Shrimp Creole

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups chicken stock or canned chicken broth
4 teaspoons Creole Seafood Seasoning or more to taste, divided
1 teaspoon hot paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 fresh bay leaves
2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3 scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce (such as Crystal)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add chicken stock, 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, paprika, cayenne, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Stir in scallions, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt; cook, stirring often, until thick but still a little saucy, about 10 minutes. Set aside Creole sauce.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high; swirl to coat. Add shrimp; sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning (or to taste), and cook, stirring often, until slightly pink, about 1 minute.

Add Creole sauce to shrimp; cook, stirring, until shrimp are pink, cooked through, and coated in sauce, 3 to 4 minutes.

Sicilian Swordfish

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons table salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
2 pounds swordfish steaks, cut 1/2 inch thick

Light a grill or preheat the broiler. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice with the salt until the salt dissolves. Stir in the oregano. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season generously with pepper.

Grill the swordfish steaks over high heat (as close to the heat as possible), turning once, until cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer the fish to a platter. Prick each fish steak in several places with a fork to allow the sauce to penetrate. Using a spoon, beat the sauce, then drizzle it over the fish. Serve at once.

Poached Chicken with Ginger Scallion Sauce

For the chicken:
5 chicken drumsticks (or 4 chicken thighs––organic, kosher, or free-range chicken preferred; see note below about using breasts)
3 slices ginger
1 scallion

For the sauce:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 scallions (white and green separated, with the green parts chopped)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup water (the water you cooked the chicken in)
15 grams ginger (about 1 1/2 tablespoons, minced)

In a medium pot, bring about 4 cups water to a boil along with 3 slices ginger and 1 scallion. Lower the chicken into the pot, and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. The heat level should be just high enough so the water is moving, without any big bubbles or rolling water.
After 10 minutes, turn off the heat, leave the lid on and let the chicken continue cooking in the warm pot for another 15 minutes.

If you use boneless, skinless chicken breast, you can reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes, but still keep the chicken in the pot for 15 minutes after turning off the heat. To test if the chicken is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the chicken to make sure the juices run clear.

Remove the chicken from the pot and place in ice water for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process and firm up the meat. Shred the meat onto a serving plate.
To make the sauce, heat 3 tablespoons oil in a saucepan over medium/low heat, and cook the scallion whites until crisp and lightly brown. Remove and place the scallion whites on top of the shredded chicken. Add 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup of the water you used to cook the chicken to the remaining oil in the pan. Stir and bring it to boil. Add in the ginger and chopped scallion greens. Taste for seasoning and add more soy sauce or salt if desired. Bring to a boil again and pour it over the chicken.

Cantonese Steamed Fish with Ginger-Scallion Sauce

2 scallions
2 tablespoons ginger (julienned)
1 small bunch cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or seasoned soy sauce)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 medium tilapia, grey sole, flounder or fluke filet
2 tablespoons oil

Julienne the scallion and ginger and set aside. Give the cilantro a rough chop and set that aside as well. Combine the soy sauce, salt, sugar and water into a small bowl and mix well.

Prepare your setup. If you do not have a steamer, what also works is a wok or large saucepan or pot with a cover and small a round metal elevated rack you can put the plate on.

Fill your wok or saucepan with about an inch of water, cover and bring it to a boil. Carefully place your plate with the fish on the rack. Cover and steam for about 10 minutes. You can check it for doneness by using a butter knife. If it easily cuts through to the bottom of the plate, your fish is done!

Turn off the heat. Carefully remove the plate from the pot and drain any remaining water off. At this point, you can also transfer the fish to a nice serving plate. Spread the cilantro and about one third of the scallion (use the green portions), directly onto the steamed fish.

Heat a small saucepan to medium to high heat and add 2 tbsp of canola oil. Add the ginger and let it brown lightly, about a minute. Then add the rest of the scallions. The mixture should be giving a good sizzle right about now…

Next, add your soy mixture to the saucepan and keep the heat on high to keep everything sizzling. Cook until the scallions are wilted – about 30 seconds. Take it off the heat and spoon the entire mixture over the fish. Serve immediately!

Scallops with Blood Orange, Fennel and Pistachios

2 small fennel bulbs—halved, cored and very thinly shaved on a mandoline
2 blood oranges
6 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
10 large sea scallops
1 teaspoon fennel pollen
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brined capers, drained and patted dry
1/4 cup sliced green olives
1/4 cup unsalted roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped

In a large bowl, soak the fennel in ice water. Peel the blood oranges with a sharp knife, being sure to remove all of the bitter white pith. Working over a bowl, cut in between the membranes to release the sections.

In a medium bowl, whisk the 6 tablespoons of blood orange juice with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drain the fennel and pat dry. Add it to the dressing and toss to coat. Mound the salad on 10 plates.

In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until shimmering. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and rub with the fennel pollen. Add the scallops to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Add the butter and capers to the skillet. Turn the scallops over and cook just until white throughout, 2 minutes longer. Set the scallops on the fennel salad.

Cook the capers, basting them with the fat in the pan, until browned and crisp, 2 minutes. Scatter the capers, olives, pistachios and orange sections all around and serve.

Sambalado (Sambal Balado – Indonesian Chili Sauce)

While typical sambal is usually served as a condiment on the side, Balado is usually cooked with other food to make Sambal Terong Balado (Eggplant Balado), Telur Balado (Egg Balado), Ayam Balado (Chicken Balado), Udang Balado (Shrimp Balado), Squid Balado (Cumi Balado), Dendeng Balado (usually made with Beef), Kentang Balado (Potato Balado), etc. You get the idea! Pretty much anything!

Ingredients to grind:
100 gr shallots or purple onion
200 gr large red chili or use premade garlic sambal chili
2 cloves garlic

Other ingredients:
1 large tomato
1 Tbsp cooking oil
3 kaffir lime leaves optional
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp sugar

Place shallots, chili (if using fresh chili), and garlic in a food processor and finely chopped them

Preheat a skillet with cooking oil. Add the ingredients you chopped above (if using premade garlic sambal chili, don’t add just yet) and stir fry until fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the premade garlic sambal chili (if not using fresh chili) and stir fry for another minute.

Add tomato pieces and kaffir lime leaves (if using). Continue to cook until the tomatoes are wilted and softened. Squeeze in lime juice and sugar. Stir to mix. If you are preparing a balado dish, this is the point you add them in and toss with the balado sauce, otherwise, remove from the heat and serve as a condiment to your meal.

TO MAKE A BALADO DISH: If you are preparing a balado dish, this is the point you add your other cooked ingredient in and toss with the balado sauce, otherwise, remove from the heat and serve as a condiment to your meal.

Storage:

REFRIGERATOR: Sambal can be stored in an air-tight glass jar for up to one week in the refrigerator.

FREEZER: For longer storage, portion the sambal into smaller portion and freeze them. They can be kept frozen for up to 3 months.

Pineapple Fried Rice with Shrimp

8 ounces shrimp (225g, peeled, deveined, rinsed, and pat dry)
1 cup onion (150g, diced)
1/2 cup carrot (75g, diced)
4 ounces ham (or Chinese sausage; 115g, finely diced)
6 cups cooked rice (about 900g)
2/3 cup peas (100g)
1 cup pineapple (diced into 1/2-inch pieces)
1 scallion (chopped)
2 eggs (beaten)
1/4 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (plus 1 tablespoon, divided)
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or Thai thin soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil

First, prepare the shrimp, onion, carrot, ham/mChinese sausage, rice, peas, pineapple, and scallions. If using fresh pineapple, remember to trim away the pineapple core. If using canned pineapple, rinse away any syrup and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Beat 2 eggs with ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon Shaoxing wine. Heat your wok over medium heat until lightly smoking. Add 1 tablespoon oil, and scramble the eggs for 1 minute—until just cooked. Turn off the heat, break the egg into small pieces, transfer to a dish, and set aside.

Heat another 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Cook the shrimp until they turn pink, about 1 minute. Remove from the wok and set aside.

Heat the last 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent. Add the diced carrots and ham, and cook until the carrots are no longer crunchy. Add the rice and 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine. The steam from the wine will loosen the rice chunks!

Stir-fry everything together well, and add in the peas, 1 tablespoon fish sauce, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, ½ teaspoon ground white pepper, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, the scrambled egg, and the cooked shrimp. Stir-fry everything together for a few minutes.

Finally, add the pineapple and scallions. Mix everything again for a minute or two. To crisp and warm the rice through, you can use your wok spatula to spread the rice in a single layer around the surface area of the wok, making use of all the heat and letting any excess liquid evaporate.

Salt to taste, and serve immediately!

Thai Pineapple Fried Rice (Khao Pad Sapparod)

1 large pineapple
3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
4 cups cooked jasmine rice (best is leftover rice)
1 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 large onion (peeled and diced)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

Seasonings:
1 Tbsp shrimp paste
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce or more to taste
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Garnishes:
3 stalks green onion (finely chopped)
Fried shallots crisp

Prepare the pineapple:
Cut the pineapple into half lengthwise. Scoop out the meat on each half of the pineapple. Cut the meat into 1-inch cubes. You’ll only need 1 cup of the pineapple cubes (drain off extra juice). Keep the rest for other use. Empty the juice that’s left on the shell and set aside to place your finished dish into the pineapple shells later.

This step is totally optional. Put the pineapple shells in the oven at 350 F and bake it for 30 minutes to dry it up.

Cooking the fried rice:
Preheat a wok or large skillet. When the wok is hot, add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the shrimp and stir fry quickly until pink and cooked through, about 2 minutes or so. Dish out and set aside.

In the same wok, add the rest of the cooking oil. Crack in the eggs and break the yolk a little bit and then let it cook for about 10 seconds without stirring. When the eggs are half cooked, add chopped onion and stir fry for another 10 seconds. Add the rice follow by seasonings. Stir fry to mix everything.

Add the pineapple cubes, raisins, and roasted peanuts and stir again to mix everything. Have a taste and add more fish sauce if needed. Finally, garnish with green onion, give it one last stir and dish out into the pineapple shells. Garnish with some fried shallots crisp. Serve immediately.

Mee Goreng Jawa

500 gr Yellow egg noodles you can use instant noodles, ramen noodles, angel hair pasta, spaghetti pasta
3 large eggs
3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
1 leek optional, cut into 1-inch length and wash thoroughly
150 gr large shrimp peeled and deveined. You can use meat like chicken, pork, beef
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup water
1 large tomato quartered and seeded

Seasonings:
3 Tbsp kecap manis
3 Tbsp soy sauce and more to taste
2 Tbsp sambal oelek optional, more if you want it spicier
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
Aromatics to grind/chop in food processor:
4 shallots
4 cloves garlic
5 candlenuts or sub with macademia nuts

Garnish:
Fried shallots crisp (bawang goreng)

If using dried egg noodles, cook according to direction. I suggest to undercook it because we will be stir frying it later
Place the shallots, garlic and candlenuts in food processor and process into a paste.

Preheat a wok or a large pan. Add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add in shrimp or uncooked meat (like chicken for example) pieces and stir fry until the shrimp or meat is cooked through. Dish out and set aside.

Add another 1 Tbsp of oil. Crack in 3 eggs. Let them cook for about 10 seconds and then scramble the eggs into large chunks. Dish out and set aside Add the rest of the cooking oil. Add in the ground shallots, garlic, and candlenuts you prepared earlier. Saute until they are brown and really fragrant, around 5 minutes. Add the leeks (if using) and saute until they are limp and soft.

Add shredded cabbage and saute for about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of water to help soften the cabbage, cook for another 3 minutes. Add carrots and tomatoes and stir fry for another minute. If you are using leftover cooked meat (like shredded chicken for example), add it at this stage.

Add the noodles, shrimp, and eggs back into the wok/pan followed by seasonings. Mix well to make sure the sauce is coating the noodles and everything else add more if needed. Adjust taste by adding more kecap manis and/or soy sauce to your taste.

Garnish with bawang goreng and serve immediately

Tomato-Poached Fish With Chile Oil and Herbs

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 pound small, sweet tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
1 1/4 pounds fluke, halibut or cod, cut into 4 equal pieces
1 cup cilantro, tender leaves and stems
1/2 cup mint, tender leaves and stems
Limes, halved, for serving
Tortillas, toast or rice, for serving (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet (use one with a lid) over medium-high heat.

Add garlic and shallots and cook, swirling the skillet constantly until they are starting to toast and turn light golden brown, 2 minutes or so.

Add red-pepper flakes and swirl to toast for a few seconds. Remove from heat and transfer all but 1 tablespoon of the chile oil to a small bowl.

Add tomatoes to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until they burst and start to become saucy and jammy, 5 to 8 minutes. Add fish sauce (if using) and 1 1/2 cups water, swirling to release any of the bits stuck on the bottom of the skillet.

Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened but still nice and brothy, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Season the fish with salt and pepper and gently lay the pieces in the brothy tomatoes. Cover the skillet and cook until the fish is opaque and just cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes (slightly longer for a thicker piece of fish, like halibut).

To serve, transfer fish and brothy tomatoes to a large shallow bowl (or divide among four bowls).

Drizzle with reserved bowl of chile oil, more olive oil and the crispy shallots and garlic.

Top with cilantro and mint, and serve with limes for squeezing over the top.

Serve with tortillas, toast or rice, if you like.

Basic Stir-Fry Sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a jar with a tight lid (must hold 2 cups of liquid), combine all of the stir fry sauce ingredients together and shake well.

This sauce should keep for a few weeks in the fridge.

To use:

MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN

Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch

PREPARE AROMATICS

Mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths.

SLICE VEGETABLES

Prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

PREPARE YOUR THICKENER

2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

SEAR MEAT

Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

ASSEMBLE STIR-FRY

Add another tablespoon of oil and add the garlic and ginger. (If you also sliced scallions, you can add the white parts of the scallion at this stage.)

After a few seconds, add the vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute or until just softened.

And add in the seared meat.

Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon (you may need a little more or a little less cornstarch slurry depending on how much sauce you added and how high your heat is). Add the green parts of your scallions (if using), and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds.

Serve over rice.

Shrimp, Snow Pea and Grapefruit Salad with Smoked Maple Vinaigrette

1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Runamok Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Mesclun lettuce mix for 4
12 medium shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 grapefruit, peeled and cut into small segments
Toasted cashews
10 uncooked snow peas, rinsed and sliced

Make the vinaigrette by placing the mustard, maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl and whisking vigorously.

Put the mesclun greens and sliced snow peas in a bowl and toss with the vinaigrette, making sure to coat evenly. Taste for seasoning and add salt and fresh ground pepper accordingly.

Place dressed greens on four individual plates then top with three shrimp each and a few segments of grapefruit. Sprinkle some cashews on each salad and serve.

Shrimp and Dragon Fruit Salad (with Variations)

1 dragon fruit, any varieties will work
8 Large shrimp unpeeled, deveined
3 cups Spring salad mix

Sesame plum dressing:
3 Tbsp plum sauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp water
Fresh herbs and aromatics:
Small bunch of fresh cilantro leaves roughly chopped
1/4 red onions peeled and thinly sliced

Toppings:
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup roasted peanuts

Cut the dragon fruit in half and then peel the skin off and cut the flesh into large cubes. Set aside and let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare other things.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Steam the shrimp with the shells on, on high heat for 2 minutes or until they are cooked through.

Peel off the skin after they have cooled down a little bit. Steaming the shrimp with the shells on is to prevent the shrimp from curling. It’s really just for presentation and makes the shrimp looks bigger.

Assembling the salad:
Place the salad greens in a large mixing bowl.

Add sliced red onions.

Add freshly chopped cilantro leaves.

Add the cooked shrimp.

Add dragon fruit pieces.

Pour on the dressing when you are ready to serve the salad

Sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

Add some roasted peanuts.

Give the salad a gentle toss to mix everything.

Serve immediately.

Notes: This salad is highly customizable. You can change up the dressing, the toppings, the type of greens and veggies you want on the salad, the protein. Here are some suggestions:

Protein: Leftover chicken meat, pan-fried tofu, tempeh, chickpeas, seared scallop, seared ahi tuna.
Topping: Avocado cubes, tortilla strips, crispy chow mein noodle strips, wonton strips.
Dressing: Any vinaigrette dressing, sweet balsamic vinegar.

Coconut Prawn Curry

10-12 King prawns (shelled and deveined)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
8-10 curry leaves
350 mls coconut milk
50 mls water
1 tsp tamarind paste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp chopped coriander for garnish

for the paste:
100 gms coriander leaves
6 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 green birds eye
Juice of one lime

Peel and devein the prawns leaving the tails on. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and turmeric powder on the prawns. Mix well and set aside while you make the paste.

Mix all the ingredients for the paste in a mini processor and add a couple of tablespoons of water to form a smooth paste consistency. Spread a couple of teaspoons of the paste over the prawns and set aside.

Heat oil in a sauce pan add the curry leaves and sauté until they crackle. Add the remaining paste and fry on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the prawns fry for 1 minute until they just start to take on a pink hue.

Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes and add the water. Stir in the tamarind paste if using. Simmer for a further 4-5 minutes until the prawns are cooked.

Season to taste and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve warm with chapattis or steamed rice.

Marathi Kolambi Masala (Shrimp with Coconut Sauce and Curry Leaves)

350 gm large prawns shelled and deveined
1 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
10 curry leaves
1 medium white onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder (or mild paprika; add a little less if you prefer)
1 tbsp malt vinegar
Pinch of sugar
50 mls coconut milk
Fresh coriander for garnish

for the spice powder:
4 dried red chillies (mild variety)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 star anise
1 tbsp coriander seeds
4 green cardamom (seeds only)
2 black cardamom (seeds only)

for the paste:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion finely sliced
100 gms fresh grated coconut (available in asian stores)

Place the prawns in a bowl with the turmeric and salt. Mix well and set aside while you make the spice powder and paste.

Heat a small frying pan and roast all the spice powder ingredients for 7-10 mins on a low heat. Stir every few minutes until they start to release their aroma and change colour. Cool and grind to a fine powder in a coffee/ spice grinder.

For the paste heat the tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Fry the sliced onion on medium heat for 7-10 minutes. As it starts to turn light brown add the grated coconut. Fry for 12-15 minutes stirring frequently. The coconut will start to change colour to a light brown as well. Turn the heat off. Cool the mix and add to a blender with some water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.

To make the curry; heat the oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Add half the curry leaves letting them splutter for a few seconds. Add the onions and fry on a medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes; they will begin to soften. At this stage add the coconut paste and fry for 3-4 minutes it will start to leave oil from the sides of the pan. Add 2 tbsp of spiced powder along with the chilli powder and stir well frying for a couple of minutes.

Now tip in the prawns and cook and simmer for 2-3 minutes until they start to turn opaque and just cooked through. Add the vinegar, sugar and check for seasoning. Also add the coconut milk and the remaining curry leaves. Simmer for a further minute. Turn the heat off garnish with fresh coriander & lemon juice. Serve with a choice of Indian bread or steamed rice.

Chingri Macher Malai (Bengali Shrimp Curry)

12-15 large prawns shelled and deveined with the tails left on
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of salt
4 tbsp mustard oil or vegetable oil
4 green cardamom pods
3 cloves
2 bay leaves
1 small onion roughly chopped
1 inch piece of ginger roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
2 green chillies
50 gms freshly grated coconut
1/4 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
100 mls coconut milk
100 mls water
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
Coriander roughly chopped for garnish

Add the prawns to a bowl and mix in the turmeric and salt well. Set aside while you get the curry ready. In a blender add the onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and grated coconut. Add a splash of water and blend to a smooth thick paste. Set the paste aside

In a frying pan add 2 tbsp of the oil and fry the prawns for a minute on each side. They will start to colour but don’t cook them all the way through. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

In a heavy bottomed sauce pan heat the remaining oil add the green cardamom, cloves and bay leaves; fry for 30 seconds. Now tip in the onion paste and fry on a medium heat for 5-7 mins stirring frequently making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the chilli powder, sugar and salt. Stir for a further minute; add the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil and simmer on a low heat. Add the prawns, simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve warm with boiled rice.

Goan Prawn Caldinho (Shrimp with Ginger and Coconut Milk

400 gms raw king prawns deveined with tails on
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp Goan vinegar or white wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 medium tomato finely chopped
3 cloves garlic pounded to a paste
1 inch piece of ginger pounded to a paste
400 mLs coconut milk
80 mls water
1 tbsp tamarind paste
2 slit green chillies (deseeded if you prefer it mild)
Pinch of sugar
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnish

For the powdered spices:
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 peppercorns
1 tbsp coriander seeds

In a bowl add the prawns and sprinkle over turmeric powder, vinegar and salt. Mix and set aside for 15-20 mins while you get the curry ready. In a coffee grinder tip in the cumin seeds, peppercorns and coriander seeds. Blitz to a fine powder and set aside.

Heat the oil in a heavy based sauce pan and add the onions and fry for 5-7 mins on a medium until they start to change colour to a light brown. Add the chopped tomato and fry for 3-4 mins. As they begin to soften add the garlic and ginger paste and fry for a further minute.

Now add the powdered spices and mix it all together. Fry for 2 minutes and add the marinated prawns. Stir coating them in the spiced sauce for a few seconds now add the coconut milk, water and tamarind paste.

Bring to a simmer cooking the prawns until they turn pink for no more than 3-4 minutes. Add the green chillies and sugar. Garnish with coriander leaves and check seasoning. Serve with steamed basmati rice or some pav bread and a fresh zingy salad.

Chemeen Mulakittathu (Spicy Malabar Prawn Curry)

350 gms king prawns shelled and deveined
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
120 gms shallots thinly sliced
1 green chilli slit lengthwise
15 curry leaves
4 garlic cloves ground to a paste
1 tsp mild chilli powder or Kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
180 gm tomatoes finely chopped
150 mls water
4 tbsp tamarind paste
Pinch of sugar
Salt to taste
Slivers of ginger
Coriander for garnish

Heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan on a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter.

Now add the fenugreek seeds and the sliced shallots. Fry for a minute and add the green chilli along with half the curry leaves. Continue to fry for 8-10 minutes over a medium heat until the shallots begin to change colour to a light brown.

Add the garlic paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the powdered spices and fry for a further 10 seconds making sure it doesn’t burn.

Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until they soften for 6 minutes. Mash with the back of the spoon and add water along with the tamarind paste. Season to taste. Lower the heat and bring to simmer for 2 minutes.

Add the prawns and cook over a low heat for 6-7 minutes with the lid on stirring half way through. Turn the heat off and add the ginger slivers along with the remaining curry leaves and coriander.

Andhra Royala Vegundu (Andhra-Style Shrimp with Fennel and Tomato Sauce)

500 gms king prawns shelled and deveined
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 inch ginger roughly chopped
1 birds eye chilli

For the stir fry;
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
180 gms shallots finely chopped
10 curry leaves
5 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coarsely ground fennel
90 gms tomato finely chopped
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish

In a blender add the ginger and green chilli with a splash of water and blend to a smooth paste. Add the prawns to a large mixing bowl along with the turmeric. Add the ginger chilli paste and marinate for 1 hour

Heat the oil in a kadhai or wok on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and as they splutter add the shallots. Fry the shallots for 10 minutes as they begin turn light brown in colour.

Now add the curry leaves and garlic and fry for 2 minutes stir well. Add the chilli powder, turmeric and fennel along with the chopped tomato. Fry for 1 minute over a medium heat

Now add the marinated prawns, season to taste and fry for a further 2 minutes stirring to make sure it does stick to the bottom. Continue to cook for 6 minutes with the lid on stirring halfway through.

Garnish with coriander and serve warm with rice or chapatti.

Kerala Fish Curry (Fish in Tamarind Sauce)

For marinating the fish:

Fish – 1 lb, cut into small pieces
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
For the curry,

Oil – 2 tbsp
Red onion – 1 small, roughly chopped
Ginger – a 1 inch piece
Garlic – 3-4 pods
Green chilies – 4
Red chili powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind – a small lime-sized ball (or tamarind paste – 2 tsp)
Water – 1/2 cup
Coconut milk – 2 cups
Salt – to taste

For tempering:

Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Ginger – a small piece, julienned or finely chopped
Garlic – 1-2 pods, thinly sliced
Curry leaves – a few

How to:

Wash the fish pieces and marinate with the ingredients listed under “For marinating the fish”. Keep aside while the curry/sauce base is prepared.

Prep the following. Coarsely grind the onion, ginger, garlic and 2 green chilies. Make a paste of red chili, coriander and turmeric powders in 2 tbsp water. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water, extract the pulp when the water is comfortable enough to handle. Keep all these on hand before starting on the curry.

To prepare the curry, heat oil in a pan. Add the ground onion mixture and saute on medium heat till the raw smell goes and it turns a light golden color. Add the paste of masala powders and saute for 2 minutes. Add the strained tamarind pulp water and allow it to come to a boil.

Add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil. Now add the fish pieces, 2 chopped green chilies and salt and cook without covering the pan for a few minutes. Fish cooks extremely fast and is very delicate, so do not cover the pan or stir the curry.

Once the fish is cooked (it will be opaque and flaky), increase the heat and reduce the curry to the desired consistency. Coconut milk curry will further thicken upon standing, so remove it from the stove just short of your desired consistency.

In a small pan, heat the oil for tempering. Add mustard seeds and when they sputter, add the rest of the ingredients and fry till the ginger and garlic are lightly golden (but not burnt). Add this to the prepared curry and mix well. Allow the curry to rest for a while before serving, as this will help the flavors to develop beautifully.

Notes:

Use a well-seasoned earthen pot to cook and serve fish curry in, as it really helps to develop the flavor and aroma.
You can use 2 cups of water to cook the fish and then finish the curry with a tiny splash of coconut milk. This way, the curry will be more red in color than one prepared fully with coconut milk. It will also be spicier, so use more water and less of coconut milk if you love a spicy fish curry.

In some regions, the tamarind is replaced with pieces of kudam-puli, the preserved dried fruits of Garcinia Cambogia, which imparts a distinct sour and smoky flavor to the fish curry.
Serve warm fish curry with steamed white rice or any Indian flat bread like appams, dosas, chapathis or rotis.