2000s Recipes + Menus

Goan Shrimp in Roasted-Coconut Sauce

Serves 4
  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:1 hr
May 2008
This South Indian dish—also known as xec-xec—is full of tamarind, cumin, coriander, and roasted coconut. The spices meld with the tomato to form a flavorful sauce that clings to the shrimp.
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 (1-inch) piece cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened dried grated coconut
  • 1 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger (use a Microplane)
  • 2 (4-inch) fresh hot green chiles, cut lengthwise into thin shreds, plus seeds
  • 1/4 cup Swad-brand tamarind concentrate (see cooks' notes, below)
  • 1 cup finely chopped plum tomato (1 large)
  • 1 1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt such as fleur de sel
  • 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • Equipment:

    an electric coffee/spice grinder
  • Accompaniment:

    basmati rice or Indian bread
  • Toast coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves in a small heavy skillet over medium heat, shaking skillet, until fragrant and darker (do not burn), 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in coconut, red-pepper flakes, and turmeric and cook, stirring, until coconut is golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely, then pulse in grinder until finely ground.
  • Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté onion until golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chiles, tamarind, and spice mixture and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add tomato and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Toss shrimp with sea salt, then add to sauce and cook, stirring, until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and season with sea salt.
Cooks’ note: If you can't find tamarind concentrate at your Asian market, use 3 tablespoons tamarind pulp (from a pliable block) softened in 6 tablespoons hot water, stirred into a paste, then forced through a sieve.
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