A fragrant and delicious blend of freshly cooked shrimp in traditional local Kerala spices and tomato gravy the flavors remind me of the Malabar Coast once again–the mountainous region of southwestern India where ginger, coconut, cinnamon, pepper, cloves and cardamom all grow around each other so well. The weather, fertile land watered by the coastal lagoons go in and out of green paddy fields across the state and help these plants flourish in abundance. The spices complement one another to produce an aroma beyond imagination and make their appearance in most regional fish and meat curries. I've eliminated the traditional coconut milk normally used in this curry adding chopped carrots, but the taste was absolutely stunning and brought out the bold flavors of Kerala cuisine!!
Tiger Shrimp/Prawns-1/2 lb
Onion- 1/2 of a large onion chopped fine
Tomato- 1large chopped fine
Carrot- 1 large chopped fine
Ginger-garlic paste- 1 Tablespoon
Kashmiri Chilli powder- 1 tspn
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tspn
Fennel Powder- 1/2 tspn
Thai green chillies- 5 sliced
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Corn Oil, salt to taste
Raw spices for flavoring the oil
Star anise-1, Cloves-3, Bay leaves-3, Elaichi- 2, fennel seeds-1 pinch, Mustard seeds-1/4 tspn
1 red chilli
1. Devein, wash and dry the shrimp. Mix together salt, chili and turmeric powder, ginger-garlic paste and marinate the shrimp for some time. Keep aside.
2. Place a skillet over medium fire and add 2 Tbslpn oil. To the warm oil add the raw spices and wait for the mustard seeds to splutter. Now add 1 sprig curry leaves, Thai green chillies and onions.
3. Saute until the onions are light brown in color. Then add tomatoes, and carrot and cook until the tomato paste is mushy and soft.
4. Add the fennel powder and the shrimp and saute for 2 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup water and the second sprig of curry leaves. Cook gently for 1 minute and turn off the stove.
5. Overcooked shrimp becomes tough to eat so once the shrimp are tossed into the gravy cook for just a minute or two to allow them to cook. Taste the gravy for seasoning just before you add the shrimp.
6. Serve warm with a loaf of freshly baked bread, Appams or rotis.