Shrimp Cocktail with South Indian Spices

Traveling to an exotic location for a special occasion is always fun. It is even more fun when planning happens weeks before the special day.  My trip to Las Vegas earlier this year was so special as my husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary there. We had been discussing on which place to visit with a toddler in hand. We narrowed down to some place in the West Coast as we had just five days in hand and didn’t want to spend all the time travelling. San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland , Reno and Vegas topped the list. Nobody would have thought about travelling to  Las Vegas with a toddler but trust there are equally good amount of child friendly attractions to check out. It was a four day trip and we spend all the time in the strip. If you are planning a trip, make sure you check the to-do list online. Vegas has much more attractions than poker.


Las Vegas is considered the most populaous city in the United States. Everyone wants to visit it more number of times in their lifetime. It’s a perfect place for singles, couples, kids, seniors and everyone inbetween. It is a casino city.  The gambling and entertainment attractions are mostly popular in the Las Vegas Strip. If you want to stay closer to the strip, try to book your hotel around that area. It makes it easier to walk to and from the hotel instead of running around to find a parking spot. We stayed at Hilton, Convention Center but prices were high as we booked it at the last moment. So if possible, make sure you plan your trip stay ahead to get good deals on hotel price.


Apart from Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at Mirage, M&M world, Aquarium at the Silverton and V-the ultimate variety show for the kids, there are tons of great food to enjoy in Vegas. We dined like there was no tomorrow.  One place which I am sure everyone would love is the ultimate 24-hour buffet called Buffet-of-buffets that lets you enjoy all day access to six specific restaurants in the Vegas Strip. It costs around $50.00 and is valid at the participating buffets. I love appetizers and if its deep fried I love it even more. Vegas is all about eating, walking and getting drunk. But with a kid in hand, we didn’t want to get drunk so we enjoyed the long walks with a plush in hand to kill the heat and some crunchy appetizers to go with the drink. One such delicacy we loved the most was shrimp cocktail. Vegas is no fun without a cocktail in hand but this time,  get the Vegas feel at your residence with my shrimp cocktail.

Shrimp Cocktail is a seafood dish where shelled and cooked shrimps are served with a mayonnaise-tomato dressing. Since it’s served in a martini glass, it gets the name Shrimp Cocktail. I made a South Indian twist to the dip by using basic spices like mustard, cumin seeds, shallots and spice powders.




Source: Self
Serves: Party of 6-8

  • 1 lb cooked, shelled shrimp (store bought)

For the dip

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼  teaspoon asafetida powder
  • 10 curry leaves (optional)
  • 2-3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon sugar or honey or agave nectar
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish


  1. Heat oil and once they are hot, add mustard seeds and let It pop. Throw in the cumin seeds, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.
  2. Add the shallots, ginger-garlic paste and a pinch of salt. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Don’t burn the mixture.
  3. Add the tomato paste, water and mix to combine. Sprinkle turmeric, chili, coriander, cumin powder and garam masala. Stir well.
  4. Add sugar/honey or agave nectar and salt to taste.
  5. Bring it to a boil and simmer it for 5-8 minutes.
  6. Remove from flame and garnish with chopped cilantro. Cool it down to room temperature and serve with shrimp.

Additional notes

  1. If you omit the sugar/honey or agave nectar, then the dip is ideal for those who are following South beach diet.
  2. This dish can be eaten by women with gestational diabetes if your OB/GYN allows you to eat seafood.
  3. This hearty shrimp meal is perfect after a power work out.  Since seafoods are healthy and has low glycemic index, this dish can be made without added sugars during weightloss.


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