** Note to Myself: Update with better pics taken in daylight
I have never admitted this before but I think on some days, I expect a lot from BigSis. With the little one throwing her signature tantrums, the Dad having fun with erratic schedules and my PMS stretching to a month, I forget that BigSis is only a 7 year old. And a very mature, good hearted 7 year old at that.
If I think of my 7 year old self, I remember nothing. On trying hard I see a shy girl who thought "Ekkuze Me" translated to "going to pee". Yes, I was that dumb.
Fast forward to BigSis who in spite of having her moments is such a huge help when she sees Mommy has too much to do. She packs her lunch bag with her snack the night before, fills up her water bottle for school, dresses herself in the morning without much help, does all her homework without being asked to and acts pretty responsible most of the time.
She is also extremely generous with her stuff and doesn't complain much if LS scribbles a horrific A on the pages of her brand new diary. She eagerly shares everything with her little sis(who btw finished her didi's box of tic-tacs hiding behind a couch) and if I give her a chocolate for snack at school, she brings that back to split with the sis.
She even wrote a limerick about her sister
My sister was very very small
All she could do was craw and crawl
Now she can walk
Now she can talk
And she does not remember that at all
The biggest help in the last few days has been letting LS sleep in the crook of her arms at night. For that I can tuck them in and come away to finish off my work. Else I would be lying there for all of 30 to 60 minutes and praying to the Universe while LS tossed and turned.
And yet when she gets buttons of her sweater wrong, skips her piano practice and climbs on her Dad's shoulders, we tell her "Tumi ar boro hole na(you haven't grown up at all)", always forgetting that she is only 7 after all.
I made this Goan Shrimp Curry on a recent weeknight. Don't ask me why I would do such things but things happen. I based this on the Goan Chicken Curry from Anjum Anand, but since that was pretty mild I hiked the Red Chili in this one. If you are a wimp when it comes to Red Chili, go with the alert and stay safe.
Also inspired by a recipe of Shrimp Curry my sis-in-law had sent, I used Coconut Milk to make the gravy and added few Curry leaves for flavor. That totally took the taste to a whole new level. It was creamy, rich with a lightly sweet coconut taste and bursting with flavor. Everyone who had it loved it. It tasted very close to the Bong Prawn Malaikari and you realized how Coconut smudges borders.
I called it Bong Mom's version simply because there are so many variations out there and I am no Mario Miranda to vouch for its authenticity. I insist that you make it this Saturday, that is tomorrow, come on now.
Goan Shrimp Curry
Make Goan Red Spice Paste
5-6 Dry Red Chilli(Heat Alert: Go with 2 if you have a weak palate)
1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
1 & 1/ 2 tsp Roasted Coriander Powder
6 black peppercorns
1& 1/2" piece of cinnamon
9 large cloves of garlic peeled
1 tsp tamarind paste(skipped)
1/4 tsp- 3/4tsp sugar (according to your taste, you can skip too)
a splash(1-2 tbsp) of white vinegar
Put all of the above in a blender jar and make a paste with minimum or no water added.
Note: Instead of the Roasted Cumin and Corriander Powder you can use same amount of Cumin & Corriander seeds.
Peel and devein shrimp Or buy a pack of raw de-veined shrimp
Toss 20-25 shrimp in salt and little turmeric powder and keep aside for 10-15 mins.
Go make the Shrimp Curry
Heat White Oil in a large saucepan
If you are frying the shrimp, saute them now till they turn a light shade of yellow. Remove and keep aside.Note: You can also add the raw shrimp to the gravy and cook it later
To the same oil, add 1 large onion sliced or chopped fine and two hot Indian green chili sliced, cook until browned.
Add the Goan Red Spice paste and cook for 5 minutes. Your nose might tingle with the sharpness of the chili.
Add 1/2 of a large tomato chopped, salt to taste and cover and cook until the tomatoes have softened and reduced. Uncover the pan and cook the tomatoes further in their juice for 6-8 minutes, stirring in between till you see oil separating from the masala.
Add about 1 cup of unsweetened thick Coconut Milk + 2/3 cup of warm water. Throw in a few curry leaves. Add salt to taste and adjust for sweetness, hotness etc.. Let the gravy come to a boil.
Add the shrimp. If the shrimp is already fried cook for a couple of minutes at low heat till the gravy thickens. If the shrimp is raw, cook till shrimp looses its raw color and looks pinkish-white and cooked. Note: Too much cooking will make the shrimp chewy and rubbery so there be careful
Remove from heat, cover and let it sit for 40-45 minutes. Warm and serve with White Rice. It is superbly delicious.