1 tablespoon tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 fresh, hot green chile, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
7 ounces coconut milk, well stirred
***Shrimp or Fish Ingredients***
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
10 curry leaves (note instructions are different for fresh or dried)
1 1/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined,
1 1/2 pound firm fish (like mahi mahi) in 1″ dice
This recipe is from Madhur Jaffrey’s “Quick & Easy Indian Cooking.” While the recipes in this book are streamlined for the busy cook, this dish tastes very much like food I’ve had in Kerala, southern India. It’s a family favorite, we often substitute diced mahi mahi or tilapia for the shrimp, and leave out the curry leaves when I run out. It’s still delicious.
To make the sauce: Put the tomato sauce in a bowl. Add the salt, sugar, garam masala, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, green chile, lemon juice, dried curry leaves and 1 Tbsp water. Mix well, slowly adding coconut milk until completely blended. Set aside.
To complete: Put the oil in a wok or frying pan over med-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the mustard seeds. When mustard seeds begin to pop — a few seconds — add the garlic and fresh curry leaves, if using. Stir and fry till garlic turns medium brown, add shrimp or fish. Stir until shrimp or fish are opaque most of the way through. Add the sauce, turn heat to medium and heat till the sauce begins to simmer. Turn off heat and serve.
NOTE: I add the garam masala at the end of cooking, turn off the heat and cover the mixture for 10 minutes prior to serving to allow the flavors to develop, as I was taught by a cook in Rajasthan. Different area, yes, but the trick does wonders for this and other quick-cooked Indian dishes.
This recipe for Bhagari Jhinga: Indian Shrimp Curry serves/makes 4.