Spudsational Shrimp: Bengali Prawns with Potatoes

Happy Saturday, all!

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I’ve been quite on a roll this week, making almost everything I intended in a timely manner.  Yam sent me an email commenting that she couldn’t keep up given how much food I’d been making lately, and the ironic part of that statement was that at that exact moment, I was eating nothing more than an apple and goat cheese for dinner (my dairy sensitivity does not extend to goat or sheep dairy. Funny how that works).

How does that happen? Well, I forgot that I actually had to eat more than 4 meals a week and last week I totally forgot to buy non-blog food. AND, since I’ve been doing such a good job of making these meals one or two servings, I haven’t had a ton of leftovers.  That led to my apple/cheese dinner one night, and a meal that consisted of only roasted root veggies on another.  Shame on me.

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Determined not to let that happen again, last night I went a bit crazy at the veg market, and bought an entire chicken for this upcoming week. However, I woke up this morning dumbfounded on what I had planned to make with a whole chicken. I am making butter chicken (get excited!), so it was partly for that, but even still as I write this now I can’t for the life of me recall what I had planned to do with the rest.  Well, if I do something cool with it, you’ll know.

For now, I need to focus on telling you about this dish, because this dish was awesome.

Bengali prawns.

I realized something as I was making these Bengali Prawns.  We always hear that we become our parents. For girls, we supposedly become our mothers. I’ve always been okay with this idea because my mom is way cool.

I’ll say it again- my mom is way cool.  If one day I’m half the mom that she is, I’ll be doing all right.  Despite being okay with becoming her, after making today’s Bengali prawns, it’s pretty clear that I have not at all been paying her enough mind. Or at least, taking advantage of her infinite wisdom, of both the life and culinary variety.

These Bengali prawns were fantastic and if things keep going this way, my list of favorites is going to be comprised of mostly Indian food.  The recipe again came from my book Around the World in 80 Dishes (which is 2-2 as far as kitchen successes go), but it may as well come from my mom’s kitchen. While she never made these potatoes with the prawns, the flavors were those that graced our table time after time growing up, but sadly I never thought to ask her how to make any of those dishes, or once tried to recreate them.  It makes me wonder on what else I’ve been missing out.

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Looks like the picture, yes?

A few thoughts on this dish:

First, whenever I think of making potatoes, I always imagine they will take forever because sometimes, cooking a potato can take forever. This did not take forever. It was on my plate in less than thirty. My kind of meal.

Second, I used frozen shrimp. While I can probably hold my own in a shrimp peeling competition (I grew up in Florida), I was lazy for this one. And being lazy did not compromise the end result.

Third, I added peas. I just really like peas.

Finally, the recipe.

Bengali Prawns
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 ½ pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (frozen is okay)
  2. 1 tsp ground turmeric
  3. 2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  4. 1 TB nigella seeds (if you can’t find these, perhaps use cumin seeds)
  5. 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced lengthwise
  6. 4 green onions, sliced and trimmed
  7. ½ tsp chili powder
  8. ½ cup frozen peas
  9. 1 lime, juiced
  10. ½ cup cilantro, chopped for garnish (parsley would work if you hate on cilantro)
  11. ½ cup water or stock (or more if you like more liquid)
  12. Rice, to serve
  13. Salt and pepper, to taste
  14. Coconut oil, for the pan
Instructions
  1. Place the shrimp in a small bowl and season with salt and half of the turmeric. Let marinate until you’re ready to use them.
  2. In the meantime, heat about 2 TB coconut oil into a deep frying pan over high heat. Add the potato cubes and pan fry until golden. Add the nigella seeds and the jalapeno. Add the green onions and cook until lightly browned and softened. Add the remaining turmeric and chili powder and salt to taste.
  3. Add the water and cover. Simmer until the potatoes are fully cooked through, probably not more than 20 minutes (depending on the size of your potato cubes).
  4. Add the shrimp and peas to the pan, cover and let the shrimp cook and peas warm through, for about 3-4 minutes. The shrimp will be pink when done.
  5. Right before serving, toss in the cilantro and lime juice.
Adapted from Around the World in 80 Dishes
Adapted from Around the World in 80 Dishes
The Hungary Buddha Eats the World http://thehungarybuddha.com/
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