Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Raseydaar Methi Malai Jheengey-Shrimps in a creamy, fenugreek flavoured curry.

Not too long ago I posted a recipe for Methi Masala Shrimps. Some of my friends tried it and loved it. I usually make that for starters and it is always a hit. I happen to know quite a few combinations and permutations of spices and being absolutely hyper and restless with most things, I keep trying them out with different kinds of meat and fish. The results are not always good trust me, but the one I 'formulated' last night, was thankfuly a success. Gosh, I do sound imprtant huh!  I shared on my FB page that I was not in a mood to cook at all last night and yet the menu plan for Tuesday was already in place, the ingredients bought for it and some prep done by my maid before she left. She is a Bangladeshi and has no ewwwiness in handling fish/seafood, so I got her to wash the Shrimps I was planning to cook. Much to my relief, the fish mongers here will devein and shell the prawns for us.  If I were doing it myself, I would have expected nothing less than diamonds from hubster. Handling and cleaning of anything 'fishy' is not my scene, thank you.

Anyhow, true to myself, I had to come up with a different spice blend for my curry since I wasn't really keen on our usual family Kerela curry . It would have to be distinctively North Indian. So here is what I did. Read on to know what you will need.

1/2 kg fresh shrimps, shelled, de-veined, washed and drained.
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 large tomato, chopped fine
1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste

2 tbsp each of fresh corriander and mint leaves- to garnish

And oooh, my own spice blend : although there is no such thing as 'my own whatever....' , one  cannot really own a recipe if you know what I mean.

1 tsp black cumin seeds i.e shahi jeera
6 green cardamoms
6 cloves
10 black pepper corns
1' cinnamon stick
Nutmeg- just about the size of the nail of your little pinky finger, and I do hope you dont have a humungous pinki-finger-nail.
1 whole dry red chilli ( optional, I didn't use it, however use according  to your  preferance)
1 tbsp heaped almond powder, crush/grind whole almonds

Dry roast the spices mentioned above, except the almond powder in an iron skillet or a non stick pan. Cool and coarsely grind along with almond powder. Keep aside.

1/2 tsp of turmeric
1/2 tsp of red chilli powder
2tbsp fresh cream
1tbsp heaped Kasoori Methi- dry fenugreek leaves,crush between palms and keep.
Salt to taste
Mustard oil or peanut or sesame oil- 4-5 tbsp

* PS-  use red chillies-whole or powdered according to your choice, I didnt use much at all because I had already used crushed black pepper, more than what I have recomended above.

Heat the oil in a round wok/Kadai. Start by frying and browning the ginger garlic paste, followed by the chopped onions. On medium flame, be patient and keep browning untill the oil seperates. Add the chopped tomatoes. Mix/stir/fry/brown again untill the tomatoes are mushy and completely softened. Look for the oil seperating. Now add the ground spices, turmeric, chilli powder if using and salt to taste. Mix well. Cover and cook for about five minutes on low to medium flame, this is for the almond to integrate rather than for the spices to cook because we have already roasted them beforehand. Add about 1/2 cup of hot water should you feel the curry paste is becoming too thick or is sticking to the bottom. We need to get the curry completely ready before we add the shrimps since they cook in no time and we cant let it get over cooked. In the picture below, you can make note of the ground spices with the almonds. It is coarse in texture as you can see. 

The amount and measures I have recommended is not a large one. So the entire cooking time of the curry base wont be more than fifteen minutes, covered on low flame. Or even lesser. In about 10-15 minutes of slow cooking, open lid and add the shrimps. They will rapidly release moisture, so you dont need to add any more water. Mix the shrimps around in the curry. Now sprinkle some crushed Kasoori methi, corriander and mint leaves, dot the top with cream all over, check salt, cover and let the shrimps cook for just five minutes. Turn off the flame and dont remove the lid yet. Let it sit, the cream would have melted and made the curry creamy smooth. 

Just before you serve, give it all a final mix and serve it along with buttered rice, some vegetable stir fry of choice and a cold cucumber/mint raita. Serves four easily.

                           Have fun cooking this and send me feedback.

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