Shrimp with Curry Leaves

This chile pepper originated in the mountains of South America and Mexico. Because of their appearance they are often called “Manzano” which means apple chile. This pepper can only be grown in these regions at elevations above 5000′ therefore making these very rare in the US.These chiles are unique in that they are the only ones that have black seeds. They are very hot and meaty. Rocotos are chopped and used in salsas or sometimes stuffed with cheese and meat and then baked.

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1 lb large shrimp, shell-on and and head-on
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
2 sprigs curry leaves, use only the leaves
5-10 rocoto chiles, chopped
5 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1/2 teaspoon sugar


Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Season the shrimp with salt and marinate for about 5 minutes. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and deep fry the curry leaves and shrimp for 1 minute or until the shrimp turn slightly crispy and color changes. Remove the shrimp with curry leaves and set aside. If there is remaining oil left in the wok, leave it in.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in the wok, put in the chiles, shallots, garlic, and stir fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Mix in the shrimp with curry leaves. Add in the turmeric powder, tamarind concentrate, sugar and stir fry continuously for 3 minutes or until all the ingredients are well combined. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.

Adapted from