Mint Marinated Grilled Shrimp

The flecks of mint against the charred pink flesh of the shrimp creates a stunning presentation—and it’s delicious. Ajwain seed—not exactly a seed, despite the name—is reminiscent of oregano. We’ve included it in the recipe in case you’re close to an Asian market, but the dish works just as well without it. Similarly, curry leaves just happen to smell like curry; they aren’t the reason why most curries taste the way they do, so they too can be left out. This would be a great main course with the Peas Pulao.

Serves 4 as a main course (makes 10 to 12 skewers)



  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) roughly chopped garlic
  • 1 Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups (500 mL) loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups (500 mL) loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) chopped green serrano or bird’s eye chili
  • 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) plain yogurt (not low-fat)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) chickpea flour (also sold as gram flour or besan)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ajwain seeds
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (7.5 mL) finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons (20 mL) fresh lemon juice

For the shrimp

  • 2 1/4 pounds (1 kg) shrimp (21/25 count), peeled and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil
  • Melted ghee, for final basting
  • 15 bamboo skewers, soaked in cold water for 15 minutes


  1. Pound the garlic in a mortar and pestle to make a paste, and set aside. Place the onions, mint, cilantro, curry leaves, chilies, and yogurt into a blender and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and add the reserved garlic paste and the rest of the marinade ingredients (chickpea flour, black pepper, cinnamon, ajwain, allspice, ginger, and lemon juice).
  2. Place the shrimp in a shallow dish, and coat in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat, then clean and oil the grill grates to prevent sticking. Have read a wire rack placed on top of plate or baking sheet.
  4. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, brushing off the excess. Thread 2 to 3 shrimp on skewers. Drizzle with the vegetable oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Place the shrimp on the grill, sliding a piece of aluminum foil under the exposed part of the skewers to prevent burning. Turn over after 2 minutes, and cook until shrimp is tender and pink.
  6. Transfer the shrimp to a wire rack to let the excess moisture drip off. Brush the shrimp with ghee and place back on the grill for 1 more minute for final char marks.

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