The Dadarwalas have been very kind to me over the years. Nalin and I have been friends since high school, and we have been causing trouble for about eight years now. I am proud that we call each other friends, but even more proud that when we walk into each other’s home, we yell “Mom! I’m home!” and nobody finds it strange. Over the years, we picked up some cooking habits and ideas from each other’s home and even though I would call Indian cuisine my favorite cuisine, my technical understanding of it is very limited, but with only a limited technical knowledge of the cuisine I can show you how to cook Indian cuisine. I am confident in saying I understand more than the average person, however, what makes it so good to me is the elusiveness of the flavors, that is precisely how everything is brought together.
In this recipe, I’m going to explain how a little can go a long way. This is Gujarati Shrimp.
- 2 dozen shrimp, deveined & detailed
- 1 nob of garlic, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. garlic paste
- 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
- Spice Mix (grind up garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, asafoetida, salt, chili powder, black pepper) *an exact measurement is not given because it doesn’t exist. There is a rich tradition of not measuring spices, simply adding them based on feeling it. Look here for suggestions on proportions and more information about Indian spices.
- 2 tbs. ghee (clarified butter)
- 1 tbs. olive oil
- 1 small bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
- Roti or rice for serving.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the shrimp, oil and spices and set aside to marinate. This can be several hours in advance, but it is important that the shrimp are as close to room temperature as possible before cooking so they cook evenly, so I prefer to do this step than prep the remaining ingredients.
- Heat a frying pan to medium/high and add the ghee. Add the garlic paste and begin to fry, do not let it turn brown or it will taste burnt.
- Before the garlic paste starts to burn (it will be very aromatic), add the onion and saute until the onions begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and lower to medium heat.
- The tomatoes will begin to break down and create some liquid, once this occurs and the tomatoes and onions are soft, add the shrimp and toss. Once well tossed, add enough water to submerge the bottom of the pan by about a 1/4 in. Cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes.
- While the shrimp cooks, cook heat the roti on a wire rack over high heat. It will begin to poof up. Use a pan or large spoon to push gently on the poofed up areas to make sure the entire roti is poofed up.
- When the shrimp are almost done, add the coriander leaves and some milk to the pan. (Milk will help to make the dish creamy. Only a small splash is required, however, if your shrimp are too spicy or you added some extra chili powder by accident, an extra splash or two of milk will help to tone down the heat.) Simmer the milk until it is evenly incorporated.
- Plate and serve with rice or roti.
When you see something delicious, it doesn’t mean you can’t make it too. Sometimes it’s easier than you think. Remember, it’s not rocket science, its food porn, bruh.
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