Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Friday Shrimp" on Tuesday - An Aarti Party!

My daughters and I got hooked on The Next Food Network Star.  I rarely watch the Food Network but was really drawn into the show this season.  Our favorite contestant, and ultimately the winner, was Aarti.  Aarti "experiments adventurously with Indian flavors and incorporates them into American classics."   We loved her personality and that she brought something different to the Food Network (and she's a blogger!). 

My daughter Ashley really likes Indian food so I have been dabbling with different Indian spices and dishes.  Since *gasp* college is right around the corner for both of my girls, I have made an effort to have a really nice meal each night featuring their favorite foods.  So in honor of Aarti's win, we had an Indian inspired dinner featuring Aarti's dish "Friday Shrimp."  I served the shrimp with basmati rice, Bihari Green Beans Masala, and homemade garlic naan.  It was a feast! 

We loved the shrimp but next time I will cook the garlic a little before stuffing the shrimp to mellow it slightly.  I loved the turmeric and coriander seasoning and the crisp fennel salad - just perfect!  The green beans were so delicious and would make a fabulous vegetarian main dish.  The spices combined with the coconut milk and crunchy almonds were fantastic!  The garlic naan was fluffy and buttery - need I say more?!  Oh, and we definitely don't need to worry about vampires!  So much garlic! 

Bihari Green Beans Masala

Yield 2 to 3 servings
Time 40 minutes
Recipe courtesy Julie Sahni


2 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup coconut milk
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.


1. Heat the oil in a 3-quart sauté pan over medium heat. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until light golden. Remove from heat and transfer almonds to a plate or bowl; set aside for garnish.

2. Add onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, chili pepper flakes and salt to the unwashed sauté pan, and return to medium heat. Sauté until the onion is tender and begins to fry, about 4 minutes.

3. Add coconut milk and green beans. Mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, until the beans are tender, about 6 minutes.

4. Sprinkle beans with lime juice, and toss lightly. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and garnish with almonds and cilantro. If desired, serve accompanied by plain cooked rice or roti flatbread.


  1. I was rooting for Aarti too, although I think Serena had real star potential too. I love your Indian-inspired recipes and need to branch out a bit too.

  2. Jen,
    For some reason, I missed the entire season of Food Network Star....I guess I was too busy watching all the Real Housewives!
    Hey, that last photo looks like a hand! I am giggling!

  3. I was happy to see that Aarti won. The green beans and shrimp both look mighty tasty.

  4. Hi Jen,

    I was glad Aarti won because I want to learn how to cook Indian food. Thanks for the post and photos!

    Your last comment about vampires was funny...


  5. I adore Indian food and never make it in the summer. I may have to rethink my tv habits and actually turn the set on (but with two college kids at home right now - it's hard to comandeer it). The shrimp draws me in.

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  7. Indian food is always a hit at my house! I'm going to have to try this shrimp, it looks to die for!