Shrimp with coconut milk, chile, and curry leaf

4 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp black or brown mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tsp garlic puree
2 tsp ginger puree
1–2 fresh green chiles, chopped and seeded
1 tbsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt, or to taste
generous 1 cup canned low-fat coconut milk
1 lb/450 g cooked peeled jumbo shrimp, thawed and drained if frozen
1 tbsp tamarind juice or juice of ½ lime
½ tsp crushed black pepper
10–12 fresh or dried curry leaves


1. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium–high heat. When hot but not smoking, add the mustard seeds, followed by the fenugreek seeds and the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5–6 minutes, until the onion is soft but not brown. Add the garlic and ginger purees, and the chiles and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 5–6 minutes, until the onion is a light golden color.
2. Add the coriander, turmeric, and chili powder and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the salt and coconut milk, followed by the shrimp and tamarind juice. Bring to a slow simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3–4 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a very small saucepan over medium heat. Add the pepper and curry leaves and cook for 20–25 seconds, then fold the aromatic oil into the shrimp mixture. Remove from the heat and serve immediately.

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