Saffron Shrimp with Tamarind Chutney

An Indian version of shrimp cocktail: spiced, roasted shrimps served with tamarind chutney as a nibble before the main meal.

Tamarind chutney is a sweet-tart dark mixture with a wonderful flavour and it is easy to make your own, although it can be purchased at supermarkets. Tamarind is available at Asian or Indian stores, some health food stores and some supermarkets.

Serves 8


1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped garlic
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped ginger
1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
2 tsp (10 mL) ground coriander
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala
1 tsp (5 mL) saffron
1/4 cup (50 mL) yogurt
1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
2 lbs (1 kg) large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt to taste

For the Tamarind Chutney

4 oz (125 g) tamarind in a block
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
1/4 cup (50 mL) coconut milk
1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar



1. Combine garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, saffron, yogurt, lemon juice and oil together in food processor or by hand. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in shrimps making sure they are well coated with mixture. Marinate 1 hour.

2. Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).

3. Remove shrimp from marinade. Salt, and place on oiled baking sheet. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes or until just pink and slightly curled.

4. Remove immediately from baking sheet and cool.

5. Place on a bed of pea sprouts or watercress. Serve with tamarind chutney.

For the Tamarind Chutney

1. Place tamarind and water in small pot on high heat. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring to break up block. Simmer 5 minutes or until tamarind has become a thick liquid. Strain pressing down in the sieve. Return to pot, add coconut milk and sugar and simmer until just combined, about 2 minutes. Cool.

Makes about 3/4 cup (175 mL)

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