I’ve always had a weakness for curry potato, especially if there was hot sada roti on the side to sap-up the lovely gravy. And I’ve never been known to back away for a good dose of curry shrimp... must be a bit spicy though and not overcooked. So when our mom first introduced us to this dish many moons ago, I was in my little personal Shangri-La. Curry potato with shrimp gives you the rich creaminess of tender potatoes, spiced up with the lovely aroma of the curry powder and the kick of the scotch bonnet peppers are indeed present and jumps out at you (you can certainly control the heat level). The herbal notes of the green seasoning paste used in marinating the shrimp adds another level of true Caribbean goodness which words alone can’t describe.
4 medium potatoes
1/2 lb shrimp
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon prepared green seasoning
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion
1 1/2 cups water
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon parsley
1 heaping tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon anchar massala
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper
Notes: Use a small to medium sized shrimp for best results (more sweet as we say in the Caribbean). When using and handling scotch bonnet peppers it’s important to wear gloves and do wash your hands with soap and water immediately after use. The seeds and area surrounding it will have the most heat, so remove and discard if you’re overly concerned about the raw heat. I used a Caribbean style Madras curry powder as this is the blend I enjoy using (stuff I grew up eating), but you can use your fav curry powder. If you can’t source anchar massala, you can use about 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (geera) IMPORTANT! Be sure to read the label of the curry powder (and other ingredients) to ensure it’s fully gluten free as some curry powders have added flour as a filler.
Peel and devein your shrimp if you’ve not already done so (something you get them already cleaned in the supermarkets). In the event you’re not sure how to do so, here’s a short video showing how easy it can be.
Wash your shrimp with the juice of a lime or lemon, rinse with cool water and drain. Now add the green seasoning paste to the shrimp and give it a good stir. Allow that to marinate for about 10-15 minutes or so… try not to go too much longer as the green seasoning can start cooking the tender shrimp.
It’s now time to prep the other ingredients. Basically all you have to do is peel and chop the onion and garlic as well as the scotch bonnet pepper. Then peel,wash and cube the potatoes.
Heat a deep saucepan on medium heat and add the vegetable oil, then the garlic and onion. Allow this to cook (reduce your heat to min) for 3 minutes, or until it’s nice and soft and you can get that lovely scent of cooked onion and garlic. Now add the sliced scotch bonnet pepper and curry powder. With your heat still on low, allow the curry powder to toast a bit (2-3 minutes).
Now add about a 1/4 cup of water (not mentioned in the ingredients list) and scrape the stuff off the bottom of the pan. The first step we toasted the curry, this step we’re cooking the curry so we don’t get a raw aftertaste when the dish is done. Bring this to a boil and allow it to gently simmer for 4-5 minutes. Then turn up the heat and burn off all the liquid. The curry paste will go a bit grainy and clump to the cooked onion,garlic and scotch bonnet pepper.
Add the diced potato and give it a good stir, then add the anchar massala and salt and pour in the water. Be sure to scrape off all that goodness from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Then reduce your heat to a simmer and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until the potato gets tender and liquid starts to thicken up (lid closed).
With the potatoes tender, it’s time to add the seasoned shrimp to the pot and give it a good stir. After 1 minute, check for salt (add accordingly) and if you find the sauce or gravy is too thin, using the back of your spoon, crush a few pieces of the potato to thicken the gravy. Keep in kind that as this curry potato with shrimp cools, it will naturally thicken up. So not to overcook the shrimp… turn off the stove, top with the chopped parsley (adds a nice punch of colour) and place the lid on the pan to allow the residual heat to fully cook the shrimp.
I love using Yukon Gold potatoes or any creamy potato for this dish as the overall texture is simply amazing. Remember if you want to control the heat you can use less scotch bonnet pepper or simply leave it out altogether. This curry potato with shrimp is excellent with rice, roti or bread and I assure you that even your kids will love this one… if not send me their names and I’ll tell Santa they were bad this year (smile).