Indian shrimp curry offers just the right fiery fix, whether the weather is hot or cold. That said, I find it particularly soothing on a chilly fall night. Even better, curry is just as good the next day. Just keep it separate from the rice and garnish with cilantro when you're ready to serve. Don't like shrimp? Swap out your preferred protein or vegetables in equal measure.
Curry blends vary considerably, and they can make or break a dish. This recipe includes steps for making a homemade version, but if you have a trusty supermaket blend, you can feel free to substitute. You'll want to start with about 2 tablespoons of the spice mixture and add gradually from there. When it's time to cook the shrimp, gently poach them over a low boil. You want them plump and tender, not rubbery.
Note: Curry is just as good the next day. Just keep it separate from the rice and garnish with cilantro when you're ready to serve. Don't like shrimp? Swap it out for your preferred protein or vegetables in equal measure.
- For the Spice Blend:
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 3 to 4 cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- For the Curry:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 serrano chiles, stemmed and sliced lengthwise
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped (about 5 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon peeled ginger, minced
- 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- Kosher salt
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup homemade or store-bought low sodium chicken broth
- 2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 3 cups cooked white rice
For the Spice Blend: Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and gently toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cloves, mustard seeds, and cardamom pods, leaving seeds in the pods. Remove from heat when fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove cardamom seeds from pods and discard pods. Transfer toasted spices to a mortar and add ground ginger, cinnamon and turmeric. Grind into a fine blend using a pestle. Alternately, use a spice mill or coffee grinder to get grind.
For the Curry: Heat oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat until shimmering. Add chiles, garlic, ginger, and onion, and cook, stirring until fragrant and chiles and onions start to soften, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons curry blend and 1 teaspoon salt, coconut milk, yogurt and chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
Add shrimp and cook, uncovered, stirring, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and heat through. Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Remove and discard bay leaves. Season to taste with more curry blend and salt. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve immediately with rice.
Mortar and pestle or spice mill