We've been working hard around here, trying to get this TV pilot we're doing out of our hair and zipped down to LA. Long hours in the office don't leave a lot of time for me to relax and cook the way I'd like to. My pantry is basically busted out and I'm in need of everything, so a shopping trip to the Indian Markets is in the planning for this weekend. I figured I had just enough in my masala dabba to pull off one more Indian dinner and so I had some friends over for an easy Summer tasting menu.
All of the dishes served turned out to be Vegan and Gluten free. This was purely by chance as there were no people present who had gluten allergies. All of the dishes but one were vegan, not a hard thing to do when planning an Indian menu. The one non-vegan dish on the table was one that I find feeds a lot of people in a hurry and that's anything shrimp. In a hurry? Not a lot of time? Want a fast entree on the table. Kick up an Indian shrimp dish and you're golden.
One reason that shrimp are great for fast cooking is you CAN'T cook shrimp too long. Otherwise they turn in to rubber little curlicues and you may as well use them for playing teeny tiny games of horseshoes. Another great thing about Indian shrimp dishes, the sauces can often be made ahead (like hours or even a day ahead in some cases) and then re-warmed. The shrimp are added at the end for a few quick laps around the pan.
I've cooked quite a few fast Indian shrimp dishes over the years and Steamed Shrimp is one of the quickest and easiest. All this dish needs is a few basic ingredients, and a steamer. It doesn't get much simper than that.
Steamed Shrimp With Mustard Seeds
Here's What You Need:
1 and 1/2 lb of medium sized shrimp
1 and 3/4 teaspoons of black mustard seeds
1and 1/2 Tbs of onion, finely chopped
1 serrano chili finely chopped if you want your shrimp a bit milder seed the chili.
3/8 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp Kashmiri chili
3 1/2 Tbs vegetable oil (I use coconut oil)
Here's What To Do:
Peel, devein, wash, and drain the shrimp. Set them aside.
Grind the mustard seeds in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Pour them into a non reactive (stainless steel, glass, or ceramic ) type bowl.
Add in 1 Tbs of water to the ground mustard seeds.
Add in the turmeric.
Add in the salt, Kashmiri chili, coconut oil, and serrano chili.
Stir everything together well.
Add in the cleaned, shelled and deveined shrimp.
Stir them around in the spice mixture.
Cover the bowl and set it all aside for about 10 minutes.
While that's going on, set up your steamer.
I used a simple 10 buck bamboo steamer.
Actually it didn't work so well this way, (like it wouldn't close) so I put the shrimp mixture on a plate and put that in the steamer. It worked perfectly.
Steam the shrimp until they're opaque all the way through. This usually takes about 10 minutes.
Give the shrimp a whirl with a spoon about halfway through the steaming process, cover them and carry on cooking.
It generally doesn't get much easier than that to have something like this.