Shrimp Mozambique is a dish of Portuguese and African origin made with Peri Peri chilli, a variety of bird chilli. A spicy, tangy, buttery sauce and juicy shrimp, it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. I serve it with white rice as a main course and sometimes throw in green peas into the rice so the meal has vegetables in it. As an appetiser you can serve it with a variety of dipping breads.
Choose your peri peri, also spelt piri piri sauce carefully. Taste it for salt, sugar and spiciness before you prepare the dish. this way you can adjust seasonings. I use a mild one because you can build up the spiciness to your taste by adding cayenne pepper or a fresh bird chilli into the sauce. You need red chilli powder to enhance the colour of the sauce as most Peri Peri sauces have a pinkish colour. Use a thick sauce with body not a thin liquid one. To create a quick shrimp stock use the leftover heads from your shrimp you can boil them with some smashed garlic cloves in a pot of water.
Cream is not traditional in a shrimp Mozambique but it helps alleviate the spiciness for some and brings a silken richness to the sauce.
Ingredients serves 4-5
For the Sauce
1 cup mild, thick Peri Peri Sauce (Nando’s, Habanero, Veeba, Sprig)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup shrimp stock plus 1-1.25 cups for the shrimp
1 cup soft, fresh crumbs of white sandwich bread, blitzed in a food processor
3 garlic cloves peeled
1 teaspoon fresh powdered black pepper
For the prawns/shrimp
500 grams extra-large shrimp (40-50 per kg weight is 500 grams after cleaning ), peeled, deveined, and tails on
3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup finely sliced onion
6 garlic cloves, sliced wafer thin
1 cup dry white wine or blonde beer (lager)
2-3 teaspoons paprika or Bedgi or Mathania chilli powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3-4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
Salt to taste
1/2 cup thick cream (optional)
For the sauce: Blitz all ingredients in a mixer until smooth. Reserve.
For the prawns or shrimp: Heat oil in a wide approximately 12-inch round or 10 inch oval saucepan or skillet on a medium flame. When oil is warm add onion and lower flame. Stir and cook until soft and opaque, do not brown onions. Add the sliced garlic and one teaspoon salt and cook until garlic is soft and aromatic, stirring constantly to prevent browning. Add 3/4 cup stock and wine or beer and boil on high heat until volume has reduced to half.
Reduce flame to low and add the blitzed peri peri sauce mix. Stir well and continue to cook until thickened about 2 minutes. Stir in sugar. Add more stock and a little wine or beer if the sauce thickens too much.
Add shrimp. Lay them down flat one next to the other so they all cook evenly. Turn them over as they cook if required. When shrimp are just done stir in butter into the sauce and incorporate evenly into the sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with plain white rice, sliced baguette, French bread, Kadak pao, sourdough or ladi pao.