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Sensations of the unknown

Passport & Plate - Shrimp Moqueca

Brazil | Sunday, 22 February 2015 | 5 photos


Ingredients
• 1 kg fresh shrimp
• Smashed fresh garlic, lemon juice and salt to season the shrimp
• 2 big tomatoes
• 2 green peepers
• 2 chili peppers
• 2 onions
• Coriander
• 400 ml coconut milk
• 200 ml milk cream
• 5 table spoons of dende oil
• Salt

 

How to prepare this recipe
1. Clean the shrimp and season it with lemon juice, smashed garlic and salt;
2. Cut the onions, tomatoes and green peepers in slices and put all in the pan;
3. Add the chili peepers without the seeds
4. Add the salt, coconut milk, dende oil, milk cream and coriander.
5. Close the pan, light the stove and wait to cook for 30 minutes. You don’t need to do anything while cooking.
6. Add the shrimp and wait to cook for more 7 minutes.

The best tip from this recipe is preparing the sauce first, before adding the shrimps. You need to choose beautiful green peppers, onions, red and big tomatoes, fresh coriander and chili pepper. The coconut milk and the dende oil together will be responsible for the magical smell of the dish. The dende oil is something very regional that comes from a specific palm tree, but if you don’t have it, just take it out and continue with the original recipe, the dish will continue delicious. Just one deal: you have to make plans to visit Bahia when you plan a journey to Brazil, to discover the taste of this palm tree fruit, which gives an unique taste and a beautiful color to the food, making our regional cuisine so special. And if you can get a crock to make the Moqueca it will taste as you were eating it in Bahia, appreciating a coconut tree, the sea in front of you and feeling a summer breeze.

 

The story behind this recipe
Brazilian people are famous for the easy smile, the welcoming atmosphere and the multi-cultural background that reflects in the people behaving, food, music and dance. In Bahia you can find happy music, dance everywhere and a regional culinary famous for the "moquecas", sea food cooked with coconut milk and dende oil, two strong ingredients that need to be eaten little by little, especially if you are not used to eat them. I remember when I was a little kid in the Friday before Easter’s celebration we couldn’t eat red meat or chicken, this was to me, the worst day of the year because I used to hate all kinds of seafood. There were many years eating only rice in those Fridays, but little by little, year by year, growing up and opening my mind I became to taste all that food so famous and loved by the people from my country. I lost years and years of that delicious food, but I concluded that never is too late to learn that only trying the new we will discover sensations of the unknown. The opportunities to taste new flavors, new ingredients and new dishes are the most spectacular way to discover a place, to understand a new culture, to love the people. Grandma, mom and many other relatives from my family are my best reference that food can make people together, they always say, if you want to bring a family or friends together just invite them to eat something cooked with the heart; the Shrimp moqueca brings me those remembrances, first, the years I lost eating rice in those Fridays, but also the families parties, the smiles, my grandma and her grandsons and granddaughters having fun and eating together. Many of those already left us, but we still continue cooking with the heart, making people together and all that, bringing me to my best childhood memories.

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