This delicate coconut soup is a Sri Lankan favourite, usually served with rice or string hoppers. My guests enjoy drinking my shrimp and tomato sothi straight from a mug!
1½ cups coconut milk 10-12 shrimps with heads, cleaned
a walnut-sized piece of compressed tamarind
2-3 cups water
1 tomato cut into quarters 1-2 pink shallots, sliced 2 green chillies, sliced
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
¼ tsp turmeric powder a sprig of curry leaves plus extra for garnish
salt to taste
prep 30 mins
cooking 30 mins
1 Using your fingers, roll the tamarind into a firm ball. Place it in a saucepan.
2 Add all the ingredients except the coconut milk. Bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until the onion and tomato soften.
3 Add the coconut milk and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Take care not let the mixture boil over!
4 Keeping the tamarind ball intact helps to control the acidity and colour of the broth. Be mindful not to break it up while stirring! Remove from heat and add extra curry leaves.
Fish and green mango variation
Leave out the tomato, tamarind and shrimp. Use diced green mangoes and pieces of fresh fish for a
flavoursome broth. Boil all the the ingredients except the fish and coconut milk until the mangoes soften. Then add the fish and cook for a further 8-10 minutes. Add the coconut milk and curry leaves and stir continuously for
2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add extra curry leaves.
Tomato and lime variation
Use lime as the souring agent for this recipe. Place all the ingredients in a pot except the coconut milk and lime juice. Bring to a boil and cook until the onion and tomato soften. Add the coconut milk and stir continuously for 2 minutes. Squeeze in the lime juice and stir to combine.