Monday, June 1, 2015

Tandoori Shrimp

I could barely believe it when my dear friend Gunjan called me, to ask me to help her teach high school students, at the Dalton School, Indian cooking. The main reason I began writing this blog, was to share quick and easy recipes, and help promote more home cooking. Teaching kids felt like it was the ultimate! 

This recipe, inspired by a recipe by Suvir Saran, in his book American Masala, was simple and delicious. It also helped introduce the students to some of the many Indian spices. Make a batch of the marinate, smear it on paneer, shrimp, fish, chicken, lamb, cauliflower or anything you fancy, and enjoy! Adjust the spice levels and make it kid-friendly. My four year old son loved it on shrimp (omitted the chili for him). In fact, we had some extra mushrooms at the class, so I grilled the mushrooms on a cast iron pan, with the sour cream tandoori marinade and it turned out delicious!  

The students responded very well to this recipe and hopefully some of them will be cooking it at home! And read the notes below for other ways you can apply this recipe, and get more creative. 

For the marinade:
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 small red onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon toasted cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/2 teaspoon red chili (or cayenne pepper)
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of garam masala

1 1/2 lbs shrimp, medium (shelled and deveined), about 20–25 pieces

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 lemon, juiced + 1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, for garnish

  1. Place all of the marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Pour over shrimp, cover and marinade for half an hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium-high (you should be able to hold your hand 5-inches above the grate).
  4. Add the oil, and grill the shrimp in batches, to not overcrowd the pan or grill, cooking until each side is browned, 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove from the pan, squeeze lemon juice and garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro.

  1. The shrimp can be substituted for chicken or lamb. Revise cooking time accordingly. 
  2. Tandoor Shrimp Pizza: You can serve it on a flat bread of your choice (such as Indian naan / focaccia / pizza dough), spread hummus on the flat bread, add 4 pieces of shrimp on each flat bread, top with cilantro chutney, sprinkle with some goat cheese, garnish with chopped cilantro and finely diced red pepper.
  3. Tandoor Shrimp Sliders: Spread mayonnaise on a slider bun, green chutney (or pesto), tomato slices, onion slices, Tandoor shrimp, and fresh cilantro. 

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