Posts Tagged ‘Prawns’

The Second of a Trilogy

So as promised in my post a few days back, here is the second recipe that I came up with for the shrimp. I guess there are some things from your roots you are rarely able to get away from. Like my love for black pepper. My family is originally from a town called Tellicherry in Kerala. And it’s famous for its black pepper. I never realized that the black pepper from back home was sold at a premium here in the US. You find Tellicherry black pepper in gourmet aisles. And to think of it, my grandma’s home in Tellicherry had a pepper tree that I barely remember. Well I do remember it but I guess it’s only when you can no more see it every summer vacation that you miss it. I really miss those month-long summer vacations in Kerala. My cousins and I have some pretty awesome memories from those long past days.

Anyways to get back to my shrimp recipe, I love pepper and I love using it in most of my recipes rather than chilli powder. I love the spicy hotness black pepper leaves behind in your throat. So if you are not one who loves black pepper, just hold back on the amount you put in. But you may miss out on the essential taste of this dish if you put too less of it. I used sweet sake and pepper as two main ingredients because the final taste that this dish leaves behind is the sweetness of the sake and the hotness of the black pepper. And to add to it, it a pretty quick to make recipe. It took me about half hour to make it, specially since I had deveined, tail off shrimp at home.

I used about 30-40 medium-sized shrimp and it served about 2-3 persons for a very filling meal.


  1. 30 – 40 medium-sized shrimp / prawns
  2. 1 sprig curry leaves
  3. 1 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  4. 18-20 green onions (white part chopped, green part cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
  5. 2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
  6. 2 green chillies, chopped (use more or less depending on how spicy you want the dish, you also skip this entirely and add just the black pepper powder)
  7. 3 teaspoons garlic paste
  8. 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (use normal soy sauce of low sodium is unavailable)
  9. 1 tablespoon spicy schezuan stir fry sauce (you could skip this entirely, I have made it with and without this sauce and both versions taste great)
  10. 1/2 cup sweet sake (you could substitute this with some sort of sweet cooking wine)
  11. 1 – 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock / water
  12. 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  13. 1/2 – 1 cup chopped coriander / cilantro
  14. 2 teaspoons olive oil (you could substitute this with vegetable / canola oil)


  • Heat the oil in a wide bottomed sauce pan. Once hot, add the mustard seeds.
  • Once the seeds start to sputter add the curry leaves and green chilli and stir for a few seconds.
  • Next add the white part of the green onions and stir fry for a couple of minutes, till it softens.
  • Then add the green part of the green onions and stir for a few minutes till it has softened.
  • Next add the garlic paste and fry till the raw smell of garlic and gone. This would take a couple of minutes at the most.
  • Now add the soya sauce, the spicy schezuan stir fry sauce (if using) and the sweet sake and bring to a simmer.
  • Next add the shrimp to this sauce and let it cook. If you want a dry dish without any gravy, do not add the vegetable stock / water.
  • But if you would like a dish with more gravy in it, add the vegetable stock/water depending on how much sauce you would like.
  • Once the shrimp has almost cooked, add the black pepper and the coriander / cilantro leaves and stir it. Let cook for a couple of minutes and take it off the heat.

I served this with some bread, but you can serve it as an appetizer if you reduce the gravy or with rice if you increase the sauce by adding more of the vegetable stock / water. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as Amit and I did. I have made it a couple of times now and this is one recipe that’s quick and easy to make. And I still have the third of the trilogy to post, which I will very soon.


And I just realized that this post is right on time for St. Patrick’s day and what a coincidence that the dish is Shrimp in GREEN sauce!!! So Happy St. Patrick’s day to everyone. Have fun, be safe and don’t drink and drive!

First of a Trilogy

There is this new restaurant (well it’s not exactly new, we’ve started frequenting it recently) that Amit and I frequently go to for lunch. It’s called the Center Bistro and its in the building right next to our lab. We went to eat there twice the week before last and both the dishes I ordered were so awesome that I had to make a variation at home. One dish I tried was a pasta dish with a chipotle sauce. I simply loved it. It was just right with all the flavors coming together and creating a heavenly experience for your taste buds. And then there was the spicy garlicky shrimp. It was fabulous and it seemed to be a pretty easy to make dish. So this post is dedicated to these two dishes that I had at Center Bistro.

I decided to combine the two dishes and make a pasta topped with the shrimp. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Oh and talking about this restaurant, I love it, firstly because the dishes they serve are so different from any I have had at any other restaurants. And they do change their menu once in a while so if you do frequent the place regularly, just when you wish for something new, they change-up their whole menu. Add to it, the fact that they have the Chef’s specials every day.

I also need to mention that shrimp is by far my most favorite. I love seafood much more than any meat and among all the variety of seafood available, I love shrimp, really love it. I think you get my point. I bought about two pounds of shrimp and I do not like to keep it in the refrigerator for too long. So it was a fiesta of shrimp dishes at home for about 3 days! I tried three new recipes and all three according to Amit are blogworthy or “bloggable”.

Without much more ado let me get straight to the first of the trilogy starting with my recipe of Rotini Pasta with Chipotle Cream Sauce and Spicy Garlicky Shrimp. This is a very quick to make recipe and takes about 35-45 minutes to prepare. I adapted it from a recipe I found online and have linked it at the end of this blog.


  1. 1 1/2 cup rotini pasta (I used whole grain pasta)
  2. 5-6 portabella mushrooms (sliced fine)
  3. 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  4. 1/4-1/3 cup white wine
  5. 1+1 tablespoons butter
  6. 1/2 onion (chopped fine)
  7. 1 to 2 chipotle peppers (canned) in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
  8. 1/4 pint heavy cream
  9. 1/4 cup milk
  10. salt to taste
  11. 1/4 teaspoon fresh tarragon (chopped fine)
  12. 1/2 pound shrimp (deveined, shelled, tail on)

For the Shrimp Marinade

  1. 2 teaspoons garlic paste
  2. 2 teaspoons ginger paste
  3. 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  4. 2 teaspoons fresh chopped tarragon
  5. 2 teaspoons olive oil
  6. salt to taste


  • Cook the pasta and set aside.
  • Marinate the shrimp in the ingredients listed under ‘For the shrimp marinade’ except the olive oil.
  • In the meanwhile prepare the chipotle sauce: melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onion and saute till it is slightly brown.
  • Next add half the minced chipotle peppers and the cream.
  • Mix the milk in and add more chipotle pepper depending on how spicy you would like the sauce.
  • Next add the salt and the tarragon and bring to a simmer. The sauce is now ready (keep it warm till ready to serve).
  • Heat the other tablespoon of butter and add the thinly sliced onions. Let the onions cook slowly over a medium heat.
  • Once the onions are pink in color add the sliced mushrooms and let it cook till the mushrooms and onions start drying out.
  • Add the white wine a little at a time cooking the mushrooms and onions in the wine.
  • Once it is cooked, add the cooked pasta and mix throughly. Set this aside.
  • Heat the olive oil and add the shrimp to it. Cook thoroughly till the shrimp are cooked through. Make sure that you do not overcook the shrimp.
  • When ready to serve, spoon the pasta into the serving plate. Pour the sauce over the pasta and place the shrimp over the sauce.

This recipe serves about 2-3 persons. Another word of caution is that the chipotle peppers can be very spicy therefore be very careful with adding the peppers to the sauce. Amit and I loved this recipe and the sauce being so easy to prepare can be served as is with the pasta with or without the shrimp. And here’s the original recipe for the pasta and chipotle cream sauce

Time for some Shrimp

With Christmas all done a couple of days back and the new year just around the corner, I was overwhelmed with all the sweets I have been eating. I really needed something spicy and non-holiday like to just give my taste buds a break from all the sweets. So what do I do? I end up making shrimp, my all time favorite. I wanted something which had a hint of tanginess, a little sweet and a lot of spices. It’s difficult to find a recipe which looks delicious, tastes awesome and meets all your taste bud requirements, all at the same time. The only way I was going to be able to make something like that was if I were to come up with a recipe myself. And that’s what I did, and I called it “Sweet and Spicy coriander Shrimp”. I warn you, this is a really spicy recipe. I would recommend using only half the quantity of red chili powder and green chillies if you are not very fond of spicy food. The best accompaniment for this recipe would be rice and I hate plain rice so thought of making some sort of a simple fried rice. That’s how I came up with the Garlic Chive Rice. It’s quick and easy to make and compliments well with the sweet and spicy flavors of the shrimp curry. That recipe is listed in the next blog post (Will post a link right here once I finish writing it up). The shrimp curry takes about 45 minutes to prepare recipe from start to finish and serves 2-3 persons. Amit and I finished almost all of it though.


  1. 1/2 lb shrimp
  2. 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
  3. 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  4. 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  5. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1 tsp coriander powder
  7. 1/2 tsp lime juice
  8. 5 cloves garlic
  9. 8-9 almonds
  10. 2 tsp chopped cashew
  11. 1/2″ ginger
  12. 3 green chili (you can increase or decrease this depending on how spicy you want the dish to be. I used some thai peppers and they were really spicy)
  13. 1 cup chopped coriander
  14. 2 tsp tamarind paste
  15. 2-4 tsp olive oil
  16. 2 tbsp brown sugar
  17. 1/2 cup water
  18. salt to taste


  • Soak the almonds and cashew in warm water for about 5 minutes.
  • Marinate the shrimp with the coriander powder, 1/4 tsp salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and the lime juice for about 30 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile prepare the masala paste.
  • Grind the garlic, almonds, cashew, ginger, green chili, and coriander to a smooth paste. Add water to get a smooth consistency.
  • Heat 2 tsps of oil in a flat bottomed saucepan and add the mustard seeds.
  • Once the mustard seeds sputter add the onion.
  • Fry the onions on a medium flame till the edges are light brown. Now add the marinated shrimp and mix the onions and the shrimp together.
  • Fry the shrimp for about 5-10 minutes till it turns a pink.
  • Now add the masala paste along with 1/2 cup of water and bring to boil.
  • Now add the brown sugar and let the curry simmer for a few more minutes till the shrimp have been cooked. (Do not overcook the shrimp, as they will turn rubbery).

This curry goes well with rice. I served this with some Garlic Chive Rice. Again, I would like to warn you that please be careful with the number of green chilies you add. Since you are making a paste of the green chilies, it does turn spicy with a small number of chilies.

The spices and the brown sugar give this dish a very interesting flavor. The first thing you taste is the sweetness of the dish and then towards the end, the spices take over. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.