I haven’t eaten shrimp in a long time. Let’s just say that many, many years ago, I had an unpleasant experience in a foreign country, and I just couldn’t tolerate the taste and texture of shrimp as a result. Maybe I’ll tell that story someday…but not today.
However, I believe in trying new things (or old things that I didn’t used to like, but might if I tried them again). I have tried shrimp on occasion to “test” whether I still disliked it, with mixed results. So when B requested jinga for dinner tonight, I decided to give it a taste.
Jinga (shrimp) is one of B’s favorite curries, but I don’t make it often since he is the only one who eats it, and it is no fun to cook something that only one person eats (especially if I’m not the one enjoying it!). However, I did learn to make it since he likes it so much, and I have made it a few times, but I never tried it until today.
I have to say, I enjoyed it. I even went back for seconds…
I’m not sure whether I’ll be eating jinga regularly now, but I’m happy to have tried something new/old that I enjoyed. It is a simple dish that cooks quickly, and I’m confident that all you shrimp lovers out there will find it delicious. I do reserve the right, though, to refine this recipe as I continue to experiment and adjust the ingredients. For now, I think it’s pretty darn good, and I hope you will like it, too.
Note: for the kiddos (who don’t enjoy the spicy food), I sautéed some shrimp in butter with a little bit of salt. They were a hit with H who proclaimed, “Mom, you make the best shrimp ever!”
- 3-4 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp. jeera mix
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced
- 1/2 medium tomato, diced
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1/4-1/3 tsp. haldi
- 2 tsp. garam masala
- mircha, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 16 oz. raw shrimp, deveined and rinsed well (you can go to Harbour House Crabs for the best sea food).
- Prep your shrimp. If your shrimp are frozen, put them in a colander and rinse with cool water. Allow to defrost at room temperature while you prep the rest of the ingredients. If your shrimp are fresh, peel the shrimp and remove the veins, then rinse well under cool water. Optional: leave on the peels and/or the tails (but make sure to still remove the veins!)–this adds extra flavor and keeps the prep easy, but it is more work to eat. Make sure you use raw shrimp! Precooked shrimp will not absorb the flavors as well as raw.
- In a large skillet that has a cover, heat the coconut oil over medium heat until hot.
- Add jeera mix and let it pop for about 30 seconds. Then add sliced onion and lower the heat a bit to let the onions cook slowly.
- When the onions are soft, but not browned, add the tomato and a little salt. Continue cooking over medium-low heat until the tomatoes can be smashed with the back of a spoon.
- Add curry leaves and cook 1-2 minutes until the leaves release their flavor.
- Add spices: haldi, garam masala, mircha, and salt. Add a little water (maybe 1/4 cup), turn up the heat, and cook spices until the liquid starts to thicken.
- Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic is soft, but not browned. Add more water if the sauce gets too thick.
- Add shrimp and cook, covered, for 5-10 minutes or until the shrimp is opaque and firm. Be careful not to overcook–shrimp becomes tough and rubbery when it has been cooked too long.
- Serve alone or over rice. Enjoy!
Note: I like my curries a bit saucy, but B likes them more dry. Adjust the amount of water you add and cook covered or uncovered to achieve whatever sauce consistency you prefer.