This dish was loaded with so many flavors I already can’t wait to make it again. This is not a dish I was exposed to growing up as it’s more a Southern Iranian dish… even my Dad was not familiar. But we both were pretty obsessed. I don’t cook with tamarind much but it’s going to become a bigger part of my life moving forward.
You’re basically making a shrimp stew loaded with herbs and spices- it seriously exceeded all expectations. I know it’s annoying to weigh herbs but using cups for herbs can really mess up the balance of this recipe. It’s worth it! Once you have a little digital scale on hand you’ll find yourself using it all the time for recipes especially baking. I definitely recommend serving it with some Persian rice to take this whole experience over the top.
You’ll need (for 4-6):
- 1 lb large or medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined- tails removed
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 100 grams tamarind pulp*
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 green chilies, finely chopped**
- 5 scallions, sliced thin
- 80 grams cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 50 grams parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1.5 tsp ground coriander
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
- Soak tamarind in 200 ml hot water for 20 minutes. Strain, pressing down to get as much liquid as possible from the pulp. You want 160 ml tamarind liquid. Set aside
- Toss shrimp with 1 tbsp olive oil, turmeric, one clove garlic and 0.5 tsp of salt. Place in fridge for 15 minutes.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in large sauté pan over medium. Sauté onion for 10 minutes, add remaining garlic, half the chilies and cook for one minute. Add scallions, herbs, and dried fenugreek and cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes stirring often.
- Add flour, spices, chili flakes, 1.5 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add tamarind liquid, sugar and 500 ml of water and simmer for ten minutes until sauce thickens slightly.
- Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon oil in a pan over high heat. Sauté 1/3 of the shrimp for 2 minutes on each side (keep an eye on them timing will vary based on size of shrimp) until just cooked through. Set aside.
- Add the remaining 2/3 shrimp to the stew and cook for 3 minutes until shrimp is cooked through.
- Serve stew in large bowl topped with fried shrimp, sprinkle of cilantro and remaining chilies. Great with Persian rice.
*I used one of those tamarind bricks/slabs
**I used green Thai chili peppers