A Chat with Anwesha and Beer Battered Shrimps

In her own words, Anwesha is a passionate traveler and an insatiable foodie, and her blog is the perfect reflection of that. It is a beautiful travelogue dotted with some delicious recipes! The Beer Batter Prawns recipe was an easy and almost immediate choice. There's always a stash of beer in the fridge as both the husband and I enjoy drinking beer. And the entire family loves shrimp! My recipe is almost like hers excepting that I omitted cornflour, added an egg and also gave the shrimps a coating of desiccated coconuts. 

Each week, Anwesha would have a little chat with the featured star of the week, albeit virtual! Now that she is the star of this week, she has graciously answered the questions for the rest of us! And what a wonderful way to get to know our fellow bloggers! Here are a few glimpses from her life as a research scholar (she is working on her PhD thesis right now), a voracious traveler and a foodie!

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?

I started my blog to mainly document my travel stories including travel experiences, tips and local food.As the blog matured and I really got into experimenting with food and food photography, I have started posting recipes on the blog as well.

Why the name Peanuts on the Road?

Every week, I travel at least a couple of hundred kilometers by train. A very common sight on the Indian trains are peanuts sellers. To me, they are the quintessential flavors of travel, the very essence on being on the road. It is incredible to think how many conversations I have had over buying peanuts on the weekly train in the weekends I catch to return home from my research institute. Local food and travel are  inherently intertwined and the fastest way to get the flavor of a place. This is why my blog is called Peanuts on the road.

What is the most rewarding part of blogging for you?

The most rewarding part of blogging for me is a selfish one. Of course I love the interaction with like minded people, but what I love most about blogging is when I read back some of travelogue and am reminded of things that have slipped from my mind - it is as if I get to relive my travels/food experiences again.

If I make only one dish from your blog, what should it be?

If you are to make only one dish from my blog, I would recommend my Mom's fish cake recipe - it is a family recipe and you won't find anything like this on the internet.

What is your most favorite food memory of Kolkata?

My favorite food memories of Kolkata mostly involve the street food of Kolkata - be it the Phuchka near Vivekanada Park or in front of Jadavpur University or the muri-telebhaja from the neighborhood shop on rainy evening.

What is the ingredient you love to cook with the most? The one you are scared of the most? The one you have never used but are most eager to try?

The one ingredient I love is good quality butter - I love how it can really add a delightful dimension to a dish.
Though I love eating pork, I am a bit scared of cooking pork at home.

I would love to be able to cook with truffles someday.

Now to the recipe... 

Ingredients: Yield 2 (enough for the 3 of us)
  • Jumbo Shrimps: 12 to 15, de-veined and cleaned
  • Desiccated Coconut/Coconut Flakes - 3/4 Cup 
  • All Purpose Flour - 1/2 Cup
  • Egg - 1, at room temperature
  • Hot Sauce - few drops, according to taste (I used Frank's original)
  • Black Pepper - 1/4 tsp + 1/2 tsp freshly cracked
  • Paprika - 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric - a fat pinch
  • Half bottle of your favorite beer
  • Salt to taste

 Beer Battered Shrimps

  1. First off make the batter. Whisk together the flour, egg, beer, salt and 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper, paprika and hot sauce. Hit it with a little more beer if necessary to get the correct consistency. The batter should stick to the shrimps. Let the batter rest while prepping the rest.
  2. Take the shrimps in a bowl and season with salt and remaining pepper, paprika and turmeric. Toss gently  to coat. Set it aside. 
  3. Spread the coconut flakes on a shallow plate.
  4. Once the batter has rested for at least 20 minutes, dunk the shrimps into it (one at a time), shake off the excess batter and roll the batter coated shrimps in the coconut. Place on a plate in a single layer (do not stack) and let it rest.      
  5. Start heating oil on medium high.
  6. Take a swig or few of the remaining beer (or not) while waiting for the oil to heat up.
  7. Once the oil is hot but not smoking start frying the shrimps, not more than 3 to 4 at a time. Fry till the shrimps turn a nice golden brown, fish them out with a slotted spoon (shaking off gently as much excess oil as possible) and drain on a paper towel.
  8. Serve hot with your choice of condiment. 
 Beer Battered Shrimps

I am sending this recipe toKolkata Food Bloggers' event
Know Your Blogger 2


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