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Vatapa is a Brazilian dish made from bread, shrimp, coconut milk, finely ground peanuts and palm oil mashed into a creamy paste. It is common to the North and Northeast regions of Brazil. In the northeastern state of Bahia it is commonly eaten with Acaraje. Vatapa is often eaten with white rice in other regions of Brazil.

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup dried shrimp
1/4 Cup roasted peanuts(peeled)
1/4 Cashews(roasted)
1 Tomato chopped
1/4 sliced big onion(1/2 Of small onion)
3/4 cup of canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp Italian parsley
1 Tbsp cilantro
1 /2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp dende/palm oil (if not, then fine)
2 Tbsp all purpose flour/ 1/2 Of bread slice (optional, I didn’t use any of this)
salt for taste
1 Tsp grated ginger

Method:
In a blender take dried shrimp, Peanuts and cashews and grind till its homogeneous, finely grounded powder and set aside. In a same blender, take onion, tomato, cilantro, parsley and make fine paste(add 1-2 Tbsp coconut milk if needed). In a half of coconut milk , add all purpose flour and mix it to make a lump free mixture.  Take remaining coconut milk in thick bottomed vessel and heat it on medium heat. Once the coconut milk is heated enough but not boiling, add the all purpose flour mixture slowly, stir continuously. When its well mixed, add onion and herb mixture while stirring continuously.
Now add shrimp nuts mixture and stir constantly to mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes then add olive oil and dende/palm oil. add salt if needed. add grated ginger, Increase heat and bring to a boil, continuing to stir to make a lump free sauce. Now reduce the heat and cook till it becomes a thick paste and creamy, stirring constantly.
Let it cool and use as a filling for Acaraje. Also, it can be used as a dip with crackers, chips.

Tips:
1)I didn’t add palm oil as I haven’t, definitely loosed some flavor and color. But, It tasted great for me (I have nothing to make comparison as I haven’t tasted the authentic Vatapa.
2) We are using All purpose flour/ bread as a thickening agent. If using bread slice, add it to onion, herb while making paste.
3) I wanted to avoid bread, all purpose flour so I cooked the mixture for longer to get desired consistency.

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