Coconut Shrimp & Okra Curry
My usual taste in food leans towards bold, spicy flavors and lately, I’ve been in a mood for the delicious flavours of the cuisine of India, with a particular desire for veggies and shrimp, so being an adventurous, international foodista, I decided to get into my kitchen and satisfy my desire. Not wanting to settle for my go-to curry dish, I turned to a few of my Indian cookbooks. I ran across a wealth of tempting recipes, but with this being a week night, I wasn’t something relatively easy, but different from what I’m been cooking. Unfortunately, some of the recipes required ingredients that I did not have on hand or called for way more prep and cooking than I had time to do. Now, I LOVE cooking and I have no problem cooking authentic versions of any cuisine, even to the point of whipping out my pestle and mortar to grind herbs and spices to make a curry paste, but this was just not one of those times.
Eventually, I found a several delicious vegetarian recipes and a couple of shrimp recipes in one of my favourite Indian cookbooks, Fresh Indian, but since I wanted both and with a limited amount of time to get dinner prepared, I decided to adapt one of the veggie recipes to fit my pescetarian taste for the evening. In other words, I added shrimp to an otherwise vegan recipe.
When most people think of a curry, they think of the typical “wet” (lots of sauce) curry seasoned with “curry powder” and lots of heat. Truth be told, the variety of curries can be as extensive as one’s imagination, many of which do not have sauces, per se. Also, a little know fact is that there is no such thing as “curry powder” in India. The various spice mixtures used in authentic curries are often prepared from a variety of spices (often at the time of cooking), each producing a completely different and distinct flavor profile, depending on the the cook’s preference (but that’s another discussion for another post/day).
I find that okra is one of those vegetables that some people either love or hate. Others have been reluctant to try it because of its tendency to become slimy when boiled. I’ve learned that it’s all about how it’s cooked. Its texture is a lot more forgiving when stir-fried, which is the way that it is cooked in this dish. This particular dish is a “dry” curry and relatively mild. Definitely not your run-of-the-mill “curry powder” curry. And the best news is that it tastes even better the next day!
I know I haven’t posted many raw recipes lately (or any recipes for that matter), but I will be posting more soon. I’ve decided to become part of the “Transformation of A Nation” by participating in the Cleanse American program, beginning June 20. The 10-day cleanse will span from June 20 thru June 29. For anyone who is interested, the basic guidelines of the cleanse can be found here. Since I have only two weeks until the the start of the clean, I’m trying to get in all of the cooked food I can
I plan to post daily summaries of my progress and photos my raw food meals for the duration of the cleanse, even if I have to shoot them with my iPhone and don’t have a recipe. I will post as many recipes as I can manage, so be sure to check back for them.
Coconut Shrimp & Okra Curry Recipe
Source: Adapted from Fresh Indian
Serves 4 | Pescetarian
Mise en place:
1 1/2 pound shrimp, cleaned and deveined*
1 pound okra, sliced (fresh)
4 large Roma tomatoes, fresh, rough chopped
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
2 tablespoons jalapeño pepper, finely chopped (ribs and seeds removed)
1 tablespoon ginger root, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, add shrimp and cook until opaque, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove, cover and set aside. Do not clean pan.
Heat remaining oil in same pan; when oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the onions and peppers. Stir-fry over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger and turmeric and cook for another 2 minutes. Turn heat to high and add okra. Stir-fry for about 10 minutes, making sure the okra cooks evenly.
Reduce heat to medium-high, add tomatoes, coconut, salt and continue to stir fry for another 5 to 10 minutes until okra is thoroughly cooked, but not limp. Stir in shrimp, cover, remove from heat and allow to steam for about 5 minutes more. Serve with a sprinkle of coconut.
*Recipe Note: For added flavor, I used shell-on, deveined shrimp and sautéed them in their shells.