Coconut Shrimp Curry

Because I am not a fan of hot, spicy food, I tend to steer clear of Indian recipes.  When I saw this posted on one of my favorite blogs, I thought I might pass it by; but then the description of the dish made me take a closer look.  Shrimp?  Fresh lemon juice?  Onions?  Garlic?  Tomatoes?  Coconut milk?  Cilantro?  Hey, I really like all those ingredients!  I remembered that I had some homemade naan in the freezer, and that sealed the deal.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe was to cut down on the ground black pepper.  If you’re following me and my recipes and really like spicy food, it’s very easy to adjust the level of heat.  If a recipe calls for a jalapeño pepper, just add another.  I generally always cut the amount of cayenne pepper in half.  In this case, all it called for was 1/8 tsp. in the shrimp marinade and it was perfect.

The sauce is lick-the-bowl good, so it was really delicious served over rice to sop it up along with wiping it up with the naan.  If you think you don’t like Indian food, try this recipe—it will change your mind!

Coconut Shrimp Curry

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Ingredients for the shrimp marinade

  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbl. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
  • 1-2 pounds large or extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 1 tbl. canola oil
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 tbl. finely minced fresh ginger, from about a 1-inch peeled piece of ginger
  • 1 tbl. kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can coconut milk, light or regular
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Hot cooked rice for serving, if desired


For the simple shrimp marinade, toss the shrimp with the salt, pepper, cayenne and lemon juice in a resealable large bag or in a bowl.  Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat until rippling and hot.  Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the pepper, ginger, salt, garlic, coriander, turmeric and curry powder.  Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture is very fragrant and the onion is soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the undrained tomatoes to the pot and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, for about 1 minute.  Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often.  Add the coconut milk, stirring to combine.  Bring the mixture to a boil and add the shrimp and any accumulated juices from the marinade. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the shrimp are curled, lightly pink and cooked through, about 2-4 minutes.  Stir in the cilantro.

Serve over hot, cooked rice if desired.

Source:  Adapted from a Mel’s Kitchen Café recipe

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