I worry that no one is ever going to make this because there are a thousand ingredients in it. But here we go anyway. Grilled Curried Shrimp with Lentils, Quinoa and Apple (I could keep going here, but I won’t).
I really should have broken this post into two parts because there’s so much to talk about. But I served these grilled curried shrimp with the aforementioned sweet curry salad (or rather on top of it). So in my mind it’s hard to disconnect them into individual recipes. Which isn’t to say you couldn’t make one without the other. In fact, leave the shrimp out and you have a vegan dish with very bold flavor. Or, serve the shrimp skewers with plain rice (or quinoa) and let the crustacean be the star, if you prefer.
However, I served them together– Curried Shrimp Skewers on top of a protein packed trio of lentils, chickpeas and quinoa.
But I think I already said that. So let me give you a few things to keep in mind when making this dish:
- Curry is a spice blend. There are countless versions. The type you choose for this recipe is entirely up to you. If you have a brand you like, and it delivers the flavors you are looking for, I say go ahead and use it. However some recipes like to define the flavor profile, so they will specify what to look for in a curry powder. This recipe is one of those recipes. So look for a type known as sweet curry. It’s typically blended with coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, fenugreek and nutmeg. It doesn’t have a lot of heat, and works well with the nuttiness of lentils, chickpeas and quinoa. Penzeys makes a good version and it’s the brand I used.
- The curry dressing for the salad makes about 2‑cups. That’s about twice as much as you need for both the curried shrimp and the lentils, chickpeas and quinoa combined. But it’s a very versatile sauce and I know you’ll find another use for the rest. Keep it covered in the refrigerator about a week. There’s another thing you might notice about this dressing– there are several ingredients that are atypical in traditional Indian-style curries. In fact I hesitate to call this a curry sauce. It’s closer to a Vadouvan, because there are French influences like shallots and garlic. It’s these additions that make this sauce versatile enough to slather onto curried shrimp skewers or to embolden almost any type of salad.
- Speaking of versatile, quinoa is as versatile as rice. It’s quickly become a pantry staple in my house. I’ve come to find that it needs a good amount of salt to bring out it’s full nutty appeal. So treat the water (or stock) you boil it in as you would pasta water. Also, it’s easy to under cook or over cook quinoa because it tastes so darn good at every stage of cooking. It’s at its very best however when you can see the curlicue just starting to pop out of each grain. Lastly, even if all the liquid seems to be absorbed in cooking, drain it for a few moments in a sieve anyway. You’ll be surprised by the amount of water you can shake out and the grains will not clump together as they can in soggier preparations.