Shrimp in Spicy Coconut Sauce

Shrimp in Spicy Coconut Sauce

Madhur Jaffrey from In Julia's kitchen with Master Chef's.

serves 6

For the red pepper paste:
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and hopped
5 medium shallots, peeled and chopped
5 garlic cloves chopped
1 inch piece of fresh ginger chopped
8 raw macadamia nuts chopped
1/4 cup Madhur Jaffrey's roasted curry powder *
water as needed

For the sauce:
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon whole black (brown) or yellow mustard seed
15 to 20 fresh curry leaves
Red pepper paste (see above)
1 3/4 cup of water
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon thick tamarind paste.

For finishing the dish:
2 pounds medium shrimp
14-ounce can of coconut milk
3 whole fresh hot green chiles

Preparing Red Pepper Paste: Put red pepper, shallots, garlic and ginger into blender in order listed so moister ingredients are on bottom. Blend and pulse until a paste is made, adding 1-3 tablespoons of water to make a smooth purée. Add cashews and curry powder and purée again to a paste. Set aside.

Preparing the sauce: Set pan over moderately high heat, add the oil and heat until very hot and almost smoking, then add mustard seeds, the oil should be hot enough for the seeds to "Pop!" As soon as they pop, just a second or two, add the curry leaves. Stir quickly and add the red pepper paste. Fry, stirring the whole time until paste is reduced, turns red-brown in color and starts to separate from the oil - 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in water, salt and tamarind paste, and bring to boil. Lower heat to low and boil slowly for 4-5 minutes. Strain through a sieve into a bow, pushing out every bit of sauce. Return it to the pan. You can make this in the morning, but use it that day!

Shrimp: Peel and devein shrimp (I don't devein), wash and pat dry. Bring sauce to a gentle simmer. Stir up the coconut milk to blend it and add to the sauce. Add chilies to the sauce (you can leave them whole or chop them depending on your taste in heat). Bring back to a simmer and stir in the shrimp. Poach them stirring gently until they are opaque and just cooked (2-4 minutes only).

(garnishes, little red chiles and sprigs of dill).

*Roasted curry powder:
2 tbls whole coriander seeds
1 teas whole black peppercorns
1/4 teas whole fenugreek seeds (I use powdered)
1 tbls red paprika
1/4 to 1 teas cayenne pepper (I use an Indian red pepper)
1/2 teas turmeric.

Set skillet over moderate head and when hot pour in coriander seeds, peppercorns and fenugreek. Roast in the dry pan, stirring for about 1 minute until an aroma is released. Pour onto a paper towel and let cool. Grind spices in a coffee mill or use a mortar and pestle to get a powder. Add remaining ingredients.

From pud in on Sept 24, 2000.
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