Shrimp curry is quick and easy way to make a protein dish packed with creamy curry flavor. I posted the original version of this dish in 2013 when I first started my blog. Back then I didn't think too much about styling my food photographs. I didn't have many followers and all I wanted to do was just share the meals I was making at home. Last night I was making shrimp curry for dinner and decided to update the recipe and post.. Click here for the original post.
Curry is very popular in Guyana and the Caribbean. Guyana has a very large population of people with Indian heritage. Their ancestors came to the Guyana and the Caribbean to fill the void left after the abolition of slavery. My mom is Indo-Guyanese and curry was a large part of our diet when I was growing up. To learn more about East Indian Immigration to Guyana click here for an article published in the Guyana Chronicle.
Prepping the Shrimp for the Shrimp Curry
I almost always use frozen shrimp. I live in a land lock state and we don't have access to fresh seafood. So I've started buying frozen, wild caught, peeled and deveined shrimp, which is so easy. I "wash" my shrimp with some lemon juice then I season it with dried spices and let it sit while I get my curry paste or masala together.
Making the Curry Paste or Masala
To make my curry paste I blend fresh onions and garlic together. Then I add dried spices, like curry powder, cumin, garam masala, coriander, turmeric and bay leaves. If you are fortunate to find curry leaves, you can fry a few of them in your oil before cooking your masala. Thank me later.
Getting the shrimp ready
Whenever I am making anything with shrimp, I always sear the shrimp in hot oil first. I noticed that this helps to amplify the flavor of the dish I'm making. So for this Shrimp Curry, seared the shrimp for less that a minute on each side then I removed remove them from the pan. I don't want to fully cook the shrimp. I am just trying to give it a quick sear.
Cooking the Shrimp Curry
Shrimp cooks really quickly, so it is always a good idea to get your curry cooked to your liking before adding in the Shrimp. For this dish I cook my curry paste/masala in the same pan that I seared the shrimp in earlier. It takes about 5 minutes to cook the curry paste on high heat. Cooking the curry paste first allows the flavors of the spices to develop and adds a rich color to your curry. Once the curry paste is cooked to my liking, I then add coconut milk and some water. I am using canned coconut milk for this recipe. If you are doing Whole30 and you are using canned coconut milk, please ensure that it does not have any of the additives that are not allowed on Whole30.
Let the curry cook down to a really thick sauce that will stick to the shrimp before adding the shrimp into the curry. The shrimp will take about 3 to 5 minutes to cook after it is added back in, so you don't want it to be boiling in the curry for too long.
When my curry is ready, I add the seared shrimp to the pan and let it cook for a few more minutes. Then remove from the heat. If you are using a cast iron braiser like the one I am currently obsessed with, your shrimp will continue to cook with the residual heat from the pan. To avoid over cooking the shrimp remove it from the heat when it is almost ready and by the time you serve your shrimp curry, the shrimp will be perfectly cooked.
Is this dish Whole30 Friendly?
Like all the dishes I have been posting for March, this one is also Whole30 friendly. You've been eating Whole30 your entire life and didn't even know it. Well, mostly whole30 anyway.
The Printable Shrimp Curry Recipe:
Printable Recipe Card
Updated Shrimp Curry
- 1.5 lbs of shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons of roasted ground cumin or geera
- 1 tablespoon of Coriander
- 1 teaspoon of garam masala
- ¼ teaspoon of turmeric
- 6 cloves of garlic
- ½ yellow onion
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup of coconut milk
- 1 cup of water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the shrimp and mix together well. Let it sit for a minute, then rinse thoroughly
- Drain all of the water and set aside
- Next, season the shrimp with onion powder, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, ½ tablespoon of coriander and ½ teaspoon of garam masala, then set aside
- Add the onion and garlic to a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. Alternatively you can add the onion and garlic to a blender cup with ¼ cup of water and puree until a smooth paste forms
- Add the remaining ground cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric and bay leaves to the blended onions and garlic and mix together to form a curry paste or masala
- Bring 2 tablespoons of oil up to temperature in a large skillet on medium-high heat
- Add the seasoned shrimp and sear quickly on both sides then remove from the heat and set aside
- In the same skillet on medium heat, add another tablespoon of oil (if needed) then add the curry paste.
- Cook for about 5 minutes or until all of the liquid cooks down and a dry toasted masala is left
- Next add the coconut milk, followed by the water and continue to cook until a thick curry forms
- Add the seared shrimp and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the shrimp is fully cooked but not over cooked
- Remove from the heat and enjoy