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August 2009

Kerala Shrimp Curry

Kerala "God's Own Country"


Kerala located on the south west of India with the Arabian Sea in the west, and the eastern Ghats in the east and networked by 44 rivers, Kerala enjoys unique geographical features that have made it one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the world.  A long shoreline with serene beaches, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush hill stations and exotic wildlife. . Sprawling plantations and paddy fields. Ayurvedic health holidays.  Magical festivals and above all exotic cuisine...  

Source : Kerala Tourism 

Photos : K.N.Vinod


Having my roots from Kerala we grew up eating a lot of seafood. Here is a recipe for a simple Kerala Shrimp Curry. Every household in Kerala lays claim to its own recipe for shrimp curry. At my house we make shrimp curry with  "Tamarind" ,  "Kodampuli," with raw green mangoes,with tomatoes and so on....Since Mangoes are in season these days, thought of making a shrimp curry with raw green mangoes. My elder sister Saroja is visiting me from India and told her to help me with this - so that I could handle the camera ...

 It is typical in Kerala to cook shrimp or fish curry in earthenware pots. I have one with me which my mom had gotten with her during one of her trips.  If you don't have one - and I guess most of you won't - do not worry too much about it. Use any cooking utensil of your choicee.

  • Shrimp (small - 1 1/2 lbs
  • Red Chilly powder - 1 tablespoon
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon 
  • Coriander powder - 2 table spoon
  • Ginger and garlic paste -1/2 teaspoon
  • Chopped ginger - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Whole green chilly - ( split into two ) - 2-3
  • Curry leaves - a small sprig
  • Raw green Mango ( med size) - 1 no diced.
  • Coconut Milk - 1 cup
  • Water - 1 1/2 cups
  • Salt - to taste
  • Shallot - 4 nos. finely sliced
  • Oil * - to fry the sliced shallots

 * In Kerala - coconut oil is used to fry the shallots. You can use any oil - vegetable oil, olive oil, or any oil of your choice.

  1. In the earthenware container, marinate shrimps with red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric, ginger- garlic paste, chopped ginger, curry leaves, slit green chilly and a few drops of coconut or vegetable oil. Set aside for 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Add raw diced mango, add water and cook for a few minutes till the mango pieces and the shrimp are almost done.
  3. Add coconut milk and stir well and simmer for a few minutes.
  4. In a separate frying pan or a small karahi/wok - heat oil and fry the shallots to a golden brown color along with a few curry leaves and pour it over the shrimp curry - cover with a lid. Serve hot with plain rice.  

Caution  : Do not overcook the shrimps. As an alternate way - you can add the shrimps once the green mangoes are half done.


Photo below : Kodampuli / Kudampuli - 

Botanical name - GARCINIA GUMMI- GUTTA 


Kodampuli when it ripens turns yellow. The seed is removed and  are salted and dried in the sun where they turn black in color. They can be stored for a very long time. 

The dried black Kodampuli is usually soaked in warm water and used in order to wash away all the impurities during the drying process and also to make it soft before adding it to curries. If you are not able to get "Kodampuli" you can substitute it with Kokum available in Indian grocery stores. 

See below dried " Kodampuli" 


Heritage Day at DC Central Kitchen

Indique / Indique Heights Restaurants at DC Central Kitchen

I was honored to be invited for the third year in a row to teach the 76th culinary job training class at the DC Central Kitchen. I was joined by Executive Chef Steve Mannino of Rustico restaurant and Graham Barlett, Executive Chef of Zengo Restaurant.

After the class we joined the students for lunch and spoke about our experiences in the industry and took questins from the students and faculty.

I have a lot of respect for the folks who run this lovely establishment from  Robert Eggar, President,  Mike Curtain, C.E.O, Ann Nix, Event Managar, Marianne Ali, Director of culinary Job training, Jerald Thomas, Kitchen director and all the folks who work so hard and put their heart and soul together to run such a fine establishment.

It is amazing that they produce 4000 meals a day,seven days a week  for local shelters, halfway houses, drug programs, senior programs and children's programs in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.This is the 20th year for DCCK and for all these  years they have have been combating hunger and creating opportunity by: 

  • Recovering un-served food from restaurants, hotels and foodservice businesses
  • Training unemployed men and women for careers in the food service industry
  • Providing free, nutritious meals to shelters and other social service agencies
  • Coordinating outreach services to help men and women living on the street find a way inside
  • Opening "Campus Kitchens" at universities and high schools across America
  • Offering change through empowerment

Source : DCCK 


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