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Hot-and-Sour Shrimp Curry

4 Servings

40 minutes

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The coastal state of Goa in southwestern India is home to ambot tik, a prawn curry that’s spicy with Kashmiri chilies and tangy with tamarind or kokum (a type of dried fruit used as a souring agent in the cooking of some regions of India). Many versions also include coconut, a rich, cooling counterpoint to the heat of the chilies and the pungency of fresh ginger and garlic. In our adaptation, hot paprika (or sweet paprika plus cayenne pepper) supplies the spiciness and white vinegar adds the acidity—no difficult-to-source ingredients needed. If you like, garnish the dish with fresh cilantro and serve it with basmati rice to soak up the delicious sauce.




Don’t worry if the spices and aromatics stick a bit to the skillet. Once the tomatoes and water are added, any stuck bits can be scraped up with a wooden spoon.

40 minutes


  • pounds extra-large shrimp (21/25 per pound), peeled, deveined and patted dry

  • 1

    teaspoon ground turmeric, divided


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Janet W.

I have Kashmiri dried chilies in my pantry. Could I grind one up and use it instead of the paprika? How about tamarind? I have a jar of tamarind and also some coconut vinegar. I am lucky to live in a city with a lot of ethnic groceries and I like to use the authentic choices. I appreciate that you make it possible to use more basic American ingredients because I grew up in the small town Midwest and we could not get a lot of exotic goodies.

Lynn C.

Hi Janet -

Sure! You can substitute with ground dried chilies. Since these may be a bit more potent than store-bought ground spices, we would probably start with 1/2 teaspoon first to gauge heat level. Add more if you think it's not too spicy.

The Milk Street Team

Wendy French B.

Could you substitute canned tomatoes when it’s not tomato season? Drain them?