What we like to call “Shrimpittu”

This is the only recipe, so far, that I can really claim as my own. It’s nothing wild – it’s basically a stir fry. But I think the story goes that the first time I was making it, I was actually trying to replicate one of V’s mom’s recipes, and was utterly failing at it…so we called what I ended up with “shrimpittu” because the name of the recipe I was attempting ended in “-ittu” in Kannada.

So this dish holds a bit of a special place in my heart, as one of my first accidental successes in the kitchen. It’s very tweak-able and amenable to changes to suit your tastes. But this is how I do it…



(adapted from yours truly – serves 2-3 people)


  • 1/2 – 3/4 pound frozen shrimp, tail-off and deveined (the quantity depends on your feelings about shrimp more than anything else)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2/3 cup carrots, diced
  • a shake of dried basil
  • a shake of turmeric powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked whole wheat couscous


First you need to thaw out the shrimp; what I generally do is put them in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes, which usually breaks up the ice and helps thaw them pretty quickly.

Chop up all your vegetables and put them into a skillet with a bit of olive oil, on medium-low heat. Let them cook for a few minutes until soft. As you’re waiting, boil a pot of water on another burner (adding salt and, if you like, 1 tbsp of butter) and pour in 2/3 cup whole wheat couscous once it reaches the boil. Remove the pot from heat, put the lid on, and wait 5 minutes before fluffing it up with a fork.

Back in your skillet, now you can add the shrimp. Stir it together well with all the veggies and cook until the shrimp are heated through. Add the spices and salt/pepper. Put approximately 1 cup of the couscous on a plate and pour shrimp/veggie mixture on top of it.


Like I said, I’m a little sentimental about this dish. I also like to fool myself into thinking that couscous is a way healthier alternative to pasta, which may be somewhat true only in my case because I like whole-wheat couscous but cannot stand whole-wheat pasta. So there you have it. Yay carbs!

There are plenty of other spices you could add here (maybe cilantro or oregano) and certainly other veggies (zucchini or spinach). Happy experimenting!