Shrimp Mango Soup
60 Min

Shrimp Mango Soup

Watching the British Queen’s funeral proceedings last week reminded me of a wonderful trip to England. Many years ago, I got an email from the American consulate in England inviting me to represent the US in an Indian food festival. I would do a couple of live food demos as well as cooking a dish with the American ambassador (his grandmother’s favorite chicken curry) on stage with live BBC coverage. Not having all the details of the events nor the recipe since this was all being arranged by the consulate’s team; I wondered about this curry. However, I was honored, and accepted with much delight. A few weeks later, I was flown to London and on the night before the festival, met Ambassador Matt Barzun. I whispered in his ear, “Please don’t tell me your grandmother’s curry has apples in it!” He turned around, surprised. “Yes, of course it has apple in it.” It was a well-known fact that while the British were colonizing India, they loved putting apples in stews and curries. Ambassador Barzun’s grandmother had spent several years in India, I gathered. I whispered back, “No self-respecting Indian cook would put apples in a curry. May I replace it with mangoes?” He frowned back at me; I knew the answer.

I did make the chicken curry with little bits of apple alongside the charming ambassador on stage, however made sure the large crowd watching knew that I was reluctantly using apples. We all had a good laugh over this, and life moved on. I still won’t make a curry with apples but here is a delicious South Indian inspired shrimp soup with mango, a fruit much more likely to show up in savory foods in India. Enjoy it on its own or with noodles or rice.

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Cook Time

60 Minutes



Step 1
Marinate the shrimp with turmeric and salt and set aside.
Step 2
In a large stockpot over high heat, warm the coconut oil, pop the black mustard seeds, and fry the cardamom and kari leaves for a second or two. Immediately add the sliced onion, lower the heat to medium and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions have sweated a little.
Step 3
Next add the garlic, coconut, tomato puree, and chile and continue frying with the onions. Within a minute or two, add the stock (or water) and salt.  Bring the entire mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 4
Next add the mango, ginger and shrimp and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off immediately and cover the stockpot and let it rest for 10 to 12 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and let them wilt. Serve immediately.
1-pound medium sized shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
10 to 12 whole green cardamom pods, crushed lightly
10 to 15 kari leaves
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup grated coconut, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 teaspoon red chile powder
4 cups shrimp stock (or water)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large semi-ripe mango, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tablespoons unpeeled grated ginger
2 cups chopped spinach leaves

Notes & Variations

  • If the mango is hard, it will probably be a bit sour. If it is ripe, it will be sweeter and may need the addition of lime juice at serving.
  • This soup can be made with any seafood like mussels, scallops, pieces of fish or shrimp or a combination. For a vegetarian version, add roasted cauliflower or brussels sprouts.
  • To make this more into a curry and not a soup, cut the stock in half and add for a creamier finish, add a can of coconut milk.
60 Min

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