- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds small okra pods, topped, tailed, and cut into small pieces
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons ground dried shrimp (see Note 1)
- 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/3 cup roasted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons dende oil (see Note 2)
- 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped
- Dash of tabasco
- Cooked white rice, for serving
- 12 cooked jumbo shrimp, for garnish
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into fine julienne for garnish
- Whole sprigs of cilantro, for garnish
- Wedges of lemon, for serving
In a medium heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the okra and toss constantly until seared and golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the ground dried shrimp with the fresh shrimp and peanuts. Pulse, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the mixture forms a chunky paste.
In a large, heavy skillet heat the Dende oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chile flakes and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden. Add the shrimp paste, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and stir to mix. Pour in the water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the Caruru gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The mixture will be quite thick. Stir in the reserved okra, cilantro and tabasco and cook for 2 minutes more, until the okra is heated through. Serve over white rice, garnished with the cooked jumbo shrimp, red pepper julienne, cilantro sprigs and lemon wedges.