Shrimps, are from the crustacean family and they are the most popular seafood next to fishes. Some (especially Indians) refer to it as Prawns. It has a firm, translucent and fleshy body which could be pink, gray, brownish or yellowish in colour. They could also be small or large in size. It is low in saturated fat and that makes it healthier choice in comparison to other meats. Once cooked, they roll themselves into a circle and become orange in colour and also opaque. They are available both fresh and frozen. They are so versatile that it can be prepared in “n” number of ways. Everyone one of us like shrimp in one form or the other. Be it a in curry or in pasta or in noodles or in salads, it is sure to create a mood of happiness when shrimp is on the menu.
- It is an excellent source of protein, selenium, vitamin D, B12, iron, phosphorous, omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, zinc, copper and magnesium. Being a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, shrimps help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and also clear the premenstrual syndromes, avoid a blood clot, slows the cancerous tumour growths and also contributes to the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
- The selenium present in them neutralizes the effect of cancer-causing agents in the body. It was found that the mineral selenium has excellent anti-cancer properties.
- The vitamin D present in them regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in the body. Vitamin B12 present in them helps in proper brain function and also in the formation of blood cells. The anti-inflammatory qualities of shrimp help to reduce gum swelling.
Buying, Cleaning and Storage
While buying shrimps, please remember these simple points:
- Fresh shrimp will have a firm body which will be well attached to the shells.
- If you can smell it, that’s also a good way to judge the freshness. A fresh shrimp will have a mild smell of saltwater.
- Their body should be free of black spots. The presence of black spot suggests that its on it way to decomposition.
Here are the steps for it:
- Wash the fresh shrimp with vinegar and turmeric powder and give a complete wash in a colandar.
- Pull out the head by giving a light pressure around its neck. Hold the shrimp tightly in hand with the vein up. Make a small incision exposing the body cavity and jut pull out the veins.
- Remove the remaining shell sticking around with fingers. After deshelling, do wash them with turmeric powder and salt.
After you have purchased them, immediately clean it and place in the fridge until use.
- You can also wrap them in a plastic foil/cling and leave it in the freezer for 15 days.
- Always thaw them, by transferring it to the fridge or by placing it in a bowl of cold water.
- Seafoods are generally sensitive to temperatures. It is better that you don’t thaw them in a microwave or at room temperature.
After a pretty long tutorial on shrimps, I am sure you guys have been bored to death. So lets quickly run to the post for today. The dish on the menu today is Indian Prawn Curry.
Aromatic Shrimp Masala from Tamil Nadu
- 2 lb shelled shrimps
- 2-3 large onions – chopped
- 2 tomatoes – chopped
- 2 green chillies – slit
- 1/2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 10-12 curry leaves – chopped
- 10-12 coriander sprigs – chopped
- 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp dessicated coconut
- 350 ml water
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamons
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- De-shell and clean the shrimps as suggested above. Store them in water and leave it in the fridge till needed.
- Heat the oil in a cooking vessel. Once they get heated up, add the whole masalas and cook on medium flame for 2-3 min.
- Now add the green chillies and onions. Give it a complete stir and sprinkle little salt over.
- Cook covered for 15min till the onions brown. Dont let the onions burn.
- Remove the shrimps from the fridge and strain the water. Throw in the shrimps over the browned onions and stir mixing every 30 sec till they turn light orange in colour. Add in the chilli powder, coriander powder and cummin powder. Cook till the raw smell disappears.
- The shrimp will let out some water and the curry would turn watery now. Add in the tomatoes and give it a complete mix. Pour about 200 ml water and curry leaves and cook covered on medium flame for 15min.
- Once they begin to thicken, add the dessicated coconut and coriander leaves and if needed little water (about 100-150ml) and again cook covered for 10 min. Keep stiring occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the vessel.