Goan Shrimp curry or “Ambot Tik” which means Sour (“Ambot”) and Spicy (“Tik”) in Konkani (an Indian language). It’s a vibrant, flavorful recipe from the southwestern coast of India.
So what is “Ambot Tik”?
A recipe that’s a result of nearly 400 years of Portuguese rule in the southwestern Indian state of Goa and the pre-existing Hindu cuisine.
The Portuguese introduced chili peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and pineapples to Goa and in turn to India. Chili peppers are an important aspect of Goan cuisine and also for this recipe.
This recipe uses fish with less bones, typically shark or prawns (shrimp). But other firm fleshed fish or chicken can also be used.
Other Shrimp recipes: Basil Grilled Shrimp, Shrimp Fritters, Fried Rice
My love for spices and testing different recipes, introduced me to Goan recipes. The bold flavors of whole spices, vibrant color from “Kashmiri” red chili (a distinctive type of Red chili from India), refreshing coconut and the use of tamarind, made me fall in love with this cuisine.
Also, Goan cooking is big on seafood and rice…which are are two of my favorite ingredients 😉
The “Kashmiri” red chilis need a special mention. These chilis are known for their bright red color and mild flavor that enhances the taste of any curry and aren’t hot. It’s the use of this chili in “Ambot Tik” that gives it its bright color. Usually found as dried whole chilis or ground powder in Indian grocery stores. If you don’t have access to it, you can always mix cayenne and paprika (1:2 ratio) to substitute.
I generally use 21/25 count frozen shrimp for this recipe (that I always have in our freezer section). But if you have access to fresh shrimp, I would encourage you to use that. You can also substitute shrimp with a white fish or if you are a chicken fan, try swapping the shrimp with it.
The actual magic is in the curry base, that has whole spices, coconut, coconut milk, Kashmiri red chili, tamarind & garlic. I generally make a large batch of this base and use it in different recipes.
This shrimp curry pairs well with plain steamed white/ brown rice. If you’re on a low carb diet, swap the rice with quinoa or better still cauliflower rice.
If you like the recipe or make Goan Shrimp Curry, please be sure to leave a comment. Above all, I love hearing from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe and decide to post, please be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook!
Goan Shrimp Curry
- 24 21/25 count Shrimp frozen/ fresh. You can use any size shrimp. Adjust the quantity according to the size used.
- Water as required If using frozen shrimp, use water for thawing.
- 2 tbsp Kashmiri chili powder Or 8-10 Dried Kashmiri chilis (whole) (found in Indian grocery store or speciality spice stores)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp whole Peppercorns
- 1 tbsp whole Coriander seeds
- 1 tsp whole Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Tamarind paste
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 cup Grated Coconut
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil or olive oil or your preferred oil
- 1 tbsp Fresh Ginger minced
- 1/2 cup Red Onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Tomatoes finely chopped. Or use 2 tsp Tomato Paste
- 8-10 curry leaves found in Indian grocery stores
- Salt to taste
- Water as required during cooking to maintain curry consistency
- If using frozen shrimp, start by defrosting them. Transfer prawns to a bowl and add enough cold water to soak them properly for 15 minutes. If using fresh, skip this step.
- Grind all ingredients mentioned under "Ground Masala"
- Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a pan/ pot. Add ginger and red onions.
- Sauté until onions turn just about golden brown. Now add chopped tomatoes (or tomato paste).
- Cook tomatoes for 5-6 minutes or until they break easily. Skip this step if using tomato paste.
- Next add ground masala and salt and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. The gravy develops a deep color.
- Now add defrosted shrimp to the gravy and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle curry leaves.
- Remove from heat and transfer to a serving dish.
- Pair with plain steamed rice or 'Malabar Parathas'. Enjoy!