Martha's version of the Gulf dish jbab rubyan calls for cooking succulent shrimp balls loaded with pine nuts and golden raisins in a bath of sweet-and-spicy tomato sauce.
- Yield: Makes 20
Source: Martha Stewart's Cooking School, Episode 511
For the Shrimp Balls
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons Arabic Seafood Spice Blend
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped
- 2 cups medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
For the Sauce
- 1/4 cup tamarind paste
- 3 tablespoons ghee
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 green chile, such as serrano or jalapeno, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 loumi (dried lime)
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
Make the shrimp balls: In a large skillet, melt ghee over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until softened, about 12 minutes. Add spice blend and cook 2 minutes. Stir in pine nuts and raisins and cook 2 minutes more. Set aside to cool.
In a food processor, pulse shrimp until finely minced. Transfer to a bowl and fold in lemon zest, cilantro, and dill. Fold in reserved onion mixture; set aside.
Make the sauce: Place tamarind in a small bowl and add just enough hot water to cover. Let soak until softened, at least 15 minutes. Mash with a fork before straining through a sieve into a bowl. Press on any remaining solids in sieve before discarding. Set aside.
In a large skillet, melt ghee over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 12 minutes. Add chile, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, loumi, cinnamon, tomatoes, and reserved tamarind liquid. Cook until tomatoes are softened, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups water and simmer sauce for 10 minutes. Season with salt.
Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, form shrimp mixture into balls, adding directly into sauce as they are formed. Cover and let cook 5 minutes. Uncover and gently turn balls, then cover again and continue to cook until opaque throughout, about 5 minutes more. Stir in cilantro and dill just before serving.