Dried Shrimp and Coconut Chutney

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Dried Shrimp chutney

It is Monday night and I am just about to type my post that I meant to post last Friday. Where did my weekend go? I am increasingly feeling that a 2 day weekend is not sufficient. Especially when the weather is so great outside. When you have so much to do!  Soccer games to watch, recitals to attend, graduation parties to go to and plants to tend to! Of course, the usual chores are waiting for you as well – the laundry, the grocery shopping etc etc. …the list never ends. I need a 3 day weekend – yes that’s what I need! And then I need a long vacation. And then I want to retire! Now wouldn’t that be nice? I could blog all day and night long! Anyways back to reality and back to this post….Because of my busy work schedule, I am always looking for easy dinner options for our crazy weeknights. One option that is our family favorite and staple is dal (lentil soup), rice and pan fried fish.  Start by getting the rice( parboiled) cooking in a huge pot of boiling water. Drain reserving the stock which is called konjee – my husband’s favorite drink in the world! The konjee is best when you use parboiled rice. Once in a while when there is no fish available in my freezer, then I pull out my secret ingredient from the pantry – dried shrimp! I know some of you will find this gross but those of us who have eaten dried shrimp before will know how tasty it can be. In kerala it is common especially in the coastal areas where shrimp is in abundance to get ‘dried shrimp’. I am not very familiar with the process of making dried shrimp but I believe it involves drying the shrimp in the sun for several hours each day for several days. In the US, you can find dried shrimp in Chinese/Asian supermarkets. Dried Shrimp can be just pan fried with some red chili powder and salt and coconut oil. However I love it best as dry chutney powder – by mixing it with grated coconut and dry red chillies! Oh so yum! Just give me dal, rice and this chutney any day and I am a happy girl! 🙂  My husband just loves to have this chutney as a condiment with his rice konjee. This chutney is indeed so tasty that just a tiny bit of it goes a long way!  My dad used to tell us a funny story about how a vegetarian brahmin chef’s secret to making incredibly tasty vegetarian dishes had to do with him sprinkling this shrimp chutney into the dishes! LOL! I don’t mean to offend the vegetarians but just had to share this amusing story! I am bringing this shrimp chutney powder to Angie’s Fiesta Friday where I am so late this week. But better late than never!

Dried Shrimp and Coconut Chutney

  • Time: About 20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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  Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup dried shrimp (rinsed throughly and drained well)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut (or fresh frozen coconut that has been thawed)
  • 1 large dry red chili (or 1 tsp red chili powder)
  • 2-3 fresh curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp salt or as needed

Method: Take a large frying pan and heat the coconut oil in it. Add the shrimp and sauté for about 8-10 minutes on low to medium heat stirring constantly to prevent overheating/burning. When the shrimp turn crispy and toasty, add the curry leaves and dry chili (or chili powder) and sauté for 1 more minute. Place this shrimp and chili mixture in a food processor or a chopper and pulse for a few seconds until the shrimp turns into a coarse powder. Add the grated coconut and process for 30 more seconds or so until the coconut is well blended with the shrimp. Add salt as needed. Notes:

  • It is best to use a chopper for making this chutney since the ideal texture for this chutney is to have it coarsely ground and not too fine.
  • You need to wash the shrimp thoroughly because it may have sand and or other dirt/grime. After rinsing thoroughly make sure you drain it well and dab with paper towels before sautéing in oil.
  • The dried shrimp already contains salt hence reserve adding salt until the end so you can add as needed.
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