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Mar 19, 2021

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce

This shrimp in tomato and chile sauce is an orchestra of deeply delicious flavors.  

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce

This spicy shrimp dish is loaded with concentrated flavors of tomatoes that have been cooked down to their tomato-y essence, along with green chilies, garlic, coriander, cumin chile powder, allspice, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, mace, and nutmeg. 

You cook both the sauce and the shrimp separately on the stovetop, and then combine them and finish the dish in the oven. 

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce in a shallow pan

Once you've finished baking the shrimp in the sauce, top it with some toasted pine nuts and place the dish in the center of the table and ladle the shrimp into bowls. It's delicious with crusty bread or flatbread for sopping up the delicious sauce. 

Spices in this dish:

Along with ground coriander, ground cumin, chile powder (I used cayenne), and salt, you also will need to make a 9-spice mixture of allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, black peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, mace blades, and nutmeg. 

First, you toast all of the seeds and bark together in a skillet and then grind them in a spice/coffee grinder. You will only need a teaspoon of this mix, so keep the rest in a spice jar for other sauces, stews, and soups. 

I love the aroma of the toasted spices every time I open the jar. Use this mix in any Palestinian or Lebanese recipe calling for baharat or Lebanese seven spice mix. 

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce with buss up shut bread

I could not find mace blades, so I added a 1/4 teaspoon of ground mace to the final mixture. 

I served this shrimp dish with buss up shut bread, a delicious flaky flatbread, which I filled with the shrimp and tomato chile sauce. 

This shrimp dish made wonderful leftovers. Just be sure to gently warm leftovers in a saucepan and not in the microwave to prevent the shrimp from getting rubbery. 

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce in a bowl

For the chilies in this dish, I used jalapeños. While they are pretty hot when raw, they mellow out quite a bit during the cooking process. For me, the dish had just the right amount of spiciness. Granted, I love spicy. 

For the shrimp, I used frozen uncooked shrimp from Argentina. It's frozen on the docks and super sweet, almost like lobster. I buy it with the shells on so that I can use the shells to make stock. 

If you haven't tried shrimp stock, you must. It's amazing. 

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce serving

Welcome to Fish Friday Foodies. This month, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm challenged us to post a seafood dish that pairs well with red wine. 

I paired this dish with a Chilean Carménère. P.S. If you are love food holidays, mark your calendar for November 24th for Carménère Day! The wine is very fruity with a slight hint of spice, perfect for this shrimp dish, especially with the "New World" ingredients, tomatoes and chiles. 

Be sure to check out everyone's seafood dishes that pair well with red wine! 

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce in bowls

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce

Shrimp in Tomato and Chile Sauce
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Karen's Kitchen Stories
This shrimp in tomato and chile sauce is an orchestra of deeply delicious flavors.


For the 9-Spice Mixture
  • 3 tablespoons allspice berries
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 made blade
  • 1/4 nutmeg, crushed
For the Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 jalapeños or other green chiles, finely diced
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 - 28 ounce can of peeled whole tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon 9-spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 bunch (fist-sized) fresh dill, finely chopped
For the Shrimp
  • 2 1/4 pounds raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts for serving


To Make the 9-Spice Mix
  1. Add all of the ingredients to a skillet and cook over medium low for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until fragrant. 
  2. Let the spices cool completely, at least an hour. 
  3. Grind the spices in a spice/coffee grinder until you have a fine powder. Seal in an airtight container. 
To Make the Sauce
  1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. 
  2. In a large shallow braiser or oven proof skillet, heat the olive oil oer medium heat and add the onion and chilies. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until they are slightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, salt, sugar, and dill, and bring to a boil, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon or spatula. 
  4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
To Cook the Shrimp
  1. Mix the shrimp with the olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. 
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp to the pan and spread them out to a single layer. Cook for one minutes and flip and cook for an additional minutes. Rempve the pan from the heat. 
For the Final Dish
  1. Add the shrimp to the tomato sauce and stir to combine. 
  2. Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the edges of the dish begin to bubble and brown. 
  3. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the pine nuts. 



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shrimp, tomatoes, chiles
Main dish
Palestinian, Gazan
Did you make this recipe?
Tag on instagram and hashtag it #karenskitchenstories
Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from the book The Palestinian Table by Reem Kassis. It's a pretty amazing book and I highly recommend it. I own a copy and have given copies of the book as gifts several times. 

Would you like to comment?

  1. What a great pairing. I think my family would love this dish. Thanks Karen

  2. Karen, that is one amazing recipe!

    1. Thanks Sally! The flavors are sooooo good!

  3. Ohhh my mouth is watering - that spicy condensed sauce looks SO flavorful!

  4. These sounds and looks absolutely amazing Karen!

  5. This looks amazing and I just sent this recipe to my friend who loves shrimp.


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