Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Recipe: Mustard Shrimp

Mustard seeds add zing to this Indian seafood entree.

Ingredients:
1 lb. peeled, deveined, tail off shrimp (thawed, if frozen)
4 tsp. mustard seed (not the same as ground mustard; found in the spice section of most regular grocery stores or get it at an Indian grocer)
1 jalapeno
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder (like McCormick Chili Powder)
small pinch of turmeric
1 clove garlic
2 tsp. olive oil
nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup water
(optional accompaniment) 2 cups brown basmati rise (like Trader Joe's Brown Basmati Rice)

You'll Also Need:

a baking dish (at least 8x8), a blender

1. Dice the jalapeno and the garlic clove.
2. Spray the baking dish with nonstick spray and pour the shrimp into it.

3. Blend together the diced jalapeno, garlic, mustard seed, salt, chili powder, turmeric, olive oil and water for about 5 to 10 seconds or until it looks like the photo on the right.


4. Pour this liquid over the shrimp in the dish. Refrigerate for half an hour.


5. Preheat the oven to 375°F, then bake the shrimp for 20 minutes.
6. (Optional) Serve over a bed of brown basmati rice.

Serves 4.

The AHH Factor: Mustard is a spice commonly found in Bengali cuisine, especially in seafood dishes. This particular recipe is adapted from my Uncle Anuj's recipe via my cousin Annie. (I call virtually every Indian man who's more than a few years older than me "uncle" and every even distant relative my "cousin," but in this case it's literally my uncle and my cousin.) Annie's dad periodically sends her Indian recipes via e-mail; I hope more of these get forwarded to me!

I made a few small tweaks to my uncle's recipe, including lowering the number of jalapenos from two to one. My uncle has one of the highest spice tolerances I know; it's as if in lieu of building up their alcohol tolerances young Indian adults chug habaneros.

Jalapenos, though, are a mild pepper, so after tasting this recipe, I think I would have been OK with the original two. Also, I normally go to great lengths to avoid using my blender (my kitchen is short on outlets, so I have to rearrange things to plug it in), but I broke it out for this recipe as I didn't want globs of spice in my shrimp.

Mustard-based entrees may be an acquired taste. Have you ever had one at an Indian restaurant? What did you think?

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