Maharashtrian Shrimp Masala Recipe
I have decided to make this dish using shrimp but again, feel free to use your family’s favorite ingredients – this recipe works well with just about any combination of ingredients. This dish can also be made completely vegetarian or vegan.
MAHARASHTRIAN SHRIMP MASALA
1 lb of medium shrimp (peeled, de-veined & tail-on)
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida (hing)
1 medium onion, finely diced
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1½” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2-3 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
5-6 fresh curry leaves
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
1 tsp ground coriander powder
2 tsp kala or goda masala (or you can use garam masala)
salt & pepper, to taste
1 medium tomato, finely diced
½ cup toasted unsalted peanuts (or cashews)
½ cup freshly grated coconut (or you can use thick coconut milk)
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a large deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the asafetida & the cumin seeds. Let the cumin seeds sizzle for just a minute or so & then add the onions. Sauté the onions until just lightly browned. Next, add the garlic along with the ginger, green chilies & curry leaves. Sauté for another 5 minutes & then add the spices (turmeric, ground cumin powder, red chili powder, ground coriander powder, kala masala, salt & pepper). Let the spices cook for a few minutes before adding the tomatoes along with about ½ cup of water. Stir well to combine, cover, reduce the heat to simmer & let cook for about 5-6 minutes or until the tomatoes have completely broken down & melted into the dish.
Now add the shrimp & mix well to coat all of the shrimp in the spices/aromatics. Let cook for about 4-5 minutes or until all of the shrimp have turned opaque & curled up slightly. Do not overcook. Lastly, add the peanuts & coconut. Mix well to combine all of the ingredients together. This dish is not really a curry but more like a thick gravy, but if you prefer more of a curry – then simply add a little more water or coconut milk as needed until your desired consistency is reached. Let cook for a few more minutes & then garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve hot with fresh chapatis & fragrant Basmati rice as part of any Indian meal.
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