Monday, 29 April 2013

Crazy delicious masala shrimp (and or barbecued chicken, Indian style)

Crazy delicious masala shrimp (and or barbecued chicken, Indian style)

Most of my shrimp recipes are fast, something I can whump together on a weeknight, when we’re in a hurry.  But on the weekends I can take my time, and last weekend I had all day to prepare.  This recipe isn’t complicated, and few Indian ingredients are needed.  Better still, it can be extended to another recipe for barbecued chicken, but it does need to be started in the morning, for sufficient marinating time. 
Begin by creating the marinating paste that can be used for both shrimp and the chicken.  If you’re only making the one dish, just halve the marinating ingredients:

1 tomato
6 cloves garlic (you can leave the paper on)
1 habanero pepper
1 dried chilli
2 inches ginger, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon canola (or other good oil)
In a blender, whiz the above ingredients to a paste.  You will likely need a spatula to help get everything well blended. 

 Divide the paste in half, and put one half in a bowl large enough to hold about fifteen cleaned and deveined shrimp.  As shrimp is very expensive here, I used the largest frozen raw shrimp available, cleaned and shelled.  Add the shrimp, toss, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. 

Check on it every couple of hours, and toss again, to make sure the paste covers every bit of the shrimp’s surface.  Once the shrimp is thawed, it should go into the fridge, but continue to toss from time to time.

When you’re ready to cook, which will be shortly before you sit down to eat in the evening, continue with these next ingredients and steps:

1 tablespoon ghee (or 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon butter)
½ medium sized red onion, finely chopped
1 orange sweet pepper, finely chopped
a small handful of fresh cilantro chopped
salt to taste
½ lime, juiced
In a large non-stick skillet, heat the ghee on medium high heat.  Add the onion and cook till translucent, and golden at the edges.  Add the sweet pepper, and cook till it becomes soft.  Using a slotted spoon, lift the shrimp out of their marinating liquid, draining them as much as possible before putting into the skillet.  These need to be watched carefully, gently stirring and flipping as soon as they become pink.  When they are mostly pink, add the cilantro and continue to cook for a minute or so, stirring and then plating before the shrimps curl too tightly.  Once plated, drizzle lime juice generously over the platter.

Serve with chappatties to soak up the spicy ghee, or as an extra protein dish.  When I made these I was going for a two for the effort of one deal, so I made barbecued chicken while I was at it.  So now we’ll return back to the morning, and start all over again for the barbecued chicken, this time with the paste already prepared.
This brand is good, but Hanif is too!

The next ingredients for this dish involve:
Paste already prepared (directions above)
15 skinned chicken thighs
3 tablespoons jarred Madras curry paste

½ red onion, finely sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
½ lime, juiced

Stir the paste and jarred Madras curry paste together. 
Make sure you’re using the curry paste, and not some kind of sauce, which would be disasterous.  Read your labels carefully!  There are lots of curry pastes available, but Madras is quite oily and it caramelizes wonderfully.  Lots of oil is needed when barbecuing to prevent the chicken from sticking to the grill or drying out. 
Spread the mix over every bit of the chicken thighs.  I use a marinating gadget where I pump out the air.  You can use any kind of covered container.  As it was not hot in the kitchen, and my chicken was still partially frozen, I left these in the covered container on the counter, checking from time to time, and moving the chicken pieces around to be sure every bit of chicken was smothered in paste.

A delicious but blurry feast.  Wrong F Stop!
About twenty-five minutes before sitting down to eat, lightly oil the grill on the barbecue then put the heat on to high.  When it’s hot, put the chicken on the grill and leave it alone for ten minutes.  Flip and cook another ten minutes.  (I was using deboned chicken thighs, which cook a little faster.) 
Put these on a nice platter, and garnish with the lime wedges and onion slices.  Drizzle juice over all.  You could make both these dishes along with the chappatties, rajma and scented rice I also made, or you could go more simply.
This shrimp and barbecued chicken meal feels quite elegant and fancy. It takes planning to get it started in the morning, but overall the prep involved is simple, and the results are an easy, spicy and flavourful meal. 


  1. Lovely recipe, it's tempting even for a non seafood person like me :)
    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Mary. It was nice to hear from you again :)

  2. Thanks Petro. I hope you're having a wonderful Easter.