Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'd Rather Be At The Beach

This place. Would you please just look at this place then tell me why anyone wouldn't want to go there right now?! I don't want to hear the usual excuses - kids, husband, job, money, time etc. All I ask is that we imagine, just for a second, that we didn't have any of these things holding us back - let's hypothetically free the little hippie that lives inside all of us, and hop over to Goa, India today. Feel your toes digging into that smooth, warm sand; the sun's rays gently caressing your body; the oh-so-blue waters calling your name. And don't forget, this is the subcontinent, where you're never far from amazing food.

Y'know, I've never even been to Goa, but I know all this to be true. My gut tells me it is. I know I know, you experienced travelers out there might tell me it's a tourist trap, but hey, does that take away from how amazingly beautiful it is? And no one can convince me that the food isn't good. I've seen that Andrew Zimmern episode on the Travel Channel way too many times!

So today, as I'm sniffling and coughing and looking like a hobo in my own home, I'm wishing for an alternate reality where I was basking on the beaches of Goa, waiting for my lunch to arrive, wrapped in a banana leaf, via a friendly waiter from the nearby seafood restaurant. I'm sitting here, wishing for a world where one
doesn't get the flu despite getting the damned flu vaccine. And wouldn't it be lovely to just be served and pampered when one is sick? I'm not even picky enough to ask for chicken soup to ease my sore throat at times like these - all I want is someone else to do the cooking! That's it. At this moment, great food is whatever someone else can make for me.

Mmmmm, yes, I'll have some of that Goan-Style Shrimp Curry please! Since almost everything tastes like chalk to me right now, perhaps something zesty and spicy will actually bring my tastebuds back to life. And it's a real quickie, this one, which is another major advantage for those of us who're not in the mood to linger long out of bed. Let's take a look at all the goodies that go into this, shall we?

Goan-Style Shrimp Curry OR Balchao (Suvir Saran comes to my rescue once again! I've combined and tweaked two of his recipes found in American Masala and Indian Home Cooking)
Serves 4

Click here for printable recipe

Ingredients for the spice paste:
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp ginger paste
2 tsp garlic paste
2-3 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander (optional)

Ingredients for the curry:
2 tbsp canola oil
2-4 whole dried red chiles
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
10 curry leaves
2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (or you can use canned, crushed tomatoes)
1/4 cup coconut milk

1 lb shrimp, shelled, deveined
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter

Chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Mix all ingredients for the spice paste and set aside in a bowl.

2. Heat up the oil on medium-high, and drop in the dried chiles. Let them get dark, but not burnt, which should take about 1 min.

3. Add the onion and saute till golden-brown. Sprinkle in the sugar, then add the spice paste. Cook everything for another min.

4. Add the curry leaves and the tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes lose some of their moisture. Then add the coconut milk and let it all simmer for 4-5 mins.

5. In the meantime, melt the butter in a separate frying pan on medium-high heat, and cook the shrimp (which have been sprinkled with salt n pepper) till golden and firm (just 2-3 mins).
6. Then transfer the cooked shrimp into the curry, giving it a good stir to meld all the flavors. Add a sprinkle of salt to the curry if you think it needs it. Turn off the heat, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fluffy basmati rice or bread/roti.

Verdict: I've had all kinds of shrimp curries in the past, but this recipe has become my favorite version of it. It's quite versatile because you can adjust the heat in this to your liking, and the taste won't suffer for it. The coconut milk makes it creamy, while the tomatoes and vinegar make it tangy, and those curry leaves just perfume the whole thing. My favorite way is to have it with plain basmati rice and crispy poppadoms. It's a great alternative to the usual meat or chicken curries.
Golden, plump shrimp explode with Goan flavors.

I may feel like a pile of snot right now, but all I have to do is look at my little guy to put things in perspective and smile at all the good things in my life ...
Hmmm, Ozzy may not be at the beach, but that's never stopped him for finding his own nirvana - excuse me folks, I think I'll join him there!


Malar Gandhi said...

I would be more than happy to go to that beach, hmmm never been to goa!:(

Shrimps curry looks perfect.

Mari said...

That literally just made my mouth water...I love Shrimp and even more, I love shrimp in spicy reddish sauce! with white are a girl after my own heart lol

Feel better chickie

Foodiewife said...

Oh, no! You, too? I was home, honking and trying to find something that I could taste! Last night, I made a super spicy pumpkin blackbean soup that had a lot of heat! It cleared my sinuses and it was good. Now, this recipe is right up there. What's not to love? Shrimp. Check. Coconut milk. Check. Spice... garam marsala. Double Check. Yes, please, is so true. I recently learned to make garam marsala and I love it. Bookmarking this one.
Get well, soon! Have some ice cream. It's myth that it makes more, um... mucous.

Finla said...

We live really close to the beach just 8 minutes walk but as it is winter i don't even go that side, wish now i had a sunny beach like in Goa.
I am sure bookmarking this shrimp curry. I have been looking for a good shrimp curry for long.

Faith said...

I love curries so I'm always up for trying a new variety. This looks incredible, and whenever someone says something is their favorite I feel compelled to try it! This will be on the menu soon!

Varsha Vipins said...

Awesome..that dish looks really Heavenly..(yea with a H)..All the food you cook looks might terrific Muneeba,n I bet it tastes so too..I actually thought ,on the first look,that its a Mauritius beach n went back to my HM days.:D,but then noted that its GOa..I've never been to there,but cant believe it has that kinda blue,I wana got to beach,am gng to eat someones brain today..:D
You get well soon n dont lie there for too long n get tanned..;)

Jennifer said...

You had me imagining for a minute. That dish looks very yummy and I want to scratch that kittenly belly!

Sushma Mallya said...

wow looks really mouthwatering...lovely click as well

Unknown said...

What a beautiful looking curry! Perfect for trying to forget about this horrid cold weather! Have a fantastic weekend!!!

Doppelganger said...

Awww! Hope you feel better soon! Just think of it in terms of your body fighting off a virus. You're not sick, your body is doing some heavy fighting back on your behalf! Grrr! Get that virus, Ninja body! hehe. You might not be at the beach, but man, the pictures of your food just look sun-drenched! beautiful! And so cheery!

Joanne said...

If you go to Goa, can you take me with you? I could use some warm weather. Along with some of this delicious food.

The curry looks absolutely amazing. The intense color of it tells me how good it must taste.

I hope you feel better soon! Nothing is worse than being sick.

mona said...

oh, that curry looks super good!
I wanna be there too!!!

Anonymous said...

Shrimp curry looks delicious, I love the gorgeous color! Feel better soon!

Yasmeen said...

I do feel like escaping to one such warm abode.Me too is flu stuck.Wish I could feast on some of this succulent shrimp curry :D

Zurin said...

that looks good...what cld be better than curried prawn! :))

Trissa said...

I used to go to this Indian restaurant every week and order their Jinga Molee (not sure if that is the correct spelling??) and they told me that the recipe was Southern Indian. I have always wanted to learn more about Southern Indian food after that so thanks for sharing your recipe. I think it looks better than what I had before!

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling there is always room for you around my tea table. Luv, I am so sorry to hear that you are not feeling well; I too had the flu and was feeling awful. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of tea…the Duchess’s RX.

Sweetie, the virtual holiday is what I need. I am so tired of late with taking care of my dad and my life and that of my children that at time I don’t know whether I am coming or going!! I so wish I could join you for this mini holiday and simply melt under the sun and be pampered. This truly was a lovely post, it so cheered me up.

Darling, with so litle time on my hand and with everything I have on my plate; if I don’t make it to your blog often, please forgive me. I so appreciate your unconditional visits and kind comments…you are a dear friend. Take care darling and get well soon.

Love & Hugs

P.S. Bring a plate of this delicious shrimp with you when you come for a visit, please.

Heather S-G said...

Um YES! I would love to be there right now. Or just eating your beautiful curry...mmmmmm. Or relaxing with Ozzy looks pretty nice too. I hope you're feeling better very soon :D (did you see my POM response?? Yes! That's how they contacted me, too.)

Anonymous said...

I love Goa Curry. Looking at yours make me feel like cooking it for dinner tonight!

Erica said...

That is a beautiful shrimp dish! I love all those flavors...great recipe:)

Peggy said...

ok... so i made this the other night for dinner. can i say ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I can never get the curry right or "authentic" tasting... and this was authentic to the tee! After every bit my boyfriend kept saying, "man, I'd order this in a restaurant"... and really, I would too! It was THAT good... thanks for sharing!

Muneeba said...

Thank you everyone for your kind "get well soon" wishes ... I'm all better now! Your positive energy definitely worked its magic on me :)
And to those of you who tried this recipe and loved it ... COOL! So happy that it worked out for you .. it's a great feeling to find a new recipe that you can feel excited about and add to your "keeper" list.

Kerstin said...

Oh wow, looks incredible! I just printed the recipe and will be making this for sure!

maerceci said...

I doubled the recipe, and it still turned out wonderful. IMO, the recipe itself isn't enough for a family of 4. I also added some tomato puree to the mixture because I like my curry to be a bit smoother and it seemed to work well. Thanks for the recipe!