Caribbean Style Grilled Shrimp (Paleo)

Shrimp is an all time favorite of mine!  My parents having been born and raised so close to the coast in Kerala, shrimp was my amma’s ‘go to’ ingredient for added flavor.  Yes she would add prawns in even vegetable dishes to enhance the flavor!. And boy that sure got us kids to eat all their veggies plus lick the plate!  Shrimp or ‘Chemeen’ as they are called in Kerala are used to make so many wonderful dishes like chemeen curry with coconut(thengarachu curry), chemeen varatharachu curry,  chemmeen green mango curry, prawn masala, prawn cutlets,  dried prawns chutney, prawn pickle etc etc.  Gosh my mouth is watering!

So you can imagine my joy when I was allowed to eat shrimp again by my naturopath after having abstained from eating it for more than a year! This is one of the reasons I like my Paleo diet. !

When we had visited Cancun a couple years ago, the resort we stayed in had a beautiful lunch buffet menu. One of the items on that buffet was ‘carribean style’ sizzling shrimp! My husband would grin at me as I loaded up my plate with these wonderfully spiced and perfectly grilled shrimp every single day of the 5 days we were there!

Last week as I pulled out shrimp out of the freezer to grill some quickly for my lunch, on a sudden whim I decided to try making it the carribean style – the way we had it at the resort. Going by my memory of the flavors, I quickly put together a marinade using cilantro, ginger,garlic,lemon juice, pepper, and some honey and this wonderful dish was created in less than 30 minutes.  My son was home that day with me for lunch and we both couldn’t stop marveling at how good these shrimp turned out to be! And they were pretty darn close to the ones we had at the resort!  Chef Mom deserves a pat on the back!  ‘Thank you’ Thank you’ , I say taking my bow as I clean up the table 🙂

I made this recipe again a couple days later since I wanted to share these ‘wicked good shrimp’ as my son had called them, with my husband. That time I tried grilling in the oven since I had pan fried it the first time and the grilled ones came out perfectly too. So I give directions for both ways in my recipe below.  What are you waiting for? 🙂

For a strict Paleo AIP version, omit the chillies and these will still be fantastic I am sure.

Linking this recipe this week to the following link parties:

Saucy Saturdays

Inspiration Galore Project Party

 

Caribbean Style Grilled Shrimp (Paleo)
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer; Main course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Shrimp marinated in a tangy, sweet and spicy marinade consisting of cilantro, lemon, garlic and honey and grilled or pan fried in coconut oil to perfection!
Ingredients
  • 16-18 pieces of medium size shrimp (or about 10-12 pieces of jumbo shrimp)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 by 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 green (serrano) chilies
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp sea salt or as needed
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Place all of the listed ingredients other than shrimp and coconut oil in a food processor (use small grinder) and blend well. Mixture may be a little chunky and that's ok. Marinate the shrimp in this mixture for about 10-15 mins.
  2. Heat a non stick frying pan. Add the coconut oil. Grill the shrimp in the pan and cook 1 min on each side.
  3. If grilling in oven, turn oven to Broil setting. Place the shrimp in an Al foil lined tray on skewers and place on the top rack about 4 inches from the flames. Cook for about 2 mins and then flip once and cook for about 1 minute on other side. Take the shrimp out and serve immediately. (Do Not overcook the shrimp as they will turn hard)
Notes
For a Paleo AIP version, skip the green chillies and use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce

 

 

 

 

 

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Salmon in spicy mustard sauce (Bengali Style Fish Curry)


Bengali style Salmon(Baked)When it comes to eating fish, I don’t think any other state in India can beat the Bongs (bengalis) or the Mallus (Keralites) 🙂 I am so relieved that my naturopath has asked me to continue eating fish as it is beneficial for me. So be prepared for a deluge of fish recipes! Nothing can stop this fish eating mallu now Ha Ha 🙂

Over the past few weeks I have made some variations of the traditional Kerala fish curry, which I will post soon. But today’s post is on the Bengali fish curry where mustard is the star. My friend Samita suggested this recipe to me recently one evening amidst all of us ladies bantering as usual at a recent gathering at her place. Samita, cooks up lovely lip-smacking dishes in a jiffy in her easygoing, carefree manner. She is not the one to fuss over recipes. Nor is she the one to note down exact recipes. And so what she told me went something like this – ‘Indu, why don’t you try making it Bengali style – just make a paste of mustard and green chillies and mix it with the salmon(elaborate hand gesture here showing how the paste is to be applied) and bake it. Mast hoga re! ‘

After that description from Samita how could I not give it a try! Plus it looked too easy! I checked out some online recipes for bengali curry and some of them used tomatoes which my diet does not permit. So in the end I really did what Samita had suggested. It came out wonderful and so tasty. Thank you Samita!

After that I have made it a couple more times now and I additionally strain the paste to get a fine texture for the curry plus it takes away the very pungent mustard taste.  I have also made it over the stove top. And this is one curry that I am sure has come to stay in my kitchen. And you know the best thing about this curry? – it is so darned easy to make!

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Linking to Throwback Thursday this week. Also linking to Fiesta Friday.

Salmon in mustard sauce (Bengali Style Fish Curry)

  • Servings: makes 4 servings when served with rice
  • Time: About 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

6-8 Salmon pieces (boned-in and with skin preferred), about 1 inch thick
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4 tsp mustard seeds(I used brown mustard only but you can use mix of brown and yellow)
4 green chillies
3/4 tsp red chilli pow
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water plus 1 cup more water

For tadka(oil garnish)
2 tsp olive oil(or mustard oil)
1/2 trp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp kala jeera (nigella seeds)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds

Method:

If using Stovetop:

Rub the salmon pieces with the salt and turmeric. Keep aside.

In a food processor, blend mustard seeds, green chillies, turmeric, red chili pow and salt with  1/2 cup water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend again. Strain this mixture using a strainer and keep aside.

Take a medium size wide bottomed cooking pot and add the oil (under tadka). heat the oil and add the tadka ingredients. Let cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds pop. Add the salmon pieces to the oil and lightly fry for about 2-3 minutes on side.  Make sure the fish does not stick to the bottom of the pan (Do not Flip them before 2 minutes).

Add the strained mustard mixture to the fish now. Cover and let cook on low heat for about 15 minutes. Cook uncovered for last few minutes until you get curry of desired consistency.

Sprinkle with fresh cilantro leaves! Serve with some cooked plain rice.

If using oven:

Rub the salmon pieces with the salt and turmeric. Take an oven proof baking dish and place the salmon in it in a single layer.

In a food processor, blend mustard seeds, green chillies, turmeric, red chili pow and salt with  1/2 cup water to form a smooth paste. Add the rest of the water and blend again.

Strain this mixture and pour over the fish.

Bake at 400 deg F (200 deg C) for 20 mins. (Covered for first 15 minutes and then uncovered for last 5 minutes)

In a tadka pan, heat the oil and add the tadka ingredients. Let cook for about 30 seconds until the seeds pop. Pour this garnished oil over the baked fish.
Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with some cooked plain rice.

Bengali style Salmon(Baked)

 

Chili Peanut Chicken Curry (Chicken in a red chilli peanut sauce)

collage3 If you like Chicken and if you eat Chinese take out, you would have certainly tried ‘Kung pao’ chicken. Kung Pao chicken is a fiery chicken stir fry dish with peanuts which has red chillies for the heat. Just like any other chinese take-out it tastes great while piping hot and when you are really hungry ‘and not in the mood to cook’ 🙂 Usually hubby dear’s chicken curry is what we crave for and he usually appeases us by cooking his ‘special chicken curry’ every weekend. That reminds me that I need to note down his recipe next time he cooks it so I can post it! Anyways, because of hubby’s chicken curry being so tasty, I only rarely get a chance to cook chicken curry. But whenever I do end up making it, I always want to try something new. I absolutely love chicken in any form and since chicken lends itself to so many options, I am always inclined to try different things with it. Mostly I try changing the blend of spices a little bit etc. just so we end up with slightly different flavors in the chicken curry each time. This past week when I got a turn to make chicken curry, suddenly from nowhere ‘Kung pao chicken’ came to mind! Hmm…Red Chillies, Peanuts! Wow! I thought how about I incorporate both into the curry for a red hot chicken curry! My mouth started watering just thinking about it so i absolutely needed to give it a try! And as expected you could never go wrong with chicken curry anyway you cooked it but especially not when you grind red chillies and peanuts into a paste and incorporate into the curry! Finger licking spicy and delicious! YUM YUM just YUM! I am bringing this fiery Chicken curry to Fiesta Friday this week. Be sure to check all the wonderful recipes there! DSC_0135

Chili Peanut Chicken Curry (Chicken in a red chilli peanut sauce)

  • Servings: Serves 4-6 when served with rice or rotis
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs (about 1 kg) chicken thigh pieces cut into bite size pieces, cleaned and washed
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt

For the ground masala paste

  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 1 inch by 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 large Kashmiri red chillies
  • 1/2 cup hot water to grind

For the curry:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • whole cloves 4-6
  • cinnamon stick 1 inch piece long
  • 2 medium size onions, finely chopped
  • above ground masala paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium potato cubed (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • salt additional if needed

Method: Mix the washed chicken pieces with the red chili powder, salt and turmeric. Keep aside. In a food processor grind all the ingredients listed under ‘ground masala’ to a fine paste. In a large cooking pot, add the oil and heat for a minute. When hot turn heat to medium and add the cumin seeds, the cloves and the cinnamon stick. Immediately add the chopped onions and stir for 4-5 minutes on medium heat or until cooked through. Add the ground masala paste to the onions and stir for 1 minute. Next add chopped tomatoes and sauté 3-4 minutes on low heat. Add the chicken pieces to the above mixture and add the water and bring to a boil. Check for salt and add more if needed. Then bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so to prevent the pieces from sticking to the pot. (If adding potatoes, then add them towards the end to cook for about 10 minutes.) Turn heat off. Serve hot with rotis or cooked white rice. Notes:

  1. You can add more water towards the end of cooking time if you like your curry to be more runny.
  2. You can reduce or add more red chili powder per your taste. This version is moderate hot. So add more if you like spicy hot and less if mild.

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Meat Samosas (Kheema Pastry Puffs) for a special party

DSC_0847 What’s your favorite kind of food? If asked that question, I know it’s a little hard to come up with an answer ..one answer that is! DSC_0811OK so how if I ask you – what’s your favorite kind of appetizer? Appetizers are ‘teaser’ foods’,  irresistible…where one cannot control the urge to grab a bite! As for me,  I really enjoy something that’s warm, crispy on the outside with a spicy, savory filling inside – warm samosas, pakoras really fit that description! DSC_0845 Now you may be wondering why I am talking so much about appetizers. Well the fact is that I have been thinking this entire past week about a special appetizer that I can make and bring to a very special party. A fiesta actually spanning two weeks.!  Angie from The Novice Gardener’s who has been hosting weekly Fiesta Friday is celebrating the first anniversary of Fiesta Friday with a huge block party! How exciting isn’t it? DSC_0815So after endlessly thinking (and salivating! ) about lots of potential candidates, I finally chose to bring the humble Indian samosa to the grand event. But with a special twist – I decided to make a meat filling and make a baked puff pastry version of it.  Hubby dear also decided to make a special pomegranate salad to go with it and the salad and the samosas ended up being a perfect meal for us! Perfect pairing and incredibly satisfying! Thanks to Julianna from Foodie on Board  and Hilda from Alongthegrapevine are going to be our hosts this week. Hey let’s raise a toast to all FF goers – it has been wonderful partying with all of you! 🙂 And if you haven’t done so already please join in the fun and all the food sharing here at FF! DSC_0850   DSC_0799

Meat Samosas (Meat filled Pastry Puffs)

  • Servings: Makes about 36 samosas or 18 standard size puff pastry
  • Time: About 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 medium onion,chopped finely
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced finely
  • 1/2 by 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger minced finely (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (use less for mild)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala (use less for mild)
  • About 1 lb ground beef (or lamb or mutton), thawed
  • 1 small potato (boiled and peeled)
  • handful of fresh cilantro leaves chopped fine(optional)

For the crust:

  • 1 pack or 2 sheets Frozen Puff Pastry dough(thawed at room temperature for about 30 minutes, I used Simply Enjoy brand)
  • little water for sealing
  • milk for brushing on top

Method: Take the puff pastry dough from the freezer and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. In a large flat bottomed pot or a large pan, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. After they get toasted (about 30 seconds) add the onions and sauté on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the ginger and garlic and again sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Next add the salt and all the spices.  And add the ground meat and stir to blend in with the onion and spice mixture. continue to cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes stirring frequently or until the meat changes color and is cooked. Now add the cooked potato and the cilantro and mash everything well together using a masher.  Keep this filling aside. For making the samosas/puff pastries: Pre heat oven to 430 deg F ( please follow per instructions on your Puff pastry package as it can vary depending upon brand) take a sheet of the pastry dough and cut it into 9 small squares.  Take 1 small square and squish it to form a small dough ball. Using a rolling pin and some flour for dusting roll this dough ball into a small round.  Cut the round into 2 semi-circles.  Take each semi circle and make a cone by selling the edges (using some water). Place about 1 tsp of filling in the cone and then seal the edges from the top to form a samosa shape. Repeat similarly with all the rest of the squares. Alternately, you can make triangles or rectangle shaped puff pastry too by folding the squares into a triangle or a rectangle. Place in a baking tray lined with Al foil and brush tops lightly with some milk. Place the tray in the middle of the oven and bake at 430 deg F for about 20 minutes until golden brown and crispy.  (After first 15 minutes, flip the pastries over and bake on the other side for another 5 minutes) Notes: I used a new brand of Puff Pastry dough, ‘Simply Enjoy’ for the first time and the puff pastries / samosas came out really good. However the baking temperatures and times may be different for different brands and hence please read the instructions on your package. You may have some filling leftover especially if you add the potato. But you can always make sandwiches with the left over filling or eat it with rotis/paranthas. For the pomegranate salad:

  • seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • 1/2 of a ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup chopped lettuce
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Toss everything together in a bowl and serve fresh!

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Nepalese Style Grilled Chicken

DSC_0800 I am often asked how I manage to cook a variety of dishes considering my hectic schedule at work and at home. Well the truth is that trying different recipes is what gets the boredom out of cooking for me and it no longer feels like ‘yet another thing to do’!  This past week one evening I came home from work very tired. I made myself a cup of steaming coffee and then sat down browsing the newspaper. Everything else could wait while I enjoyed these few moments of pure indulgence with caffeine! Alas it was short lived since a few minutes later I started wondering what i should be making for dinner.  Hmm let’s see … Chicken seemed like a good option since cooking chicken would also take care of lunches the next day as I could easily make chicken wraps with the left over chicken pieces. So chicken it was going to be! I took out the chicken from the freezer and left it in the kitchen sink to thaw. I then drifted over to my recipe book shelf and started browsing ‘Mangoes and Curry leaves’, one of my favorite cookbooks to look for any unusual chicken recipes.  ‘Nepali grilled chicken’ with its tomato marinade piqued my interest and seemed like an easy recipe too. I had never ever tried chicken marinated in tomato juice but I could almost taste the tangy marinade with the tomato and lime.  The original recipe did not have any heat in it but the ‘Indian’ in me had to add red chili and black pepper to it! But you can skip them if you so desire -I am sure it will taste great even without the heat! I grilled them in the oven and the chicken came out perfect – a little crispy on the outside and  soft and tender inside. Not very much unlike tandoori chicken – a reddish color without the addition of any synthetic color!  How wonderful! I decided to also make a quick sweet and sour dip with the left over marinade which was good but we just loved eating the chicken with rice and dal. 🙂 I am bringing this yummy chicken dish to Fiesta Friday #45 this week! Let’s party and check out what others brought! 🙂 DSC_0802

Nepalese Style Grilled Chicken

  • Servings: About 4-6 servings as an appetizer or a side dish
  • Time: About 30 minutes for prep and cooking time and up to 2 hours for marination
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print
  Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs or about 1 1/2 kg chicken pieces (thigh pieces or you can use drumstick pieces too)
  • Olive oil for brushing

For the marinade

  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes or tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (add more if you like hot)
  • about 1 by 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger (about 1 tbsp minced ginger)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 8-10 blackpepper corns (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (or per taste)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Method: Wash the chicken pieces (cutting them into desired size) and pat dry using a paper towel. In a blender or food processor, grind all the marinade ingredients except the oil into a smooth paste.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the oil and mix well to blend. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl with the marinade and mix well to coat all the pieces well. Keep aside for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Turn the oven on broil setting and take a large tray and line with Al foil.  Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray.  Place the chicken pieces on the foil and with a brush dab a little bit of oil over the chicken pieces. Reserve the marinade for the dip. Place the tray (uncovered) on the top shelf above 5-7 inches away from the broiler flame.   Broil for about 5-7 minutes. Take the tray out and flip the pieces using a pair of tongs. Lightly dab with oil again on this side and again place tray in theoven for another 5-7 minutes until you see slight char on the pieces. Take the pieces out of the oven and immediately cover with Al foil.  Serve hot with onion slices and lime wedges For the dip: I heated the marinade in a small pan and added some brown sugar to add some sweetness and cooked it for about 5-6 minutes till thick.

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  • Nepali grilled chicken DSC_0796