(Shrimp) Curry in a Hurry

Posted in food, home cooking at 9:48 pm by wingerz


My love for ATK and infatuation with Chris Kimball continue to grow. A few nights ago I made the Indian shrimp curry that was on a few weeks ago. I haven’t had much experience cooking Indian food and was under the impression that making something good was a several-hour affair. This recipe only took about 30 minutes on the stove. It’s a flexible recipe (copied straight from the website); I’ve italicized everything that I didn’t do/use.

Indian Curry (Master Recipe)

Gather and prepare all of your ingredients before you begin. If you don’t have a minichopper for pureeing the garlic and ginger, use a micorplane grater.You may substitute a scant half teaspoon of cayenne pepper for the jalapeño, adding it to the skillet with the other ground dried spices. As for choosing combinations of meat or fish with vegetables, we like the following: top sirloin or lamb with potatoes, chicken with zucchini, and shrimp with peas, but fee free to create your own pairings. Serve the curry with basmati rice.

Serves 4 to 6

Whole Spice Blend (Optional)
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks (3-inches)
4 whole cloves
4 green cardamom pods
8 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

1/4 cup vegetable oil ( or canola oil)
1 medium onion , sliced thin
4 large cloves garlic , pureed in a minichopper with 1 tablespoon water (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger , pureed in a minichopper with 1-2 teaspoons water
1 1/2 pounds top sirloin or boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes, or 6 chicken thighs, skinned, or 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Table salt
3 plum tomatoes (canned), chopped, plus 1 tablespoon juice, or 2/3 cup crushed tomato, or 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 bunches spinach (1 1/2 pounds), stemmed, thoroughly washed, and chopped coarse (optional)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
2 cups water
1 jalapeño chile , stemmed and cut in half through the stem end
1/2 cup Indian split peas (channa dal), or 4 medium boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes, or 4 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, or 1 cup green peas
2 – 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves (use the lesser amount if you’ve already added the optional cilantro)

1. Heat oil in large deep skillet or soup kettle, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. If using whole spice blend, add to oil and cook, stirring with wooden spoon until cinnamon stick unfurls and cloves pop, about 5 seconds. If omitting whole spice blend, simply add onion to skillet; sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes, or browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Stir in garlic, ginger, selected meat (except shrimp), ground spices, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and tomatoes or yogurt; cook, stirring almost constantly, until liquid evaporates, oil separates and turns orange, and spices begin to fry, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on skillet or kettle size. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until spices smell cooked, about 30 seconds longer.

3. Stir in optional spinach and/or cilantro. Add the water and jalapeño and season with salt; bring to simmer. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until meat is tender, 20 to 30 minutes for chicken, 30 to 40 minutes for beef or lamb.

4. Add selected vegetable (except green peas); cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Add shrimp and/or peas if using. Simmer 3 minutes longer and serve.

I added less water because of the spinach (since part of my responsibility as Jen’s husband is to sneak vegetables into her food somehow). Also, 1 1/2 pounds of spinach sounds like a ridiculous amount so I cut it to 1/2 pound. The flavor was rich and mildly spicy.

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