Kerala Shrimp Moilee (Curried Shrimp and Coconut Soup) Recipe

Kerala Shrimp Moilee (Curried Shrimp and Coconut Soup) Recipe

Mild from the natural sweetness of the coconut milk and aromatic from the whole spices used, the Moilee is a delicate introduction to the distinctive flavors of the coastal Indian state of Kerala. [Photograph: Prasanna Sankhe]

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  • Yield:Serves 2
  • Active time: 10 minutes prep, 15 minutes cooking
  • Total time:25 minutes


  • 1 cup cleaned and deveined shrimp
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (divided)
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated ginger (divided)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil/ vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 white cardamom pods
  • 1 inch piece cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated garlic (about 2 medium cloves)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 green chillies slit lengthwise
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 1 cup thin coconut milk
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large tomato cut in thin rounds
  • 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  • Cooked rice and poppodom for serving


  1. 1.

    Toss shrimp in a small bowl with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ginger and ground red pepper. Let rest 15 minutes.

  2. 2.

    Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan on medium heat until shimmering. Add cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining ginger, garlic, onion and chilli and stir until fragrant and onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add curry leaves and stand back as they splutter. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add remaining turmeric powder to the oil, stir briskly, and immediately add the thin coconut milk and salt. Add tomato and allow to come to a gentle boil. Add the marinated shrimp and allow to cook just until opaque, about 5 minutes. Add the thick coconut milk and bring to a gentle boil, about 1 minute. Serve hot with white rice and poppadoms.