Friday, April 8, 2011

Shrimp tikka with fresh mango chutney and vegetable skewers over basmati

Grill season is upon us! I love grilling. Not only does it taste great, it minimizes dishwashing by avoiding pots and pans as well.  Fill up the ol' Blue Rhino!


Garam masala is a South Asian spice blend. If you can't find it (or want to customize to your personal tastes), just make your own. Recipes abound on the internets. This dish has been on my list for several months as we waited for the weather to turn. I should warn you, there is a lot of chopping. If you're one of those people who find slicing and dicing to be soothing, it'll be like therapy for you. If you can't stand being stuck at the cutting board, it will be torturous.

I like to grill seasonal veggies right alongside my proteins for an easy healthy side. Instead of halving the marinade recipe to serve two people, I made the whole thing and used half on my zucchini and eggplant skewers. Of course, you could use just about any vegetable you like - peppers, squash, mushrooms, onions, cherry tomatoes, yadda yadda. I'm still mourning the loss of my first li'l pepper from the garden... something caterpillery had the munchies [single tear]. I'm all organic-insecticided up now, though.

I'm a big fan of fruit in savory applications, such as in apricot-glazed pork loinseared ahi with mango chutney, lamb and apricot tagine, and pork chops with tomato-peach compote. I have a really interesting (and delicious, to me anyway) sounding salmon with blueberries recipe on the docket, too. Give fruit and meat a chance.

Anyway, once all the chopping is out of the way this comes together very easily. I served over steamed basmati rice to round it out.

~ 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
juice of 2 limes
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced (I wish I'd used a hotter chili)
~ 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp ground garam masala
3/4 tsp turmeric (yes, my fingers are a little yellow today, but I'll live)
1/8 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated

~ 20 large shrimp, peeled (I left the shells on but I will definitely peel next time)

1 large zucchini, sliced into 1 inch rounds
1 cute Japanese eggplant, also sliced into 1 inch rounds

1 tsp ground cumin
1 mango, chopped into little cubes
~ 1/2 a small cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped like the mango
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped (noticing all the "chop" instructions?)
another serrano chili, seeded and minced (again, wish I'd used a Thai bird chili)
juice of another lime or two
handful of mint, finely chopped
handful of cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 cup basmati rice

Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade. Pour one half over your shrimp and the other half over your vegetables. Stick the shrimp in the fridge and wait half an hour, then thread everything onto skewers. Don't let them go much longer than half an hour or the lime will start to cook the shrimp.

While they're marinating, combine the ingredients for the chutney and set aside. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste immediately before serving (otherwise it'll get too watery - even so I had to drain mine a bit, and it was *still* a little watery as evidenced in the photo).

Also during this time, cook your basmati using my rice technique
Get your grill nice and hot. Sprinkle the shrimp and veggie skewers with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. The shrimp cook really quickly, so start the vegetables first for maybe 5 minutes on the first side (depending on how thick you cut them). Then when you flip them, pop the shrimp on as well. On a really hot grill they won't take more than a minute or two per side. Serve on a bed of steamed basmati with a scoop of mango chutney.

Serves 2, takes about 45 minutes on account of all the damned chopping.

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