Curry is not a typical Brazilian spice and it’s not commonly used; however, shrimp cooked in coconut sauce and seasoned with curry is very popular in the Brazilian kitchen. Brazilian shrimp curry is a fusion of Asian and Brazilian flavors and cooking styles. Some Brazilian shrimp curry recipes actually have no curry. They will use a blend of cumin, turmeric and coriander. I have a bag of a wonderful curry my youngest son brought me as a gift from his travels to Asia and I have been using this wonderful gift in my cooking whenever it’s called for. For this recipe, I used wild caught Argentinian shrimp, which has a mild and sweet flavor. It is my favorite. Brazilian curry can be served as a soup, but it is commonly served over white rice and a side of sautéed spinach on butter.
- 2 lb. raw shrimp
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- olive oil
- 2 limes
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 5 ripe Roma tomatoes chopped
- 2 cups butternut cut into small cubes
- 1 large potato cut into small cubes
- 2 large carrots thinly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper cut into small pieces
- 1 finely chopped piri piri pepper with the seeds removed. (piri piri is above average in heat and kind of hard to find, so you can use a chilli pepper)
- 1 cup frozen petit peas
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 tbsp. ketchup
- 1 tbsp. curry
- bunch fresh basil chopped or sautéed spinach
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Cook shrimp in boiling water for 5 minutes until nice and pink. Drain. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, remove shell and devein. Then, squeeze lime juice, sprinkle salt/pepper and drizzle olive oil. Mix it all together for even flavor. Set aside.
- Put the sauté shallots, garlic, and tomatoes with a generous amount of olive oil, in a big pot. When the tomatoes start to burst add carrots, butternut, potatoes and peppers. Stir to coat all vegetables and add vegetable broth. Cover and let it cook until carrots, butternut and potato are softer.
- Add tomato paste and ketchup. Stir. Then, add coconut milk, curry and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium, letting it cook for about 10 minutes, stirring ocasionaly until the sauce has thickened a little. This happens when the cooked potato and butternut release their starch.
- Wash ice off the peas and add them to the curry.
- Add shrimp and let it cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish the shrimp with basil or add sauteed spinach on butter. Why not add both?
This is a very rich and creamy dish usually made on Sundays when family, extended family and friends gather for a big lunch. It is made with an unique type of cream cheese you can only find in Brazil, although it can be order on line these days, it is similar to a combination of Mascarpone , Mexican crema or heavy cream and cream cheese. It is called Catupiry.
Catupiry was developed by Italians in the State of Minas Gerais but the name comes from a Brazilian native language “Tupi” and it means “excellent”. It’s an excellent cream cheese!
This dish is perfect served on top of white rice and butternut squash steamed
Serves 6 people
- 2 lb uncooked shrimp with tail on
- 2 tbsp butter
- Olive oil
- 1 jar or can of hearts of palms
- 1 pkg of cream cheese
- 1 container of Mascarpone cheese or 1 pint heavy cream or 1 cup Mexican crema
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 big size shallot finely chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of fresh shredded Asiago cheese
- 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1 bunch fresh parleys finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add shrimp let it cook for about 5 minutes or until nice and pink, drain water, place shrimp in a bowl, melt butter and drizzle over.
- In the same pot used to cook shrimp, drizzle olive oil over a medium heat, add can of diced tomatoes, garlic and shallots. Let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add heavy cream ( or crema , or mascarpone), cream cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Let it cook stirring constantly until bubbly. Then smooth with a hand mixer. Turn off heat and set aside. If you do not have a hand mixer, mix in a blender and return to pot.
- Remove shrimp tails and place shrimp in a rectangular 13X9 glass or ceramic dish.
- Drain water from hearts of palms cut them in slices and place them all over on top of shrimp.
- Pour sauce over, sprinkle bread crumbs and shredded Asiago cheese over the top.
- Heat oven to Broil, place dish in oven and broil for 10 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.
Steamed Rice and Butternut
- 1 cup white rice
- 1/2 butternut squash chopped in small cubes
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1tsp garlic powder
- salt to taste
- 4 cups water
- parleys for garnish
- If using a rice cooker, drizzle with oil, add rice and chopped butternut, dissolve salt and garlic in water and add to the rice cooker, close top and set it to white rice. Once cooked, transfer to a plate and garnish with parsley
- To cook over the stove, drizzle oil in a pot turn heat to low, add rice, butternut and stir, then add salt and garlic dissolved in water, stir again and turn heat up to medium, cover pot and let it cook until tender, approximately 15 to 20 minutes but you need to watch in case water dries fast, then keep adding a bit of water as needed.
Bobo de Camarão
This is a traditional Brazilian cuisine known as “Bobo de Camarão.” It has African roots and it is mainly typical of the State of Bahia where a large number of African slaves concentrated during colonial times but it is largely found all over the nation ,everyone has a version of this dish. It is basically a mash of yucca roots, coconut milk and shrimp. It can be served over white rice or just by itself like a savory soup. Here is my version, enjoy!
- 2 pounds raw, peeled shrimp
- 1 lime
- 2 pounds yucca root
- 1/2 large onion finely chopped
- 4 cups vegetable or fish broth
- 4 large garlic cloves minced
- 4 ripped Roma tomatoes chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 large red pepper finely chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 can coconut milk
- Bunch of chopped cilantro, parsley or basil
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- Place raw shrimp in a bowl with juice of 1 lime, set aside.
- Peel yucca root, chop in cubes and place them in a pot. Add broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat and let them cook until very tender. Remove from heat and mash them. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a big pot (an iron pot would be just perfect). Saute onions, tomatoes, peppers and garlic until soft. Add shrimp, when both sides turn pink add coconut milk, tomato paste and mashed yucca. Stir with a wood spoon.
- Add salt to taste, crushed red pepper and let it simmer over a medium heat until bubbly.
- Remove from heat and garnish with herbs.