My mom has an awesome recipe for shrimp curry. It’s not terribly difficult, but it takes a little more time and effort than I can put in on a busy weeknight.
Unfortunately, my cravings for a home-cooked Indian meal don’t usually coincide with the amount of time I have to cook that day. That’s when I need to compromise.
And that’s where this recipe for Goan prawn curry comes in. The recipe is by Madhur Jaffrey, from her book At Home with Madhur Jaffrey. Unlike many other Indian recipes, this one doesn’t have a long list of ingredients. I generally have frozen shrimp in my freezer and a can of coconut milk in my pantry and the other ingredients are staples in my house.
The recipe is simple and straightforward. You just sauté the shallot, add the spices and coconut milk, then simmer the shrimp in the curry.
I have to admit, the recipe suffers a little for its simplicity. The shrimp would be tastier if they were marinated in spices before cooking. Sautéing the shrimp before adding them to the liquid would help to bring out their flavor. And the curry would taste more complex if it called for a puree of ginger, garlic, green chilies and cilantro.
But then it wouldn’t be a weeknight meal anymore, would it?
Start with chopped shallot and some shrimp. I usually have frozen shrimp in my freezer that I defrost when I need it.
Sauté the shallots until they are golden brown.
Add the spices and sauté until you can really smell them.
Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes to let the coconut milk thicken a bit and really pick up the flavor of the spices.
Add the shrimp and simmer until they are just cooked. Don’t overcook your shrimp or they will become tough.
Season the curry with salt and lemon juice and serve over rice.
Goan Shrimp Curry
Recipe minimally adapted from At Home With Madhur Jaffrey
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 medium shallots, peeled and finely chopped
½ to 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground paprika
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 can (400 ml) coconut milk
½ tsp sea salt, or to taste
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, or to taste
1. Heat the oil in a heavy pot and set over medium high heat. When hot, put in the shallots. Cook until the shallots are light brown in color.
2. Add the cayenne pepper, paprika, black pepper, and turmeric. Cook briefly until they are fragrant.
3. Add the coconut milk and bring the curry sauce to a boil. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the shrimp, sea salt, and lemon juice. Stir and cook on low heat until the prawns just turn opaque. Season the curry with sea salt and lemon juice, if necessary.
5. Serve the curry with rice.
Serves 3 to 4