Regardless of whether you're using summer fresh or winter frozen corn, this curry is pure genuis; creamy, delicately spiced, and fill of sweet notes that comfort and intrigue. The complexity comes from a bright green herb paste of ginger, cilantro, lemongrass, curry leaves and chiles cooked with down toasted spices coconut milk and just enough cream to add a velvety richness. The corn and shrimp are added in the final stages, making sure that neither overcook and retain all of their respective sweetness.
Read more: Cook the Book: 'Masala Farm'
- Yield:serves 6
- Active time: 35 minutes
- Total time:35 minutes
- Herb Paste:
- 40 fresh or 60 frozen curry leaves
- 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons frozen ground lemongrass paste (optional)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, leafy parts and tender stems ripped off of the tough stems
- 1 jalapeño or serrano chile, stemmed, and seeded for less heat
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 15 fresh or 22 frozen curry leaves, roughly chopped
- 3 dried red chiles
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida
- Two 13 1/2-ounce cans coconut milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, half-and-half, or milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups fresh corn (from 4 to 6 ears) or frozen corn
- 2 pounds tiger shrimp (16 to 20 shrimp/prawns per pound), peeled and deveined
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
To make the herb paste: Combine the curry leaves, ginger, lemongrass paste (if using), cilantro, jalapeño, and 3 tablespoons of water in the bowl of a food processor, and purée into a nearly smooth paste. Set aside.
To make the curry: Heat the canola oil, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cumin browns and becomes fragrant and the mustard seeds pop, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the curry leaves, chiles, turmeric, and asafetida, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Then stir in the herb paste, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the mixture is very fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk and the cream, stir, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, stir in the salt, and add the corn and shrimp. Simmer until the shrimp curl and are just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro and serve.