"It doesn't taste like a beginner's curry."
Anytime I find a "beginners curry" from some well-respected Indian cookbook author, I race to the stove, stumble over my pots and pans, and start making it without delay. Indian cuisine is notoriously complex, and it's hard to make in under an hour. Most quick recipes I've run across trade authenticity for convenience, which then translates to taste. And that's a shortcut I won't take.
But when the recipe comes from a trusted author like Raghavan Iyer and his cookbook 660 Curries, I go wherever he leads.
And I'm glad I did. It's a welcome relief when this simple recipe manages to create so much flavor. The result is a warming curry that seems to wrap its creamy arms around the shrimp.
The tomatoes give it some acidity, the cayenne the spice, and the almonds the depth. But I was mostly just taken with the aroma of the spices, which seem to permeate every bite. About the highest compliment I can say about this recipe is that, despite what its title may claim, it doesn't taste like a beginner's curry.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup slivered, blanched almonds, ground
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 large tomato, cored and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined, but tails left on
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Pour the oil into a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until the garlic is browned but not burned.
Add the tomato, cayenne, salt, sugar, and garam masala. Stir occasionally and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. The tomatoes should break down into the sauce.
Dump in the shrimp and pour in the cream. Stir well, then drop the heat to medium, cover the skillet, and cook for 5 minutes, or until all the shrimp are orange and cooked.
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve.