To experience rarer regional dishes, you’re going to have to make them yourself. This weekend, my Marathi, Mumbai-born mother-in-law taught me how to make a classic shrimp dish. (Marathis are the people who are indigenous to the state of Maharashtra, which is on the southwest coast of India and contains Mumbai.) It’s very simple and very good; anyone can make it at home and get a taste of Marathi home cooking.
There are no Marathi restaurants in New York, or anywhere in the US that I know of. Too bad, because the region’s cooking is totally delicious–heavy on the seafood and vegetables and assertively spiced (but not ultra-hot). It tends to feature complex spice blends, but not creamy gravies.
Get the step-by-step photos and recipe for Marathi-style spiced sautéed shrimp, after the jump.
Shrimp with marinade ingredients
Marathi Spiced Shrimp
Yield: 4 servings
Make the marinade: In a bowl, combine the shrimp with lemon juice, cumin, coriander, cloves, red chile powder, chutney, garlic paste, turmeric, salt and 2 tablespoons canola oil. Mix with your (clean) hands until all ingredients are combined. Allow shrimp to marinate for at least 10 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
Place a sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil, and heat until shimmering. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan and to promote browning, add half of the shrimp to the oil. Let the shrimp cook undisturbed for 2 1/2 minutes, and then flip and cook for 2 1/2 minutes on the other side. Turn the heat down to medium-high if you smell or see the spices burning. The shrimp should be getting deep brown and crispy, but not blackened. Remove shrimp to a serving bowl, and scrape up any browned bits of spice mixture on the bottom of your pan, adding those bits to the bowl. Cook the rest of the shrimp the same way, 2 1/2 minutes on each side.
Serve the shimp hot, with rice or flatbread on the side.