If anyone knows me, they know I’m not a seafood person. Maybe it’s because I grew up in Oklahoma and Texas….
No, that’s not it. My parents eat seafood- some of it. I just never got into it. I’m sure not having an abundance of fresh seafood around me contributed something to my disinterest in it, but I always say it’s the smell. Smells are big to me. If something doesn’t smell good, I’m not into it. And seafood has never passed my smell test. I know, I know, if it’s fresh it doesn’t smell. That’s what every seafood lover says in their attempt to convert me. But it still does to me. I realize I am in the 1% category on this and the rest of the world loves seafood. Especially shrimp. Funny enough, shrimp seems to be devoid of that “fishy” smell like other fish has, so I’ve been eating a little of it here and there in hopes it becomes normal to me. It hasn’t yet, but I’m working on it :).
Even still, I make this recipe often for my friends. There’s something about the shrimp with coconut milk, a little sweetness and bold Indian spices that makes them go bonkers and eat it up, which makes me smile ear to ear! Food with friends is great fun and Gary and I love cooking and having folks over! This recipe is easy, but requires a bit of prep. If you have access to peeled shrimp there’s much less prep time, making it a perfect weeknight meal. And like any saucy curry, you need a side of rice to soak it all up. And here’s the fool proof method I use to make perfect basmati rice every time.
Aaaannnddd….if you’re looking for an easy way to make Indian food, take a looksy at the Indian Spice Kit. It simplifies the cooking process as it has a recipe book with over 30 recipes and all the spices needed to make them. All you do is head to the supermarket and grab your common food items. No off-the-wall, hard-to-find, “weird” food stuff. Practically everything, if not everything, can be purchased at Wal*Mart.
Now back to this recipe and a couple of things I’d like to mention… First, curry powders are spice blends and each one is different and will yield a different flavor. The one I use is mild, but some are very hot so keep that in mind. Secondly, there is a big “must do” to achieving great results which is to pour the coconut milk in a bowl or large measuring cup and stir very well (I use a whisk). I can’t tell you how many times I’ve opened a can of coconut milk to find it lumpy and grainy (adding coconut milk to an overly hot pan will also cause curdling). Good news is the milk’s not spoiled and is an easy fix. Bad news is if you don’t whisk (or blend it) you will most likely NOT have a smooth sauce. The flavor will be fine, but the texture will be slightly off. I sure hope you guys enjoy this!
- 3 Tbsps. oil
- 1 ½ cups onion, minced
- 2 tsps. fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tsps. garlic, minced
- 2 tsps. curry powder
- 1 tsp. each coriander, cumin, sugar, salt
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- ¼ tsp. each cardamom, chili powder, cinnamon, fenugreek
- 2 Tbsps. tomato paste
- 1 (13.5 oz.) can coconut milk, stirred very well
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 ½ lbs. medium-size (31/40) shrimp, uncooked, peeled, deveined
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add onions and ginger and sauté 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes.
- Stir in spices, sugar, salt, and tomato paste. Combine well and sauté 1 minute.
- Turn off heat and allow to sit 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and water. Cover and turn heat to medium/low. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove lid and add shrimp. Increase heat to medium. Cook uncovered 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off heat and stir in butter allowing the sauce to thicken 2-3 minutes.
- Sprinkle in cilantro and serve with basmati rice