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Sembharachi Kodi (Goanese Shrimp Curry)

Updated: Apr 24, 2021

I grew up in Mumbai enjoying this curry. After i moved to the US, i craved this curry for many years. I finally came across this recipe (I still subscribe to this wonderful magazine), and had to make it. It reminds me of my childhood. I have also made this with fish, tilapia, red snapper, or cod, and it is just as good. Finally, I do add dried kokum fruit (available at any Indian store or Amazon) for additional tartness. Plain rice works so well.

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  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails on

  • 1 cup grated fresh or frozen coconut

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

  • 3 chiles de árbol, stemmed

  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped

  • 1⁄4 cup canola oil

  • 5 whole cloves

  • 4 pods green cardamom

  • 2 Indian or regular bay leaves

  • 1 stick cinnamon, halved

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander

  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric

  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper

  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed into a paste

  • 1 (1") piece ginger, peeled and mashed into a paste

  • 1 (14-oz.) can coconut milk

  • 6 pieces dried kokum

  • 1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 tsp. sugar

  • 2 small green Thai chiles or 1 serrano, thinly sliced

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Remove and discard tails from 6 shrimp; place in a food processor. Add coconut, cumin seeds, chiles de árbol, tomatoes, and 2 tbsp. water; purée into a paste.

Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high. Cook cloves, cardamom, bay leaves, and cinnamon until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Add onion; cook until golden, 6–8 minutes. Add coriander, turmeric, pepper, garlic, and ginger; cook until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Stir in reserved paste; cook until oil separates, 8–10 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk and kokum fruit and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes until the curry thickens a bit to a consistency of thick cream. Add remaining shrimp, half the cilantro, the sugar, and green chiles. Cook until shrimp are pink and sauce is slightly thickened, 6–8 minutes.

Serve garnish with remaining cilantro.

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