I regularly get my zen on in the kitchen, and at the culinary ashram that is the kitchen at 1309 here in PDX we definitely were experiencing feelings of inner peace and happy fulfillment after consuming this knock out Indian curry I gleaned from Elaine Louie's "One Pot" column that runs in the NYT Wednesday dining section. This is the second of her dishes we've tried (the other being the amazing Burmese Panthay Noodles), and besides being fast and simple to prepare they have both been incredibly palate pleasing and complex, with that broad panoply of flavors that you get with so many ethnic cuisines. Last night's curry was awesome, the ginger, garlic, onion, and spices creating aromatic magic. It is just-right-spicy, with the rich tomatoey/coconut milk flavor that matched perfectly with the tender prawns. Plated with a side of rice and we had everything we needed to get our "om" going. My tummy was going "namaste" with every bite!
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Goan-Style Shrimp Curry
Adapted from Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur, Devi
Time: 25 minutes
1 1/3pounds large shrimp (16-20 per pound), peeled and deveined
Ground black pepper
1/8teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4cup canola oil
4 dried red chilies
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 cups canned chopped tomatoes, with juice
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro.
1. Place shrimp in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag, and add 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne. Mix well and refrigerate.
Chilis, onion, and ginger creating aromatic magic!
2. In a deep skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine oil and chilies and stir 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and cook for 1 minute longer. Add ginger, onion, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt and sauté until onion is soft and translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, ground coriander and turmeric and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add tomatoes. Stir, scraping sides and bottom of pot, for 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
The skillet of steaming curry deliciousness just before stirring in the cilantro.
4. Stir in curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Add coconut milk, bring to a boil, and add shrimp. Bring to a simmer and cook until shrimp are opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cilantro. If desired, serve with rice.
Yield: 3 to 4 servings.
Cooks note: in her article, Louie mentions how Suvi Saran, who created the dish "sometimes poaches scallops and salmon in the sauce, or blends it with potatoes, cauliflower and green beans." In other words, feel free to riff off the basic sauce.