Thought I'd post this here as we don't seem to have a pickles/chutneys/condiments section even though a lot of us make such things
I'd never come across a shrimp pickle before - completely bizarre, but it's seriously good stuff.
And like a lot of traditional indian pickles, simple and quick to make.
We've got indian neighbours and engage in almost constant food exchanges. We give them cakes, jams, lemon curd, fruit etc and they tend to give us chapatis (though I now make my own) curry and the odd pickle.
Was round there the other day and tried some shrimp pickle. Hot, but really good. Let's put it this way I ate about 1/4 the jar when I was there with some chapatis and brought the rest home with me :-)
Made sure next time shanti made it I got invited round to write the process up.
So for starters here's the original recipe, which i would recommend following. I made a batch with fresh chillis, which you can see in the pictures, and it just didn't have the bite. Good stuff but hotter is definitely better in this respect.
Shrimp Pickle - 100% authentic indian recipe.
350gms to 454gms (14-16oz) of cooked peeled prawns/shrimp - the smallest and cheapest you can buy. Don't think you're being clever by buying larger prawns. In this case: Smallest = bestest
The prawns are the bulk of the pickle and you can't spread large prawns Wink
Juice and zest of 3 limes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
3.5 heaped tsp red chilli powder (final pickle is pretty hot - you might want to start with 2 tsp)
.5 tsp Asafoetida (more of which later)
.5 cup oil: sunflower, corn or rapeseed - Basically any kind of fairly neutral oil will do
1.5 tsp fenugreek
Marinate the prawns in the lime juice, salt, turmeric and chilli powder.
Stick in to marinate about 10 mins before heating the oil.
In a medium sized saucepan, add the oil and heat untill a fenugreek seed sizzles.
Add rest of fenugreek and cook fora few minutes till browned.
Add the shrimp mix and the asafoetida (you might want to do this carefully and stand back) as the wet marinade reacts with the hot oil.
Cook on a fairly strong boil for about 15-20 minutes with the saucepan lid half on - or remove lid and place splash guard over saucepan - it's either that or risk ending up with a yellow cooker top.
Or cook outside, or best yet tlk one of your mates into making it at his house
After 20 mins turn down to a simmer until the mixture is very much reduced. About 30-50 mins.
what it looks like when fully reduced.
I stirred mine fairly regularly to break down the prawns a little, which makes it spread better. Shanti didn't stir hers that much.
Store in jars. will keep for a week or two in the fridge.
Shanti always adds a little extra oil to the jars to help it keep. Sounds odd but needs to be done. Just enough so that no shrimp shows above the surface of the oil. Cuts off the oxygen and keeps mold from growing on the pickle.
The oil quickly takes on the pickle flavour so you really don't mind that it's a bit oily.
This stuff is really moreish, great as a side pickle or just on bread or chapatis.
Now a couple of cautionary points:
1) ONLY MAKE THIS INDOORS IF YOU:
a) have a seriously effective cooker hood extractor or
b) do not mind your house smelling like an indian restaurant for the next 3 weeks
(I didn't mind - but there were 'comments' made lol)
Next time I make some it will be in the garden on a camping gas stove - nuff said
The side burner on a gas bbq would be idea.
2) asafoetida is truly fascinating stuff.
Essentially it's the asian version of truffles, but far more interesting.
Asafoetida (Ferula assafoetida), alternative spelling asafetida,(play /æsəˈfɛtɨdə/) (also known as devil's dung, stinking gum, asant, food of the gods, giant fennel, hing and ting) is the dried latex (gum oleoresin) exuded from the living underground rhizome or tap root of several species of Ferula, which is a perennial herb (1 to 1.5 m high). The species is native to India. Asafoetida has a pungent, unpleasant smell when raw, but in cooked dishes, it delivers a smooth flavor, reminiscent of leeks.
This spice is used as a digestive aid, in food as a condiment and in pickles. When uncooked its odour is so strong the aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby if it is not stored in an airtight container. However, its odour and flavor become much milder and more pleasant upon heating in oil or ghee, acquiring a taste and aroma reminiscent of sautéed onion and garlic.
It's harvested by exposing the plant root and scraping away the surface of the root. The plant then exudes a substance that is scraped off and that is the asafoetida spice. weird or what.
It's also one of the spices that jane monks use, as it's not a seed (eating seeds is effectively taking life if you're a hardcore jane).
You only ever usea small amount and apparently if you add too much it really makes you fart - squirrel beware !
Other than that this pickle is very unusual and seriously tasty. So try it out.
And I'm really not kidding about making it outside - you were warned