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Zanzibari Spiced Coconut Shrimp Pilau

In this culinary fusion, we celebrate the intertwining threads of African-American heritage and Zanzibari culture. Picture a plate adorned with Zanzibar's aromatic lemongrass, nutmeg, and mace-infused Pilau Rice, a canvas of flavors reminiscent of the island's spice-rich history. Enter the stage, Spiced Coconut Shrimp—a nod to the vibrant coastal influences, seasoned with African-American flair through smoked paprika and lively ginger. As the dish comes together, it tells a tale of unity—of ingredients, traditions, and stories blending seamlessly. It's a harmonious dance on the palate, where the warmth of Zanzibar meets the soulful notes of African-American culinary roots.

🎶Vibe: How about "Afro Blue" by Robert Glasper Experiment? This jazz-infused track beautifully blends African rhythms with contemporary jazz, creating a soulful and vibrant atmosphere that resonates with both my Zanzibar adventure and Southern African-American roots. The rhythmic beats and melodic layers can add an extra layer of enjoyment to your culinary journey, tying together the diverse cultural threads of my travel experience.


For the Spiced Coconut Shrimp:

  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)

  • Salt and black pepper to taste

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 stalk lemongrass, finely chopped

  • Juice of 1 lime

For the Pilau Rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice

  • 1 can (400ml) coconut milk

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 3 tomatoes, diced

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • Salt to taste

  • Fresh cilantro for garnish



Spiced Coconut Shrimp:

  1. In a bowl, combine coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, grated ginger, lemongrass, and lime juice.

  2. Toss the shrimp in the enhanced spice mixture until evenly coated. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add the marinated shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes per side or until opaque and slightly crispy. Set aside.

Pilau Rice:

  1. Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a pot, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until softened.

  3. Stir in ground cumin, ground cinnamon, turmeric, ground nutmeg, and ground mace. Cook for an additional minute.

  4. Add diced tomatoes and cook until they start to break down.

  5. Add the rinsed rice to the pot and stir to coat with the enhanced spice mixture.

  6. Pour in coconut milk and chicken or vegetable broth. Season with salt.

  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked and has absorbed the liquid.

  8. Arrange the spiced coconut shrimp on top of the cooked Pilau rice.

  9. Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving.



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