Shrimp Peri Peri

A Portuguese-style spicy shrimp curry

Peri peri is what the Portuguese call small red bird’s-eye chiles. The Portuguese influence is strong in the food of Goa, the most popular beach getaway in India. I have replaced the fresh chiles in this recipe with lots of dried ones and have mellowed the edge by adding red bell pepper instead of more of the fiery-hot chiles.

Ingredients

  • 24 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-inch (-cm) piece fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch (2½-cm) cubes
  • 10 dried red chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • ¼ cup (50 ml) white vinegar

Method

  1. Wash the shrimp thoroughly under running water and drain well in a colander. Put in a bowl. Add the salt and peppercorns, and toss well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. Place a nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons of the oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes or until browned.
  3. Add the onion and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until translucent. Add the bell pepper, chiles, and tomato, and cook until the tomato is pulpy. Add the vinegar and stir. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Transfer to a food processor and process to a fine paste. Add the paste to the shrimp and rub it in well.
  5. Place the same nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add the shrimp and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the shrimp from the sauce and set aside on a plate. Place the pan over medium heat and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until the sauce is almost dry.
  6. Return the shrimp to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Serve hot.