Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shrimp Masala

When you visit Kerala, you will most likely get a taste of some matchless seafood. Kerala sits facing the Arabian sea on the southern tip of India. A good part of the state is surrounded by water, mainly providing networks of canals, lakes and inland waterways, commonly known as the Kerala backwaters. These famous waters combine the flow from the sea and its conjunct rivers resulting in an exceptional multi- purposed freshwater expanse. The self sourced wonder is beautified on all sides with a looping of small islands and towns, villages and scenic coasts which dot it's embankments.

The unique physical environment existent in those lakes contribute to extensive aquatic life, chief among is the celebrated pearlspot fish. As with any coastal region you will find a profusion of hotels, restaurants, local shacks, even local toddy shops churning out wonderful seafood preparations.

Shrimp masala is a derivation of my favorite coastal cuisine. Served at many a backwater eatery, it is one of the hottest items on their menus. Most often, utilizing the prominent tiger prawn, this is a super spiced dish with a unique blend of roasted ground masala.

Let me expand on the fabulous ingredient makeup which produces stand up and salute results. Where succulent shrimp are deliciously spice- pasted and browned, a triumvirate of onions, garlic and ginger know just where and when to  flow into a final subtly tanged and rightly seasoned colossal platter of goodness. Sprinkling this dish off with fresh, toasted coconut lushly cuts through a heated, vibrant and most indulgent seafood plate.

Admittedly, I  kick up the spice several notches on the shrimp. Despite the fire exhalation, the chilli addition greatly adds more flavor.

Especially  in it's serious leftover appeal. Come tomorrow, spice stamps more richness onto the tasty crustacean leading to a highly addictive next day side.

A dilemma indeed. So, you decide; polish it off it today or devour it tomorrow?

Maybe, just double the recipe and make enough for both days - sound like an idea?


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp ground garlic
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 3-4 whole red chillies, crushed 
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • pinch turmeric
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lb large shrimp, shelled and deveined 
  • 1 tsp salt or more to taste
  • ½ cup grated coconut or dried unsweetened coconut
  • 2 whole red chillies


  • Heat oil in skillet. Temper mustard seeds
  • On medium heat, saute onions until translucent.
  • Add garlic, ginger and cook until soft and lightly browned.
  • Add one curry leaf sprig.
  • Add ingredients from the chillies to the turmeric, stirring until cooked and oil separates from the masala. 
  • Stir in vinegar and cook until liquid is slightly reduced.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, cook until wilted and soft.
  • Add the shrimp, stir in evenly turning.
  • Add salt.
  • Cook shrimp through, turning once or twice, about 4-5 minutes per side. Take off heat.
  • In a separate sauce pan, fry the coconut and, whole chillies and curry leaves of remaining sprig. Allow the coconut to get a toasted brown and take off heat. Pour over the the shrimp.
I am taking a break for a week. It is summer and getaways abound. The shrimp masala was our dinner prior to a few days of non-home cooked fare. Served with yogurt rice, it is a greatly desired comfort meal for the wee folk in my home.
I took these pictures in a hurried mess right before dinner. A hungry family does not make for great food pics :)
God's always got your back~
"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31 ( NIV)


  1. very delicious looking shrinp malasal.. love i

  2. Yum yum yum!!!!! Tisa, this Indian shrimp dish is looking AH-Mazing!!! I loved the recipe…drooling over the picture. Loved the presentation!!

  3. This sounds lovely and I like the spice!

  4. This is one VERY spicy seafood dish my friend, it lokos fantastic :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. Happy Holidays,Enjoy..Shrimp masala looks delish,feeling hungry looking at the spread:-)

    Ongoing Events of Erivum Puliyum @ Palakkad Chamayal-Fenugreek Leaves OR Green Chillies

  6. Looks Yumm and delicious... Love your Pots, Tisa!

    Yum! Yum! Yum!

  7. My hubby loves shrimps in any form! That looks like a perfect dish to try on him :) I totally agree with you on taking pictures before the meal! haha....most of the times I let go of the shooting ordeal just before they start getting upset :)

  8. Hubby is a great fan of shrimps... The masala looks so delish... Bookmarking dear...

  9. Hi there! Tomorrow's Food on Friday is all about curries! It would be great if you popped by and linked this in. Cheers


Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me!