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Beginner almond shrimp

Beginner almond shrimp

1/2 teaspoon Bangala garam masala

(see directions below)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds, ground

4 medium-size cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon cayenne (ground red pepper)

1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

Makes 4 servings.

To make Bangala garam masala: In a spice or coffee grinder, combine 1 teaspoon whole cloves, 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (green or white) and 4 cinnamon sticks, broken up. Grind until mix resembles coarsely ground black pepper. Sift through a fine mesh strainer and repeat with coarse pieces until you have 3 tablespoons of spice mix (you will only be using a little bit for this recipe).

To prepare the shrimp: Heat the oil in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in almonds and garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts brown, 1 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato, cayenne, salt, sugar and garam masala, scraping the skillet to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the tomato softens but still is firm-looking, 2 to 4 minutes.

Add the shrimp and pour in the cream, stirring once or twice. Lower heat to medium, cover the skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are salmon-orange, curled and tender and the creamy-rich sauce is thick, 5 to 8 minutes.

Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: calories 265, fat 21 g, sodium 730 mg, carbohydrates 7 g , saturated fat 7 g, calcium 71 mg, protein 14 g, cholesterol 140 mg, dietary fiber 2 g.