One of the best things about Indian cuisine is their use of fresh herbs. Whether its a vegetarian, non-veg, salad or condiment – the use of fresh herbs is constant. Not only Indian food about spices and seasonings, its about using fresh ingredients in almost every dish.
Cilantro/Coriander, Parsley, Fenugreek, Dill, are some of the most common herbs you will find in many Indian curries. They add an extra level of depth to each dish so you not only get the taste of the spices, but you also get a beautiful “earthiness” in each bite. Personally, I love to use herbs during my cooking process, and then again when garnishing my dishes. I love the herb flavors that cook into my meats and vegetables and give it a bit more heartiness. But then, I love the extra texture and freshness raw herbs add to a cooked dish. It’s just another reason why I love Indian foods so much!
The recipe I’m sharing with you today is about making an Indian-spiced, cilantro-based herb marinade that will be cooked with shrimp. The shrimps are marinated for several hours in this marinade and then can be either broiled or grilled. The result is a deliciously seasoned shrimp dish bursting with fresh cilantro, lemon, garlic and chili – all of which you will be able to taste individually when you take a bite. It is just so perfect for this warmer weather because you can make this marinade ahead of time and just prepare as needed. Plus, you can use this marinade for fish, chicken or an array of vegetables – if looking to use for any vegetarian option. In addition to this, you can use this recipe for paneer (Indian curd cheese), tofu or halloumi cheese.
Honestly, this is one recipe you can use with so many different options. Again, don’t let the simplicity of this recipe make you think it won’t have enough flavor – you are in for a real surprise!
CILANTRO SHRIMP/FISH (Thana Jhinga)
- 2 Full Bunch of coriander/parsley
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 2 Tbsp of ground Coriander seed
- 2 Tbsp. of ground Cumin seed
- 3 Tbsp. fresh/dried fenugreek
- 2 Tbsp salt
- 3 Tbsp of garlic paste (or fresh garlic)
- 2-3 Tbsp of Curry Paste (Tiger or Patak Brand recommended) *See NOTE
- ½ cup of tomato ketchup (or ¼ cup of tomato paste)
- 1 Serrano or Jalapenos (add more is desired)
- 1 medium onion
- ½ to 1 cup oil (veg, canola, etc.)
- 2lbs of fresh/frozen shrimp OR fish fillets (any fish works as long as it does not break down easily)
- Chicken or Mixed Veggies may be used in place of the seafood, if preferred.
- The following spices can be ground up in place of the Curry Paste – 1 tsp. of green cardamom, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 anise seeds, 1 tsp. turmeric, 1 tsp. cloves, 1 tsp. black peppercorn, 2 bay leaf, ½ tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- In Blender, add all ingredients and blend on HIGH while pouring oil into mixture
- Add more oil if needed – consistency should be like a very smooth/creamy pesto
- Once blended, add mixture to seafood and let marinate 1 to 2 hours in fridge
- Once marinated, transfer to large baking pan and sprinkle ½ tsp salt on top and place in oven.
- BROIL on middle rack for about 20-25 minutes total. While cooking, rotate after 10 minutes and place back in broiler for remainder of time OR until seafood is fully cooked.
- Once cooked, remove from heat, and let it rest for about 5 minutes before plating.
- Serve with buttered basmati rice or eat as sandwich with naan, garlic chutney and yogurt/raita on top.
Lastly, feel free to make a double batch of this marinade and store in fridge for up to 4 weeks, or in freezer for 6months. (If freezing, I recommend portioning out the marinade into ice-trays before freezing so then all you need to do is take out as many “cubes” as you have servings of your main item. )
Let me know your thoughts on this recipe by commenting below. Or, tag me on IG @cmspiceculture with your “Thana Jhinga” pics or on FB at “Spice Culture Cooking.”