My son is a total seafood addict and if possible, he would be more than happy to eat seafood in any form on a daily basis. Believe it or not, his ultimate seafood favorite is squid (or calamari) -- which he fell in love with when he was just 4yrs old and he hasn’t wavered in his loyalty since. So over the years, I have spent many hours in the kitchen creating recipes beyond the standard fried calamari, recipes that are more Indian in nature and healthy as well. This particular recipe is not only his personal favorite but also a favorite among my family & friends.
If you’re a little squeamish about cooking or eating squid, then by all means feel free to substitute shrimp or even baby scallops for this recipe. Squid cooks very quickly, in just a matter of minutes so it’s best to have everything prepped & ready to go before hand. This dish comes together very quickly & is best eaten immediately.
CHILI SQUID STIR FRY
1 lb squid tubes (cleaned & trimmed)
2 large shallots, finely diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2-3 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
5-6 fresh curry leaves
1 cup bell pepper, finely diced (any color - green, red, yellow, orange…)
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin powder
1 tsp ground coriander powder
¼ tsp garam masala
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tbsp corn starch
juice of ½ lime or lemon
salt & pepper, to taste
1-2 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
On a clean work surface or cutting board, cut open the squid tubes so they now lay flat (like sheets). Then very lightly score the squid tubes in a crisscross pattern -- be careful not to actually make deep cuts. Now cut the squid into 1.5” size pieces.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the squid pieces with the cornstarch. Stir to mix well and coat the squid evenly. Set aside until need.
In a deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the shallots along with the ginger, garlic, green chilies and curry leaves. Stir fry and let cook for a few minutes and then add the spices (turmeric, ground cumin powder, ground coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, black pepper). Do not add the salt, just yet. Next, add the diced bell pepper and toss to combine well with the spices. After another minute or so, add the squid pieces. Stir fry for just a minute or two, until the squid pieces start to curl up. Now, add the salt and lime juice. Mix well, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with fresh chapatis and fragrant Basmati rice.
Virtually any vegetable will work well in this dish so feel free to add your favorite vegetable or combination of vegetables such as finely chopped baby spinach, sliced carrots, finely shredded cabbage, baby corn, green peas, mushrooms, leeks, swiss chard, bok choy, diced pumpkin or butternut squash, edamame, snow peas, sugar snap peas…. please remember to adjust your cooking times accordingly.
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