Source: Raghavan Iyer | Category: Salads

Shrimp Salad with Golden Raisin Vinaigrette

Shrimp, dried chilis, and coriander are classic to many a coastal south Indian meal. The yellow split peas, when used as a spice, as in this recipe's blend, is a hallmark of cooking the south Indian way. When the shrimp is pan seared with shallots (yet another "southie") and served over a bed of salad greens (never eaten in traditional Indian meals) that's drizzled with golden raisin (a component in many an Indian dessert, used here to offset the pungency from the dried red chilies in the shrimp) vinaigrette, the end result is nothing short of magic.

Shrimp Salad with Golden Raisin Vinaigrette


  • Shrimp
  • 1 tsp canola oil 5 mL
  • 1 Tbsp yellow split peas, sorted for stones and husks 15 mL
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds 15 mL
  • 2 dried red Thai or cayenne chilis, stem removed
  • 1/2 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt 2 mL
  • 1 lb (about 16 to 20) uncooked shrimp, peeled, tail-on, and de-veined 500g
  • Vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins 125 mL
  • 1 cup boiling water 250 mL
  • 1/4 cup canola oil 60 mL
  • 1/4 cup malt, cider, or red wine vinegar 60 mL
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems 15 mL
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted (see tip) 5 mL
  • Salad
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil 30 mL
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots or red onion 125 mL
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk 75 mL
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems 15 mL
  • 4 cups mixed salad greens 1 L


  • Shrimp
  • 1. Preheat a small-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Mix the canola oil, peas, coriander and chilis in small-sized bowl; toss well to coat. It's easier to do this in a bowl than directly in the skillet since you want to make sure the blend gets evenly coated with the canola oil to ensure even roasting. Roast the blend in the skillet, stirring constantly, until the peas and coriander turn reddish brown, and the chilis blacken slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the blend immediately to a plate to cool; the longer it remains in the hot skillet, the more burnt it will be. Once it's cool to the touch, grind it in a spice grinder (like a coffee grinder) or a mortar until its texture is like coarsely ground black pepper.
  • 2. Transfer the spice mix along with the salt and shrimp to a medium-sized bowl; mix well. Refrigerate the shrimp at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.
  • Vinaigrette
  • 3. Place the raisins in a small-sized bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Cover the bowl and allow the raisins to reconstitute by softening and swelling, about 15 minutes; drain.
  • 4. Place the raisins and all the remaining vinaigrette ingredients in a blender; puree, scraping the sides occasionally, until smooth. Makes about 3/4 cup (175 mL).
  • Salad
  • 5. Heat the 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. arrange the shrimp in a single layer. Add the shallots to the shrimp. Sear the shrimp until their underside turns orange-red in color, about 1 minute. flip the shrimp to sear the other side until orange-red in color, about 1 minute. The shallots will briefly brown while the shrimp cook.
  • 6. Pour the coconut milk into the pan, which will instantly boil. Once the sauce thickens, about 1 minute, stir in the cilantro and turn off the heat.
  • 7. Place the salad greens in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the vinaigrette well and pour it over the greens; toss to coat.
  • 8. Pile the greens on a large serving plate. Spoon the shrimp and shallots, including the sauce over them; serve immediately.
  • Tips: To toast cumin seeds, preheat a small-sized skillet over medium-high heat; toast the seeds, shaking the pan occasionally, until the seeds become reddish-brown and smell nutty, about 1 minute.
  • The dressing will thicken as it sits. Thin it down with a little water as needed to a pourable consistency. If you wish, you can double the vinaigrette recipe and refrigerate the extra dressing for up to 2 weeks. Liberally brush it over a slab of salmon while grilling for a flavorful and quick meal.


6 servings

serving size

nutritional analysis

Per Serving

Total Fat19 g
Saturated Fat3.5 g
Cholesterol115 mg
Carbohydrates16 g
Fiber3 g
Protein17 g
Sodium280 mg