Being a coastal state, seafood is an integral part of the daily diet in Orissa. Crabs, Shrimp, Rohu (Indian Carp), Sukhua (dried fish)... there is a great variety to choose from. One of Orissa's speciality is the Rohu fish cooked in mustard paste (I will post that recipe later). I call both Bihar and Orissa my home and given a choice, Fish is always my first preference.
Whenever we had guests (which was quite often), my Ma would cook Shrimp with some vegetables. That way everyone got a generous portion and a small quantity of shrimp went a long way. One of my favorite dishes is the Lauki-Jhinga or Lau-Chingudi as it is called in Oriya. This is my version.
1 medium sized Opa Squash, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
15-20 raw shrimp, cleaned and de-veined
1 medium onion, sliced fine
1 tomato, chopped fine
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
3/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp-ginger-garlic paste
Salt to taste
Mix half of the turmeric and 1/2 tsp of red chilli powder with salt. Add the cleaned and deveined shrimp and let marinate for about 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan, and fry the shrimp till light pink - a couple of minutes. Remove from pan and keep aside on a paper towel.
In the same pan, add onions and fry till translucent. Add the chopped tomato, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, cumin and coriander powder and cook till the tomato is cooked and oil separates. Add the Lauki/Opa squash, add half cup water and cook till the squash is almost done. Add the fried shrimp and cook for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.