This week I wanted to make a very simple dish based on a recipe my mother-in-law brought with her from Kerala. My Shrimp Curry Rustica contains several of my favorite vegetables that are cooked in a flavorful paste.
The paste, which is ground in a food processor or blender, is made from ground onion, garlic, ginger, coconut, green chile and cumin. After that I add a few spices just for flavor, not heat, and fry everything in hot coconut oil.
I cook bite-size pieces of carrots, zucchini, bell pepper and onion in the paste. The selection of vegetables can be changed based on your preferences.
When the vegetables are nearly cooked, I add equal parts of tomato sauce and coconut milk which make a thick and creamy sauce. After it bubbles, I simply cook the shrimp in the sauce.
Before serving the curry many recipes in Kerala add Seasonings which are spices that have been tempered in hot oil. The purpose of Seasonings is to add another layer of flavor to the finished dish. Typically, this is coconut oil. For my Seasonings, I use mustard seeds, curry leaves, a thinly sliced shallot and some bits of coconut. When the shallot and coconut begin to turn brown, I pour all of this, including the oil, over the curry.
Shrimp Curry Rustica is a very easy recipe to make because it doesn’t involve a lot of spices and complex steps. The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the vegetables!
My recommendation for serving Shrimp Curry Rustica is to prepare plain basmati rice. My husband prefers to eat it with chapati; I like rice with it. The approach should be to keep the menu simple. If you want to add a green vegetable on the side, that should complete the menu perfectly.