Unbelievably good! A dish created at the spur of the moment and captured the heart of all of us.
A recipe rose out of necessity with a few leftover ingredients at home – coconut, tomato, a few drying cilantro leaves and of course chili peppers and a Bengali dame’s love for shrimp. What I had in mind was a spicy version of my homeland’s classic Chingri Maacher Malaikari, but later realized that this dish closely resembled the Bahia Style Shrimp, Moqueca de Camarao – a Brazilian favorite, more than the the gentle sweetish familiar one I had in mind.
The above mentioned Bahian Shrimp has it roots going back to West Africa and is traditionally cooked in dende oil (Brazilian palm oil). I was amazed at the resemblance it had to a spicy Indian curry and you can make a sure bet that this is going to be an awesome deal with some hot rice! I have not had the opportunity to taste this authentic dish, but counting from the ingredients and the procedure I could tell that my creation would be very similar – rich, spicy and full of flavors.
Shrimp in a Fiery Coconut Sauce
- 30 large shrimp, deveined & peeled but with tail on (you can peel it completely if you prefer it)
- 2 tablespoons oil + 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder or cayenne, (or as per taste)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 5 tablespoons fresh/frozen shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup coconut milk or light coconut cream
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 6 hot chili peppers or as per your taste, like thai bird (remove the seeds and white membrane if it is too spicy for you)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger
Slice 2 hot chili peppers; set aside.
Marinate shrimp with salt and lime juice.
Make a thick paste with cilantro, tomato, coconut, garlic, ginger, 4 chili hot pepper, cumin and coconut milk in the blender. Set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil. Pour out the marinated shrimp in the hot oil and stir them around for a minute and a half. The shrimp will be transparent no more and will start to curl up. Remove from pan and set aside.
Heat the rest of the oil. Add the sliced hot peppers. Add the coconut cilantro tomato paste to the pan and add the red chili powder and salt. Simmer at medium heat for about 20-25 minutes until the oil separates and the sauce gets thicker. Add the shrimp to the sauce and cover the pan. Simmer for another 8 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander if you want and serve hot with rice.