I have never really tried Indian seafood before–which is crazy as I am well aware a large part of the country has seashore–so I was not quite sure what to expect with this dish. I will not go so long next time. This was fantastic–sweet, savory, sour. It complemented the shrimp perfectly. I would even venture to say that this shrimp dish was the star of my Indian Holiday Dinner with my in-laws. There was copious quantities of all dishes, including this on, to start with, leading to much leftovers–except this dish. As a matter of fact, I doubt there was even one serving left.
Iyer notes you can make the dish without the back salt, using sea salt instead, but that the dish will lose some of its smoky appeal. I have the black salt, so I used it–I will warn you, do not smell it. It is highly sulfurous–and the smell kind of lingers in the nose. I panicked about my dish the entire time it was cooking, imagining I could smell rotten eggs in it!! However, much like fish sauce, anchovies, asafetida and other odiferous delicacies that elevate finished dishes, the black salt smells terrible (to me anyway) but tasted just fine in the finished dish.
Bhuna Hua Jhinga (Poached Shrimp in a Slow Cooked Onion Sauce)
Adapted from 660 Curries, Raghavan Iyer
2 T vegetable oil
1/3 cup minced ginger
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb red onions, thinly sliced and fried down in (additional) 2 T vegetable oil on medium heat (30 minutes or more)
2 T tomato paste
2 t amchur powder (mango)
2 t ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
1/2 – 1 t black salt
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t cayenne or paprika, to heat tolerance
2 T brown sugar (optional)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined but tails left on
2 T chopped cilantro
First prepare the onions by slowly caramelizing them in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Scrape out of pan and set aside when done. Re-use the same pan.
Heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and fry until golden brown and fragrant, 1-3 minutes. Add it to the onions and transfer the entire mass to a blender. Add 3/4 cup water and the tomato paste. Puree to make a thick paste. Transfer the paste back into the skillet. Pour 1/4 cup water into the blender and swish it around–add this water to the pan.
Add the amchur powder, coriander, cumin, black salt, turmeric and cayenne/paprika. Bring the pan to a simmer over medium heat and cover it. Simmer, covered, for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 7 minutes, add another 1/2 cup water into the pan and re-cover it. Simmer, covered, another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour another 1/2 cup of water into the sauce and stir it in. Simmer, covered, again for 8-10 minutes. The sauce will thicken, and the oil in the sauce may separate, which is fine, desired even (mine never seemed to separate much by my standards, but it tasted fine). Add the brown sugar, if using, to taste.
Add the shrimp and stir. Cover the pan and poach the shrimp in the sauce, until curled and salmon-orange, 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with basmati rice (or flatbread).
I've actually never had Indian seafood either. This looks packed with flavor…and you know my love for shrimp!
I can't say I have ever had Indian seafood, but I love the sound of this onion sauce. Delicious.
the shrimp i can do without, but that onion sauce is, as good ol' guy fieri would say, off the hook. seriously, just give me a spoon.
noble pig says
I love the idea of the onion sauce and slow-cooked, yum.
Elizabeth W says
Sounds amazing although I can't stomach shrimp at the moment. 🙂 Is this curries book one you recommend? You seem to use it a lot. I really want to get more into Indian cooking, and would like to get a good cookbook.
Elizabeth: absolutely, especially bc it is so encyclopedic. The 3 I recommend most–right now anyway 😉 –are this one, Lord Krishna's Cuisine (all vegetarian), and Indian Home Cooking. Although I have quite a few more I am loving. Indian cuisine is so huge and diverse it makes for endless cookbook acquisition.
This looks delicious! I have all the ingredients, the cookbook, and my husband loves shrimp! I'm bookmarking it to make next week!
mouth watering, reminds me of my mom 🙂
Mother Rimmy says
Sounds terrific! I've never heard of mango powder. Where did you find it?
Mother Rimmy: any Indian grocer would carry it. I get mine at a large international grocery store in Cincinnati. It also goes by the name "mango powder" (it is green mango powder, sour not sweet).
Hummm I love the spices in this dish and the onions slow cooked. looks delicious.
Kristin (KrisKishere) says
That looks and sounds like nothing I've ever tasted before. I'd like to try it, however I'm not sure if I'll be able to find the amchur powder. Any substitute?
Kristin: although I strongly recommend trying to find the amchur (it is my new favorite spice–I LOVE it), hitting the dish with the juice of 1/2 lemon or lime at the end of cooking should sub ok. Amchur is sour with an earthy quality–you will lose the earthy quality, but it should be ok.
Tasty Eats At Home says
Never had Indian seafood either! Where do you find the mango powder? Do you order it?
Tasty: see above answer to Mother Rimmy. 🙂
I love spicy foods. I will give this a try. The mango totally sold me.
Family Cuisine Food And Recipe says
Thank you for sharing. Cheers!
yum- we love anything with lots of onions!