Don’t you think of water, fish, coconut and good vibes when you hear Goa! This is exactly how you will feel once you try Goan Prawn Ambotik. This is one such curries which combines all flavors and tickles all the senses at one go.
In Konkani/Maharashtrian ‘Ambat’ stands for sour or tangy and ‘tik’ or ‘tikhat’ stands for spicy, this is exactly how this dish tastes. And a pinch of sugar is added to balance all those flavors. It is a perfect dish to make you feel ‘aha’ at the first taste. Goan is known for its use of fish and coconut in their food as they are available naturally. This dish doesn’t need to be only made with prawns but can be made with shark or any other sea fish as well. I happen to make it with prawns/shrimps, but you can go ahead and give it a try with your preference. If you are vegetarian, jackfruit could be a good substitute for this dish.
Here’s the recipe for you. Let me know below in the comments if you give it a try.
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Goan Prawn Ambotik
For making fresh Ambotik paste
Soak the Kashmiri Red chilli in water for a while before blending it along with all the other ingredients into a paste. Soaking it helps to give a brighter red color.
Meanwhile clean the shrimp, remove all the shells and devine it well. Keeping the tail gives a good crunch while eating. Marinate it with 1/2 tsp of turneric powder and pinch of salt. Keep it to a side while working on the rest of the steps.
Using a blender, make a smooth paste of all the ingredients mentioned under paste. Using dry roasted cumin and coriander seeds gives a richer flavor. But again not a mandatory step. Some families in Goa don't use coconut for this dish, but I personally prefer it with fresh coconut and not coconut milk. If you like you can skip it all together.
In a heavy bottom pan, add oil and once warm enough add the chopped onions and start cooking them. After 5 mins add the chopped tomatoes. Once they turn soft add the paste made earlier. Add little salt (not a lot as Shrimps have salt too). Cook the paste along with onion and tomato on medium heat for a good 15 mins. This is the most important step of the recipe. This brings the flavour out of the spices well.
You can add the marinated shrimps and tamarind paste now and 1/2 cup of water and bring it all to a boil. If you like the curry a little more liquidy, you may add more water. Let it simmer under a cover for 5 mins. Add the vinegar and pinch of sugar and turn it off. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and serve it warm with a pot of hot steaming white rice.
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