Shrimp pairs well with most vegetables, but my personal favorite is brinjal, or black eggplant. It's a classic combination, contrasting the vegetable's mild, bitter edge with the sweet, faintly briny seafood. The dish tastes even better with smaller shrimp; the smaller they get, the more concentrated their flavor. A blend of spices and hot chilies floods the plate with warm heat; coupled with roti or pilaf, it makes for a hearty, satisfying meal.
- Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons ginger-garlic paste (bottled or made by combining 1 teaspoon each grated garlic and ginger)
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder divided
- 2/3 pound small shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 1/2 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
- 2 small green chilies, slit
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 cup water
- 3 baby black eggplants cut lengthwise into 4 (or two depending on size)
Combine 1 teaspoon salt, turmeric, ginger-garlic paste,1 teaspoon cumin powder, and the shrimp in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add green chilli and chopped tomato. Stir until tomato is broken down and starting to get dry, about 5 minutes. Add remaining cumin, red chilli and coriander powders and vigorously until fragrant, about 2 minutes. (Add drops of water if you think the paste is sticking to the bottom or the powders are burning.) Add eggplants and stir to coat with spice paste. Add water and season to taste with salt. Cover and cook until eggplant is tender and most of its liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
Add the shrimp and stir. Cook uncovered until the shrimp is opaque and curled and the eggplant is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with roti or steamed rice and daal.
Heavy lidded saucepan