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A Quick South Indian Shrimp Dish!

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Serves 4 | Prep Time 15 minutes | Cook Time 30 minutues

Why I Love This Recipe

I've been cooking Indian food for about 20 years. I don't cook it everyday but I do cook it almost every day. As a result I'm always looking for new recipes, or new (to me) ways of doing old traditional ones.

I recently discovered the joys of fast cooking with shrimp. A friend tipped me off to a frozen shrimp sale at our local Whole Foods. Whole cleaned medium sized uncooked shrimp, 50 to a re-sealable bag for 6.99.

Well Ok, I thought. I liked the idea of having bags of shrimp in the freezer for unexpected company dinners. But why should company be the only ones to get this treat? Why indeed. I bought a bag. I figured that with a vegetable dish and chapatti added, this one bag would produce two full lunches for us.

Why the stress on lunch? We aren't dinner people. Our big main meal of the day is around 1:00 or so. We eat lunch the way most people eat dinner. We feast. Dinner when it rolls around, is an apple, maybe some cheese, nuts etc. In short, not much. Of course we entertain a lot on weekends and this schedule changes, but almost every working day lunch is the thing.

I thought with all this beautiful shrimp what better for a fast Indian lunch than a South Indian shrimp dish.

One of my favorite cookbooks is Prashad: Cooking with Indian Masters.

It was written about 20 years ago and contains recipes and interviews from some of Indian greatest chefs of the time. The dish I cooked this afternoon was from Chef Syed Naseer and is a homey shrimp dish cooked up and simmered quickly. It's called Iggaru Royya.

This dish is great with simple boiled rice and chapatti. I served it this afternoon with a spicy turnip poryial. So now these little bags of shrimp are my new best friend, right along with those little bags of cabbage. Add a pan, some scissors and spices and I'm all set. Lunch is in the bag!

Ingredients You'll Need

* 1 lb of medium shrimp.
* 2 Tbs of vegetable oil
* 1 1/4 cup of onion finely chopped
* 3 tsp of garlic or shallot paste
* 3 tsp of ginger paste
* 1 3/4 cup of tomatoes
* salt to taste
* 1 3/4 tsp of cumin seeds
* 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
* 1 Tbs black peppercorns
* 1 cup of dried grated coconut
* 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves.
* 3 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro


1. I used 1/2 lb of medium sized unpeeled shrimp for the two of us. So I would say for 4 people as a main dish with other sides all that would be needed is 1 lb of medium shrimp.

2. 1.) Wash, shell and de-vein the shrimp. Leave the tails on. Set them aside.

3. In a skillet, wok or kadhai heat

4. 2.) 2 Tbs of vegetable oil

5. When the oil is hot toss in

6. 3.) 1 1/4 cup of onion finely chopped

7. Cook it over a medium heat until the onion has turned soft and translucent. Then add:

8. 4.) 3 tsp of garlic or shallot paste


9. 5.) 3 tsp of ginger paste

10. Stir it until all the liquid has evaporated.

11. Add in

12. 6.) 1 3/4 cup of tomatoes and salt to taste. Since there are no fresh tomatoes in season here right now, I used diced, unsalted, canned organic tomatoes and they worked just fine.

13. Saute this mixture until it softens and turns semi squishy. This cooking process is called bhunno.


14. While this is simmering place

15. 7.) 1 3/4 tsp of cumin seeds

cumin seeds

16. 8.) 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds

fenugreek seeds

17. 9.) 1 Tbs black peppercorns


18. In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle and grind away.

mortar and pestle

19. When the tomato mixture is nice and soft add in:

20. 10.) 1 cup of dried grated coconut mixed with 1/4 cup of water ground to a paste.

21. 11.) 10 fresh or frozen curry leaves.

22. Cook for 2 minutes then add the shrimp and ground spices. Stir on a medium heat until the shrimp are cooked.

23. Adjust seasonings and sprinkle about 3 Tbs of chopped fresh cilantro on top of the dish and serve.

Questions, Comments & Reviews

This recipe looks delicious. I think I'm going to use this recipe for my next neighborhood meal swap. Me and 30 friends currently organize our own meal swap team on

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