It just wouldn’t be summer without making my Grilled Tandoori Shrimp. For some reason I always think to make this recipe toward the end of summer. It could be made any time of year but cooked on the barbecue is my favourite method.
Tandoori takes it’s name from the tandoor oven used in India but tandoori seasoning is a unique and delicious combination of yogurt and spices. The recipes vary from family to family and can be used on different meats and vegetables.
If you love the flavours you must try my Tandoori Chicken or this Whole Roasted Cauliflower. The spice combination is a bit different in each recipe and that’s exactly what I love about cooking and eating.
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Organize For Success
Good prep is the key to successfully cooking seafood. In this recipe the shrimp are marinated for a short time in lime juice and spices. Seafood will actually cook if left long enough in an acidic mixture like lime juice. A general rule of thumb is to marinate shellfish for no longer than fifteen to thirty minutes. Prep the marinade and the yogurt-spice mixture separately and leave the mixing until you are almost ready to cook.
How To Serve Shrimp
Living in land-locked Alberta, Canada I like to keep frozen shrimp on hand for an easy meal or appetizer. I can thaw them quickly by tossing them into a bowl of water while I decide what I’m cooking for dinner.
In this recipe I gently loosen the shrimp shells leaving the tail intact. This allows maximum coverage of the marinade and sauce. The result is a finger licking, delicious shrimp experience. I have tested this recipe with and without shells and the verdict is that leaving the shells on improves the taste experience. In your kitchen you can prepare them with or without the shells.
Spices for Tandoori Shrimp
East Indian recipes often call for large amounts of spices compared to the way spices are used in other cuisines. They also use a lot of whole seeds like cumin seed, coriander seed, fennel seed, mustard seed and more.
A mortar and pestle is good for small jobs like crushing some spices or making a paste but for grinding spices I highly recommend an electric spice grinder.
Here is one of my kitchen hacks for managing spices; buy whole spices. I buy whole cumin seed and coriander seed. Since I make recipes calling for these spices both ground and whole I keep a spice bottle of each in my spice drawer. When my ground cumin is low I simply use a spice grinder to make more and refill my bottle. It may sound like an extra step so just balance that idea with how many bags of spices you are storing in your pantry. If you don’t have a spice grinder you can also do this in a coffee bean grinder.
Let me know in the comments below if you made this and left the shrimp shells on.
More Shrimp Recipes
Grilled Tandoori Shrimp
- 1½ lbs large shrimp, shell on (I like the size 16-20 count)
- 2½ Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- ¼ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- ¼ cup yogurt
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1-2 limes, cut in wedges
- Thaw shrimp in a bowl of water while preparing marinade and sauce.
- Combine yogurt and spices in a 1-cup measuring cup and set aside.
- Combine marinade ingredients in shallow bowl large enough to hold the shrimp.
- Carefully loosen the shrimp shells from the meat leaving them attached.
- Add shrimp and let marinate for 15-30 minutes, no longer.
- Remove shrimp from marinade. Gently toss with half the yogurt mixture and thread onto skewers.
- Brush shrimp with oil and grill until lightly charred and pink, turning once, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from skewers, toss with remaining yogurt mixture. Garnish with lime wedges and serve immediately.