Chef Vikas Khanna’s Red Pepper and Pistachio Curried Shrimp Recipe
Shimla Mirch Curry Jhinga
Adapted from Flavors First by Vikas Khanna
There are never any leftovers when I serve this creamy shrimp dish. The sweetness of the red peppers blends with red onions, cumin, garlic, and green chiles. Pistachios are ideal, though you can substitute your favorite nuts. It is typical in Indian cooking to use raw nuts rather than toasted as in the West. You can, of course, use toasted nuts, but the flavor will be less authentic.
1 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup raw shelled pistachios, plus 10 finely chopped pistachios for garnish
2 fresh green chile peppers (such as serrano)
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 pound (20/24 count) headless medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1. In a blender or a food processor blend the bell pepper, onion, pistachios, green chiles, and water into a smooth purée.
2. In a medium skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add the garlic and cook until the edges turn brown, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and a little salt and cook until just opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
3. Add the remaining tablespoon oil to the same skillet, gently add the red pepper mixture and cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes to cook the onion. Add the shrimp and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the chopped mint just before serving to preserve its fresh flavor.
4. Season with salt and serve hot, topped with the remaining chopped pistachios.