This is a dainty, flavourful, succulent and tasty rice ravioli pasta dish cooked in a coconut milk sauce. It is lightly spiced to enhance the subtle combination of flavours which makes this a warming, soothing and comforting dish. It is packed with nutrients and health. The moringa shrimp combo makes a lovely infusion of flavours and has been very popular in traditional south indian cuisine. It’s been traditional to make little rice dumplings stuffed with a moringa leaves and shrimp filling and cook them in a tangy sorrel leaves curry which was a tongue tingling and mouth watering dish. As a kid I enjoyed this curry very much and is still not only my favourite but also of my entire family as well. Here in Canada it is hard to get sorrel leaves especially after the summer is gone unless you grow them in your backyard. Therefore I tried to make it like a ravioli pasta dish with coconut milk and the result was awesome.
The health benefits of moringa (whether drumsticks or leaves) are amazing! It is rich in antioxidants and has great medicinal value. You can read about its beneficial properties here.
For the Filling:
A few Shrimps
2 cups Moringa leaves
1/2 a large Onion chopped
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
a pinch of turmeric
1 tbs fresh Coconut (grated or coarsely ground)
1 tsp coconut or olive oil
For the Ravioli pasta dough:
1 cup Rice Flour
1.5 cups Water
1/4 tsp salt
For the Pasta Sauce:
1/2 tbs Coconut or Olive oil
2 cups Coconut Milk (A Taste of Thai)
1/2 a large Onion sliced
1 tsp fresh Ginger Garlic paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Coriander Powder
2 Green chillies
For the Tempering:
1tsp Ghee (clarified butter)
1 tbs Moringa Leaves
1. Remove the shells, devein and clean the shrimp. Slice and chop the onion.
2. Pick the moringa leaves (leaves only, no stems), wash, drain, chop them and set aside.
3. Chop a few shrimps into tiny pieces and keep aside or if you have tiny baby shrimp you can use them for the filling.
5. To make the rice ravioli dough, bring to a rolling boil 1.5 cups of water in a pan, add salt, switch off the stove and immediately add the rice flour while stirring with a wooden spatula continuously in a swirling motion till you get a smooth soft dough with no lumps.
6. The dough will be extremely hot so scoop it out with a wooden spatula on to a sheet of parchment paper. Pack the dough like a parcel, place a kitchen towel over it, then squeeze and knead it from outside. The other option is to put it in a heat resistant zip lock bag and knead. The dough when kneaded while still hot becomes soft, smooth and pliable which is important for the texture of the ravioli, otherwise you’ll end up with a lumpy dough and the raviolis would keep breaking as you make them. Cover the dough and keep aside.
7. To make the filling add 1/2 tbs oil to the sauce pan on medium heat. Fry half of the chopped onion till it softens. Add the ginger garlic paste, a pinch of turmeric followed by the chopped shrimp (or tiny baby shrimp) and moringa leaves. Turn over and cook for sometime.
8. Add the remaining chopped onion, grated/coarsely ground coconut and mix well. If you want some heat you could add a small chopped green chilli. I like the filling to be non spicy for this so I don’t add any chillies. Cook till the moisture is absorbed, remove from the stove and keep aside. Once cooled the filling is ready for stuffing the ravioli.
9. To make the stuffed ravioli take a small round ball of the dough, place it on your palm, then press with your other palm to flatten it in the shape of a circle. Make a hollow in the centre and spoon in the prepared filling, close it like a half moon then moisten and seal the layers by pressing them with your finger and thumb.
10. Repeat the process till the dough is finished. You could make 12 – 15 half moon raviolis with a 2.5 ” diameter circle. You can even flatten the dough on a pastry board dusted lightly with rice flour and then cut into whatever shapes you want, add the filling in the centre and cover them with another of the same shape. Moisten the edges to seal them.
11. To make the ravioli sauce fry the half sliced onion in a tbs of oil on medium heat till it caramelizes. Add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric and coriander powder. Add the shrimps, sprinkle some salt, then sauté them in the onion masala until opaque. Now add 1 cup coconut milk, green chillies, salt and 1 cup water. When the sauce starts to boil, add the stuffed ravioli one by one taking care to see that they have enough space to move in the pot. Do not pile them one on top of the other.
12. Add the remaining cup of coconut milk, adjust the salt and let them cook gently on low heat for 5 – 10 mins. Add fresh chopped cilantro. If the sauce is too thick add a little water from the sides or some more coconut milk and swirl gently by holding the pot with the kitchen mitts. Take care not to let the ravioli stick to the bottom of the pot. Do not cover while they are cooking coz they would break. Once the ravioli is done and the sauce is of the right consistency (like mushroom soup) remove from the stove. The sauce thickens on cooling so don’t worry if it is slightly runny.
13. Now for the tempering heat a tsp of ghee in a small tempering pan (tadka pan). Take a tbs of moringa leaves and fry then in the ghee just till they darken a bit and you get a whiff of the aroma. Immediately pour the fried moringa with the ghee on the pasta. Tempering the pasta gives a new dimension of flavour to it. The ravioli pasta is now ready to enjoy.