TAMIL INSPIRED TACOS: MASALA SHRIMP WITH COCONUT CHUTNEY

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I had never had south Indian food before when I was introduced to the delicious world of doses (giant sourdough crepes filled with masala, or whatever you like).  The flavor profile was familiar but very different from the north Indian cuisine I had always eaten.  I fell in love with the coconut chutney, which isn’t actually a preserve at all, more of a sauce or condiment, that is sweet, mildly spicy, and wonderful on top of masala.  Using this combination as a jumping off point, I thought it would be fun to twist it even further by turning the recipe into tacos.  You can easily enjoy this combination over rice or a la carte, but I love the extra flavor the tortilla brings to the equation. Enjoy!

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INGREDIENTS

For 8 tacos

1 recipe masala shrimp

1 recipe coconut chutney

1 cup fresh tomato, diced

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup white onion, finely chopped

8 small corn tortillas

Over an open flame, warm the tortillas up until pliable and keep under a clean cloth. Serve everything together and garnish however you like.

INGREDIENTS (MASALA SPICED SHRIMP)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 pound medium raw peeled and deveined shrimp

DIRECTIONS

Combine all of the ingredients and let the shrimp marinate in the fridge for 2 hours. To cook, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, grease with a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and add the shrimp.  You may have to do this in batches so the shrimp don’t over lap.  Cook for  2 minutes per side, or until the shrimp are pink and their edges are starting to curl.

INGREDIENTS (TAMIL STYLE COCONUT CHUTNEY)

1 cup fresh coconut meat

3 tablespoons chickpeas, cooked or from a can

1 small green chili, or more if you like it spicy

1 1/2 tablespoons cilantro

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 1/2 tablespoons coconut milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 garlic clove, minced

3/4 teaspoon fish sauce

DIRECTIONS

In a food processor or mortar and pestle, grind the coconut, chickpeas, green chili, cilantro, salt, and yogurt with enough water into a smooth chutney base.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the cumin and garlic.  Remove from heat and pour into the prepared chutney. Add the fish sauce to the chutney. Mix well. Adjust salt if you need to.