Hot and Spicy Schoolyard Shrimp

From a recipe for ‘Chicken 65’ was born this version of a hot and spicy dish we affectionately call ‘Hot and Spicy Schoolyard Shrimp.’

Schoolyard Shrimp scattered on a drying rack.

My friend Ansh with the blog Spice Roots is guest posting for me today; I’m in the thick of packing and stressed to the max about getting everything done on time for a big move so having friends help with some posts has been a huge relief. This ‘Shrimp 65’ which has a story and has been fondly named Hot and Spicy Schoolyard Shrimp is one of my favorites.

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I met Ansh when she joined a local food blogger group I had started in Denver; I love that her food experiences are so unique to mine and I also love how generous she has been to me. I agreed to be a part of an event last year called IndianFoodPalooza and one of my obligations was to make an Indian dish.

I was a novice, totally a fish out of water so I asked Ansh for help. She not only offered a suggestion but came over to my house to help me prepare a Mumbai Sandwich. It was, to my mind, a strange combination of ingredients but I was excited to make it and even more excited to eat it!

Ansh was so right on with that choice; it was fabulous and I admit opened my eyes to the fact that I actually have a great deal of the ingredients already on hand for Indian food; no more excuses!

I see she has decided to pull my leg a bit; how or why I thought Chicken 65 was a dish served at one of her schools in India and categorized by a number is beyond me…but let me tell you; if this shrimp is half as delicious as ‘Schoolyard Chicken’ we are all very lucky indeed!

 “Food is humanitarian: sharing it bridges cultures, making friends of strangers pleasantly surprised
to learn how much common ground they ultimately share.” ―Anthony Beal

Food is how I met Barb. The Front Range Food Blogger group that Barb started made it possible for a lot of local bloggers to get together and meet and talk  about food, eat food, shoot food and make everything about food the biggest deal.

It is one thing to have wonderful friends who love to eat the food you cook and give you wonderful, heartfelt compliments but quite another thing to have friends who will not only appreciate the food you cook, but are ready to walk down the memory lane with you.

We would travel for miles to find the perfect ingredient, understand why over mixing the batter is making your heart break into a million pieces and understand the squeals of joy when you poach the perfect egg.

They will talk with you for hours about the origins of the dish, the stories behind it and absorb every word you are saying.


For one of our Front Range Food Blogger Meetings, I once made, what is originally called, a dish of Chicken 65. The group loved it instantly. Even though it was spicy and hot with all those chilies, they polished it off along with asking me why it was called chicken 65. I did share the story and they listened to every word. Or so I thought.

When it was time for another of our monthly meeting, I offered to bring a cake, which Barb said would be delicious and added,  ‘Would you not bring the school yard chicken, again’?  Now I had never heard of ‘school yard chicken’ and here was Barb suggesting I should make it ‘Again’. 

After a little bit of talking we figured out what she was talking about and had a hearty laugh.  I did make it again but insisted that she call it by its real name and she simply refused. She was always going to call it the Schoolyard Chicken, she said.


That chicken is one of Barb’s favorite dishes from my kitchen.  She just tells me to stop thinking about what to bring and just bring her the chicken. And when she asked me to fill in for her today on her blog, guess what she asked me to come up with?

So for this post I thought it was only apt that I make something that I know she would love. And since she really likes the “schoolyard” part of the story, we are going to call this dish “The Schoolyard Shrimp 65”.

Barb, I hope you enjoy this dish. Even though it was because of food that I got to know you, it is your courage and pragmatism that makes me love you as a dear friend.

Hot and Spicy Schoolyard Shrimp

Creative Culinary
A hot and spicy and totally delicious shrimp dish that is 'finger licking' good!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Inactive Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Fish, Seafood
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 143 kcal


  • ½ pound shrimp
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp shrimp paste Any brand you like
  • 1 tsp chilli garlic paste any brand you like
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs corn starch
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs thinly sliced Thai chiles
  • 1 – 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves Kadi patt
  • Oil for frying


  • Peel and devein the shrimp. Wash, drain and then pat dry.
  • Take a medium size bowl and add in turmeric, lemon juice, salt, shrimp paste, chili garlic paste, ginger paste,coriander, cumin, soy sauce, black pepper.
  • Stir to mix it all and now add in the shrimp. Stir and mix until the shrimp is well coated.
  • Let the shrimp sit in this marinade for about 15 minutes.
  • Heat the oil for frying and while it is heating, add in the corn starch into the shrimp.
  • Mix to coat the shrimp well.
  • When the oil is hot ( about 350*F), start frying the shrimp a few at a time, taking care not to over crowd.
  • Fry them up for a few minutes until the coating turns brown and the shrimp curls up.
  • Repeat the process for the rest of the shrimp.
  • Once all the shrimp is fried, take a separate pan, add in a Tsp of the oil from the frying into the pan.
  • Add in the garlic, cook until just fragrant. Add in the curry leaves and the green chilies.
  • Be careful at this stage, as the curry leaves spatter.
  • Stir to mix and add in the fried shrimp along with the rice vinegar.
  • Cook for a minute, until the vinegar mixes in and dries out.
  • Serve hot.


  • In the event you don't have the shrimp paste, make it without.
  • Substitute red chili powder/cayenne plus freshly chopped garlic for the chili garlic paste.
  • You can also pan fry the shrimp instead of deep frying it.
  • The use of curry leaves is highly recommended, but this does taste great without them as well.


Nutrition Facts
Hot and Spicy Schoolyard Shrimp
Serving Size
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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  1. Beautiful! Just beautiful. When I find my ambition again, I’d like to get more creative with chicken. Maybe I’ll try this! Nice to see you ladies working so well together, too 🙂 Miss ya’ll.

  2. I love the School Yard Chicken 65 and can’t wait to try this hot and spicy school yard shrimp (although I can’t imagine a shrimp living in a school yard). Ansh’s blog has taught me many great recipes as has Creative Culinary. I’m so happy to have foodie friends with whom I can enjoy sharing food, recipes, and laughter.

    1. Me too…sounds SO good. Ansh can’t make it Saturday but if she could I would not have to insist on some Schoolyard Chicken! 🙂

  3. I’m pretty sure I left a comment the other day — I think the ether ate it! Anyway, I’d eat this dish no matter what you call it! Really excellent. Although now I’m really interested in the recipe for Schoolyard Chicken 65. 😉

    1. I thought you did too cause I thought I answered it! Take a peek at the post…just for you I went and linked the Chicken 65 text to the post on Ansh’ site.

    1. I have made some great friends of local bloggers; Ansh is so right…it’s not just about the eating; it’s about the entire world of food!

  4. Schoolyard, chicken 65… I don’t care what you call it, I know I’d call it “delicious”!!! I absolutely adore these flavors, and will definitely be bookmarking this to make in the near future!

    1. Delicious and nice and hot and spicy. Not too much but it’s not tame either; we just LOVE it!

  5. Oooh wonderful! Don’t I love shrimp! And don’t I love Indian flavors. I wish someone would have brought me something this good when I was packing up an apartment for a move! Lucky Barb! And I wished I lived close to a group of food bloggers friends!

    1. I only wish she had brought it over for me! I mean I know she would but we live 45-50 apart so her hubs and daughter enjoyed the fruits of her labors and me? I just salivate over them. 🙂

  6. Ansh and Barb, this looks wonderful! I am going to be on the lookout for more Indian spices so that I am ready when a recipe like yours comes my way. At the moment I don’t have any of the pastes you mention or the curry leaves or chiles…they are now on my shopping list.

    1. The leaves can be hard to find; recommend an Indian or even Middle Eastern market. I wish I knew where they were too…we’ll have to do a trip one day on a hunt for them, right?

  7. I don’t care what you call it – I’d call this dish terrific! It really looks excellent – super combo of flavors working in this. Good stuff. Although, of course, now I need the Schoolyard Chicken 65 recipe! Great guest post, and Barb, I hope packing etc is going well.

  8. Well Ansh, how did I know that you’d be making “school yard something”? I absolutely adore the shrimp version of this dish. It just so happens I have a pound of shrimp in the freezer and some curry leaves in the fridge. Lucky me! This is a five star dish.

  9. What a lovely guest post and the shrimp looks great. Someday you are going to have to share with us the full story of why Barb renamed your Chicken 65 to Schoolyard Chicken.

    1. I honestly thought it was a dish they got at school…where was my head? But once I started calling it schoolyard chicken for grins, that was the end of it; I knew I would never remember the real name. It is so good; I’ve found the link to it too and put it in the post. SO good.

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