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Caruru do Par (Shrimp and Okra entree)
From the northern state of Par, a dish with African origins made with dried shrimp, okra, and dend oil. Other versions from the states of Bahia and Maranho are prepared with a combination of fresh and dried shrimp and sometimes peanuts.
2-1/4 pound Dried Shrimp, skin on
1 pound Fresh, small okra, cut in 1-inch slices
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 large Onion, diced
3 medium Tomatoes, de-seeded and cut in medium dice
6 sprigs Parsley
6 leaves Cilantro
2 cloves Garlic
2 tablespoons Manioc (farinha de mandioca fina), lightly toasted
Soak shrimp overnight in cold water. Drain and discard the soaking water. Peel the shrimp and place in a sauce pan. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Strain the shrimp water into another sauce pan. Reserve the shrimp. Cook the okra in the shrimp water until tender, but still crisp.
Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Saute shrimp with the onion, tomato, parsley, cilantro and garlic. Add these ingredients to the shrimp water and okra.
Dissolve the manioc meal in 1/2 cup of water. Add and cook over low heat until the manioc swells up. Add the dend oil. Serve at once accompanied by white rice and farofa.
© Reuel J. Smith