Shrimp Bombay

Christian Schultz

Academy Ocean Grille - Orleans, MA

This dish gets its distinctive flavor from fragrant fenugreek leaves, a plant native to India and Asia Minor that can be hard to find in the United States; celery leaves can be used as a substitute. Chef Schultz served this dish as a first course at the Beard House, but the portions are hearty enough to satisfy as an entrée.


  • 1/2 cup basmatic rice
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, mashed to a paste
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, mashed to a paste
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 tablespoons ghee, clarified butter, or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/2 spanish onion, sliced thin
  • 1/8 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 russet potato, baked and mashed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh fenugreek or celery leaves
  • 1/2 cup strained and chopped canned tomatoes
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish


Soak rice in 1 cup of water in a saucepan for 30 minutes. Put on the stove over a high flame and bring to a boil, then turn heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the water is absorbed. Reserve.

Meanwhile, mix the garlic and the ginger in a small bowl. Coat shrimp with half of the garlic-ginger paste (reserving the other half) and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Mix the turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon, coriander, and cumin seeds in a separate small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the ghee or vegetable oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and brown the onion. Add the mustard seeds, half of the spice mix, and the remaining half of the garlic-ginger paste and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more, until fragrant.

Add the onion mixture and the potato to the rice. Add salt to taste, mix. Form the mixture into 4 cakes. Heat another 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil in a large sauté pan and pan-fry the cakes until they are golden brown on both sides. Remove cakes and keep warm.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of ghee or vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp, scallions, remaining spice mixture, and fenugreek (or celery) leaves and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of water, turn heat down to a simmer, and cook until the shrimp are well-coated and just opaque, about 1 minute more.

To serve, divide rice cakes among four plates. Spoon shrimp over the rice cakes and garnish with freshly chopped cilantro.


4 servings