- 3 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 6 each cloves
- 2 tablespoons turmeric
- To taste red pepper, ground
- 10 leaves curry leaves, fried in vegetable oil (see below)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon Fish Sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 pound 16-20 Shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 ounces coconut milk, canned
Place coriander, cumin, fenugreek, fennel, mustard, peppercorns and cloves in a dry heavy skillet over medium heat. Toast spices, stirring occasionally, until they turn dark, not burnt, about 12 minutes. If heat is too high, outside of seeds will burn before they get cooked inside. Cool completely.
In a frying pan with about 1/8 of an inch of hot vegetable (just starting to smoke) oil at medium high heat, carefully drop curry leaves into oil and stand back as leaves may splatter oil. Cook leaves until browned all over and remove to drain on a paper towel.
Grind seeds and leaves to a powder in a cuisinart or spice grinder or coffee mill (be sure that the grinder is dedicated to spices as the oils from the seeds may leave residue). Mix in turmeric. If using red pepper, add at this point.
Add 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture to the peeled and deveined shrimp and marinade for 1/2 hour.
Meanwhile, in a saute pan, add the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the remaining spices. Heta on med/high with stirring. Heat until very fragrant but do not burn.
Add shrimp and cook until just starting to turn orange (do not fully cook shrimp) and spices coat the shrimp, about 2 minutes.
Remove shrimp from pan and place on a plate. Add coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar to pan. With constant stirring, cook until sugar is well blended and dissolved and sauce is bubbly and beginning to thicken. About 12 minutes total. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Add shrimp to pan and continue cooking until a nice yellow colored sauce is produced, about 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook shrimp.
Remove from heat and serve shrimp over cooked rice or noodles. Adjust heat by adding red pepper if necessary.
*We recommend doubling the spices in this recipe and reserving the spice blend for other curry dishes. Keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.