A Sarcastic Appetite

Cumin, By Way of the Subcontinent
April 15, 2009, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Shrimp, Mango, Cauliflower & Potato

Going clockwise: Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes; lemon; Mango Salsa; Shrimp Tikka

I may have gotten into a cooking routine, but I still have yet to figure out how to coordinate meals so that they require similar ingredients, thereby reducing the amount of rotten produce I throw away each week. You’d think I’d have learned by now. Instead, my thought process usually jumps right to the liquid ingredients: “I need white wine for the chicken tonight….and I’ll need white wine for the scallops tomorrow night….oh, so I should definitely buy a bottle. Maybe two.”

So, frankly, I feel pretty pleased this evening, having made three different things that all required essentially the same stuff: onion, jalapeño, ginger, garlic, turmeric…oh, and cumin. A lot of cumin. This was a far cry from the usual shrimp dinner that pulls itself together in ten minutes while I stand idly by drinking that wine, but it was worth it.

Shrimp Tikka with Mango Salsa

Serves 2. Recipe adapted from Epicurious. It was billed as “Mango Chutney,” but bears little resemblance to such; I’ll call it salsa instead. Deal with it.

For the shrimp:

1/4 c. vegetable oil

juice of 1 lime

1 inch fresh jalapeño with seeds, minced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

1 large garlic clove, smashed

2 heaping tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

freshly grated nutmeg – about fifteen times across on a rasp

1 lb large shrimp, cleaned, deveined, and peeled

1/2 tsp salt

For the salsa:

1 tsp toasted cumin

1 unripe mango, peeled and diced

half a cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 red onion, finely diced

1 inch jalapeño, finely minced, with seeds

juice of 1 lime

3 tbsp mint, finely chopped

3 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

Purée the vegetable oil, lime juice, jalapeño, ginger, garlic, garam masala, turmeric, and grated nutmeg in a blender. Put the shrimp in a resealable bag; pour the marinade over, and add the salt. Keep at room temperature for about 30 minutes, tossing the contents occasionally.

Meanwhile, toss the chutney ingredients together in a bowl.

Once the shrimp have marinated, heat a nonstick pan on high heat. Add the shrimp and the marinade and cook, about 3 to 4 minutes a side. Serve with the salsa and Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes, below.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

Serves about 3. Recipe adapted from Epicurious

1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets about 3/4 inches across

1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered

1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 inches fresh jalapeño with seeds, minced

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 c. water

lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 450° F. Put a baking pan in the oven as it heats. Toss the cauliflower and potatoes in a bowl with 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread in the pan and roast, tossing occasionally, for about 30 minutes, until the cauliflower and potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, sauté the onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in 2 tbsp olive oil over moderate heat, stirring often, until softened, about ten minutes. Add the rest of the spices and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and cook about 1 minute. Stir in the water, followed by the roasted vegetables. Toss to combine; serve with wedges of lemon squeezed over the top.

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