Grilled Shrimp Skewers

This is a stupid, unimaginative name for what is really an Indian shrimp dish. The recipe is in August Living. So here’s my backstory. My friend Monica Bhide is a true genius and writes the blog A Life of Spice and has a wonderful cookbook called Modern Spice (which I gave to my mom for Christmas). Monica is the modern Indian food guru. Recently on her blog she wrote about someone writing to her and asking for help with Indian food since the writer couldn’t find any she liked. This prompted me to also post and tell Monica that I too have a big problem with Indian food. It all started back in Washington, DC when I was a teen on vacation with my parents. DC has some of the best Indian restaurants in the country and my parents took me to one. I have a very sensitive palate (and digestive system) and hot, spicy food does not work for me. At that restaurant, there was not a single item I was able to eat. I couldn’t even eat the naan they brought to the table. Nada. I ended up grabbing a sandwich at a deli on the way back to the hotel.

As an adult, I’ve avoided Indian food. Whenever I’ve tried something, it is invariably too hot for me. A few years ago on a rare date night, Mr. MarthaAndMe went to an Indian restaurant to give it a try. I threw myself on the waiter’s mercy and explained I could not tolerate spicy food. I wanted to order some chicken tandoori which sounded harmless, but the waiter insisted the sauces are what makes Indian food special, so we let him help us choose. It was all too hot. I ate almost nothing and scrambled for mint, Rolaids, and gum in the car ride home.

I can’t help feeling that there has to be Indian food I could eat and enjoy and Monica was kind enough to suggest some dishes for me. When this recipe for shrimp skewers popped up in August Living, I thought I would give it a try. I severely modified the recipe though, cutting back the curry and cumin to just tiny bits, hoping that I could enjoy the flavor without the burning. I also did not leave the shrimp in their shells since I hate trying to peel them at the table. I didn’t bother putting them on skewers and just grilled them individually.

The verdict? These were pretty good. I went super, super light on the curry and cumin, but I could still taste it without setting my mouth on fire. Dude Martha said it had no flavor and had to go get the ketchup bottle. Teen Martha said it was pretty good. Mr. MarthaAndMe said it was good. So I’ve made a foray into Indian food and I didn’t die in the process, so that is a victory for me! Here are Martha’s ingredients:

3 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp and 1 tsp curry powder

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp chopped fresh ginger

2 scallions, chopped, white and pale green parts only

2 small garlic cloves

3 tbsp olive oil

20 lg shrimp

Martha says to stick everything but the shrimp in the food processor and cover the shrimp with it. Her recipe says to leave the shells on the shrimp but slit the shells, and stuff the curry underneath the shells and then place them on skewers and grill.

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12 Responses to Grilled Shrimp Skewers

  1. Monica Bhide says:

    Yay! So glad you tried it and liked it! I am so happy to read this and many thanks for the kind words!

  2. Alene says:

    Martha does everything the hard way. Stuff the shells with the curry mix??? Good grief! What a pain! I’m going to make it just basting them like you did and give it a try. I’m so sorry you can’t tolerate spicy and hot Indian food. You’re really missing a wonderful experience.

  3. Mary says:

    How nice of her to develop a recipe that you could enjoy. Are you using a commercial curry powder or making your own? I ask only because some of the commercial varieties are really hot. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  4. marthaandme says:

    My curry powder is from Penzey’s

  5. Thanks for posting this. I know Monica rocks, but I too, have had problems with Indian food. It isn’t the spiciness necessarily, as I can eat spicy Mexican and Thai with no problems. I just think my digestive system has a problem with one of the spices used exclusively in Indian food. Maybe it’s the curry. This looks wonderful, though, and I will give it a try when we have house guests in a couple of weeks!

  6. Alexandra says:

    I was late to appreciate Indian food but love it now. I put lime on my shrimp, too. Will try Martha’s recipe and check out the cookbook. Thanks!

  7. This looks so good. I’ve discovered that just as with any country there are so many different kinds of Indian foods. Our friends from Northern India favor less spicy dishes (and they have this version of what I call Indian nachos that are soooo tasty–even these little bean things on top that look like shredded cheese but they’re not). Now our friends from southern India, can’t get enough of hot, spicy foods.

  8. I used to have a similar problem with spicy foods – everything was too hot, to the point it was uncomfortable and off-putting. That’s why I started cooking Indian at home, so that I could make the dishes I wanted to try but be in control of the spice level. Over time I started upping the spice level slowly to increase my tolerance, and now I can eat in restaurants without being uncomfortable. I still avoid the really spicy dishes because they upset my stomach, but a little spice is actually pleasurable now instead of something I avoid.

  9. You made a foray into Indian food and didn’t die in the process!!!

    I love Indian food (and ALL THINGS SPICY). You are a sillyhead.

    I’m glad these turned out nicely. The photo gives me a hankering for shrimp (which, unfortunately, none of my kids will eat).

  10. marthaandme says:

    I don’t know how you can do it. I just cannot eat anything that is spicy.

  11. marthaandme says:

    Thanks – that’s a great suggestion.

  12. I love Indian food, and this looks easy. I think that sauce might work for chicken, too.

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