Green Chutney Shrimp
I love this shrimp curry. I like it best with freshly made homemade chapatis. It is also good with pasta or plain white rice. It is very easy to put together, unlike most other Indian curries this one requires no onions and a mile long list of spices. This chutney shrimp is my mother’s invention. It is easy to put together after you come home from work. The base of this dish is green chutney, so you will need fresh cilantro, green chilies, ginger and grated coconut. You can make this chutney a day or two ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. My mother uses fresh coconut but I use dried grated coconut which I reconstitute using hot water. This greatly cuts down on the preparation time. You can get unsweetened desiccated coconut flakes in either natural foods store or an Indian grocery store.
1 pound shrimp peeled (I use either 41/50 count or 26-30 count)
½ cup unsweetened dry desiccated coconut flakes
½ inch piece of ginger
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 to 3 Serrano peppers or Thai birds’ eye peppers (remove the seeds if you like milder chutney)
1 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
3 whole cloves
½ tsp. turmeric (optional, more for color, leave it out if you don’t have it on hand)
1 tbsp. oil
Juice of 1 whole lime
- Add about ½ cup of hot water to the coconut flakes to reconstitute them. Set aside for an hour.
- Then make a paste of the reconstituted coconut flakes, ginger, garlic, chilies and cilantro in a blender or a food processor. Add water if needed, also add the sugar and salt and the juice of the lime.
- In a sauce pan with a thick bottom, heat the oil, when the oil is hot and starts shimmering add the cloves cayenne and turmeric, add the coconut paste you made in step 2
- Keep cooking until the chutney changes color, and darkens about 5 minutes.
- Add shrimp, stir it in, till all of it is covered by the chutney add kosher salt
- Add about ½ cup water, lower the heat to a simmer.
- Cook until the shrimp is done. About 5 minutes. Do not overcook the shrimp.
- Your green chutney shrimp is ready to eat. Serve on rice, or pasta.
To make this a complete meal add a salad.
You can think of the green chutney as a kind of cilantro pesto and use it while making sandwiches or on potatoes, or as a dip. It is also great with eggs.
Shrimp: I usually have several pounds of headless raw shrimp in my freezer. I buy a few pounds whenever I get them at a good price between $5 and $6. Then I just thaw the amount I want by submerging the shrimp in lukewarm water, for about half an hour. Don’t buy cooked shrimp they have no flavor. I have tried peeled shrimp too, but they have more additives and less flavor and are best avoided. Both my cats love raw shrimp, so everyone is happy when I make this dish.