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Shrimp with Green Chiles and Coconut

by Suneeta Vaswani

Serves 8

Quick, simple and stunning. The amazing contrast between the heat of the chiles and the cool sweetness of fresh grated coconut makes this coastal dish a standout.

2 lbs     large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 kg
2 tbsp    freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice  25 mL
11⁄2 tsp  salt or to taste   7 mL
1⁄2 tsp   cayenne pepper 2 mL
3 tbsp    oil, divided  45 mL
11⁄4 tsp  cumin seeds   6 mL
1⁄3 cup   chopped green garlic (see Tip, left), 2 tbsp    75 mL
(25 mL) chopped garlic or 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) chopped garlic chives
6 to 8    green chiles, preferably serranos, cut in half  6 to 8
1 cup     grated coconut, preferably fresh or frozen,     250 mL thawed
2 cups    cilantro, coarsely chopped   500 mL


1.   Rinse shrimp and pat dry thoroughly. Place in a large bowl and toss with lime juice, salt and cayenne. Marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes or for up to 30 minutes.

2.   In a large wok or saucepan, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half the shrimp and toss to cook just until pink but not cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) of oil and repeat with remaining shrimp.

Set aside.

3.   Add remaining oil to wok and return to medium-high heat. Add cumin and sauté for 30 seconds. Add garlic and green chiles and sauté until chiles begin to blister, about 2 minutes.

4.   Return shrimp and any accumulated juices to wok. Toss to cook through, 3 to 4 minutes.

5.   Remove from heat and sprinkle with coconut and cilantro. Toss to coat. Serve immediately.


Green garlic is grown from a single clove of garlic and the clove is pulled up when the shoots are about 9 to 10 inches (23 to 25 cm) long. Green garlic has a milder flavor than mature garlic and is prized in Sindhi and certain Gujarati dishes. Recently, fresh green garlic has appeared in specialty markets and is also available frozen in Indian stores. Garlic chives are a good substitute.

Recipes reprinted with permission from Complete Book of Indian Cooking, by Suneeta Vaswani, Robert Rose Inc., 2007.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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