I cook today? It had to be something easy, quick and good. Something that wouldn’t drain any more out of me, and yet, would provide the comfort and soothe the restlessness in me.
I had some blended potato leftover that I didn’t use in a soup the previous day. I threw in some easy, common ingredients and a little of this and that. And a beautiful creamy and delightfully yummy shrimp curry was quickly done and ready for us on the table. This curry can also do wonders to a sea fish, especially Tilapia, Mackerel, King Fish, Hilsa, Sea Bass (Bhetki), Sardines, Salmon and the likes. And don’t be shy to use this recipe for those clams or crab meat that you didn’t know what to do with…this recipe will take excellent care!
I call it a “Fisherman’s Curry” because it is just the right kind of comfort curry a Fisherman would love to indulge in, after a day long fishing trip into the sea! He would love to treat his hunger by covering the hot steaming rice on his plate with a soulfully warm, creamy, spicy curry, with a small portion of his “catch” from the sea…and dip his fingers, mix, and eat it all up! This makes a complete meal with good balance of sea-food, potatoes and a little bit of the greens. The curry has an irresistible aroma of coconut, spice and seafood and beautifully reminds of the coastline….and the paradise there is!
- 10 large shrimps
- 3 medium potatoes
- 0.5 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- 3 tbsp chopped Onions (or 2 tbsp onion paste)
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger root (or 0.5 tbsp ginger powder or paste)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
- 100 ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp ground black pepper (kaali mirch)
- 1 tsp Garam Masala powder (or ground Indian mixed spices)
- 0.5 tsp paprika or chilly flakes — *Optional
- 5 – 7 Indian Curry leaves (curry patta) — *Optional
- A handful of cleaned cilantro (dhania patta), shredded for garnish — *Optional
- About 200 ml water
- 4 tbsp cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- Wash all potatoes. Divide 2 of them into rough cubes and boil them till done. When done, blend the potatoes into a smooth puree using little water (about 50-100 ml).
- Slice the 3rd potato into small pieces.
- If using frozen shrimp, thaw them. If using fresh shrimp, clean, devein, deshell and rinse them.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a deep pan, over medium heat and add cumin seeds, and curry leaves.
- As soon as they crackle and splutter, add in the onions (chopped pieces or paste) and ginger. Saute for a minute or two till the onions turn translucent.
- Lower the stove heat to medium-low and add the pureed potatoes, 0.5 tsp of turmeric powder and adjust salt. Add about 100 ml water, stir to mix and simmer them all together for 5 minutes. Then, switch off the stove-heat.
- Marinate the shrimps in 0.5 tsp of turmeric powder and about 1/3 tsp of salt for 5 minutes.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a separate frying pan over medium heat and throw in the shrimps, peas and chopped potato pieces.
- Stir fry and turn them for about 1-2 minutes. The shrimps should have curled and would have taken up a slightly reddish color.
- Now, carefully add the cooked potato puree on the shrimps and veggies. Add the coconut milk, ground black pepper, paprika, garam masala and adjust salt.
- Let them all simmer and cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes, till the shrimp is cooked and the veggies are tender and done. If you see the curry drying up too much, add just a little more water. This is a preparation that has a creamy gravy. Adding extra water than needed, would result in an undesirably flowy, runny and thin gravy.
- Once done, remove from heat. Garnish the curry with cilantro and serve hot over steamed rice.