Cookbook Profile

Shrimp with
Cracked Pepper and Curry Leaves

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 6
Recipe should be cooked just prior to serving.


This stir-fry was inspired by a dish I tasted at the Mumbai restaurant, Only Fish. It brings together the simple intensity of pepper, curry leaves, and coconut oil-three quintessentially Keralan ingredients. It also happens to be a very pretty dish, especially if the tails are left on the shrimp. Use medium shrimp so the flavors can penetrate.


3 tablespoons coconut oil (no substitutions)
1-1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns, well crushed
   with a mortar and pestle (no large pieces)
1-1/2 pounds medium shrimp (not jumbo),
   peeled and deveined, leaving the
   last segment and the tail attached
30 fresh curry leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt


In a wok heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. (Note: coconut oil has a low smoking point, so do not let it get too hot.) Add the crushed peppercorns and stir for 1 minute until the peppercorns release their aroma. Put in the shrimp and stir-fry until they just lose their translucent quality and turn pink. Toss in the curry leaves and salt and continue stirring over the heat 1 to 2 minutes until the shrimp are opaque and the curry leaves give off their fragrance. (There is no sauce but the shrimp will be glossy and flecked with peppercorns and curry leaves.) Serve immediately.


Buy the Book!


Savoring the Spice Coast of India
Fresh Flavors from Kerala

By Maya Kaimal
HarperCollins Publishers, 2000
Hardback, $ 27.50
Color photographs throughout
ISBN: 0-06-019257-7
Recipe reprinted by permission.


Savoring the Spice Coast of India



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This page created November 2000