Monday, February 23, 2015

Masala Fried Shrimp and Basmati Rice with Onion & Peas

I adapted this from Suvir Saran's (chef and owner of American Masala, San Francisco) recipe in the July 2014 issue of Food and Wine magazine. The ingredients are mostly the same but with different proportions, some variations in the steps, and the addition of a basmati rice pilaf-style side dish. An easy and flavorful one-dish meal.


3 cups basmati rice
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/3 cup green peas
1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 lbs. medium shrimp, shelled & deveined
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds

1/2 tsp. kosher salt
4-5 scallions, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
3 tbsp. lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving

For the Rice: Saute the cumin seeds in 1 tbsp. oil over medium high heat for several seconds until fragrant. Add the chopped red onion and cook, stirring constantly, until translucent (30 seconds to 1 minute). Stir in the peas, then add the raw rice, stirring to coat the rice grains thoroughly (another 3o seconds to 1 minute). Pour the rice mixture into a rice cooker, add 3 1/2 cups of water, and steam according to manufacturer's instructions. Alternatively, you can place the rice and water in a medium pan, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer 15-20 minutes or until done. 

For the Shrimp:

1. In a colander, toss shrimp with 1 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of baking soda. Mix well (I use my hands), then rinse thoroughly under cold tap water. Pat dry with paper towels.

2. In a small bowl, combine the garam masala, cayenne, ground turmeric, dry mustard, and ground coriander; toss with the shrimp and set aside.

3. Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring constantly for about a minute until they have turned a deep golden brown.

4. Add the shrimp and stir occasionally until partially cooked through. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt, then add the chopped scallion, cilantro and sliced jalapenos. Cook another 30 seconds or so until the shrimp is cooked through. Turn off heat and stir in the lemon juice.

5. Serve immediately with basmati rice on the side. 

For the rice: Saute cumin seeds, then chopped red onion.

Add the peas.

Stir in the raw rice and saute until the grains are well coated. 

Pour the rice mixture into a rice cooker and add the water. Steam according to manufacturer's directions (my cooker has a button for white rice, so I just press that - couldn't be easier).

Chopped scallions, lemon juice, lemon wedges, sliced jalapeños, chopped cilantro. 

Mix the shrimp thoroughly with baking soda and salt. 

Rinse well under tap water. 

Blot the shrimp dry with paper towels. 

Cumin seeds and masala spice blend. 

Toss the shrimp with the masala spice blend. 

Toast the cumin seeds in 1/4 cup of vegetable oil until golden brown. 

Add the shrimp and saute until cooked partially through. Season with 1/2 tsp. salt. 

Add the chopped scallion, cilantro, and jalapeños and saute until the shrimp is just cooked through. Turn off heat and stir in the lemon juice. 

Serve the shrimp with the basmati rice and lemon wedges on the side. 


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