Here’s another recipe to add to the “Ultimate” series I’ve been sharing from time to time with you. Curry shrimp is one of those simple dishes to make, but it’s very easy to overcook it and end up with shrimp the texture of leather. In this curry shrimp recipe I’ll show you how to have perfectly cooked shrimp that’s very attractive and full of that unique flavor from the way we cook curry in the Caribbean. Enjoyed with rice, roti or any which way you partner your curry dishes, this curry shrimp will definitely excite your taste buds and make an impression on family and friends.
1 lb shrimp (peeled deveined)
1 heaping tablespoon Madras blend curry powder (I like using a Caribbean variety)
1/2 habanero pepper (as much as you like)
1 medium tomato
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 bell pepper (sweet pepper)
4 tablespoon water for cooking the curry
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* you’ll also need a couple tablespoon of lime or lemon juice to wash the cleaned shrimp.
Note: If you have the Caribbean style green seasoning mix, use a teaspoon instead of the thyme and cilantro. If you can source fresh shado beni, that would be ideal instead of the cilantro. Bell pepper is something new to this recipe but I like the added flavor, texture and overall look it brings to this dish. I like using a Caribbean style curry powder as I find it to be unique in it’s depth and flavor.
The first thing you need to do (if it’s not already done as some groceries sell already cleaned and deveined shrimp) is to remove the outer shell of the shrimp and devein them. Then squeeze the lime or lemon juice over it, give it a good stir, then rinse with cool water. Drain and get ready to season so it can marinate for a bit.
Chop the scallion, cilantro, onion, peppers, tomato and garlic… I like using the thyme on it’s sprig for the added flavor. When you’re done cooking you can them remove the sprigs. In a large bowl place the now cleaned shrimp and add the salt, black pepper, chopped peppers (habanero and bell), cilantro, thyme and scallions. Give it a good stir and allow it to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over a med/high heat, then add the sliced onions and garlic. Allow that to cook on a med heat for about 3-4 minutes or until they get soft and edges start going golden. Now add the curry powder, give it a good stir and cook for a couple minutes. The goal is to heat the curry powder so it releases all those wonderful flavors. You will notice that the curry will go a bit darker and it will become very grainy. If you find that it’s burning, turn down the heat as we really need this to cook for about 2-3 minutes.
Now it’s time to add the water and make a sort of curry paste (be prepared for that burst of curry scent). It will be runny at first, but allow it to come to a boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. This step will cook the curry initially so we don’t get that ‘raw’ curry taste when the dish is done. After 4 minutes, turn up the heat to burn off all that water. you will now have a sort of paste.
Now it’s time to add the seasoned shrimp and give it a good stir to pick up all those curry bits from the bottom of the pan. Add everything in the bowl to the pan and have the heat at about medium. You can jump-start things by placing the lid on the pan if you want… this will cause the shrimp to spring a lot of it’s only natural juices (only keep the lid on for a minute or 2). With the lid open and the shrimp going at a rolling boil, you’ll notice the shrimp will start to curl and change color. All we want to do is cook the shrimp for 5-7 minutes from the time you add them. So if after 5 minutes you notice you have a lot of liquid in the pan, turn up the heat. I like my curry shrimp with a bit of gravy for dipping roti or to put on my rice. But that gravy must be somewhat thick. My mom would never leave gravy and to be honest, if you cook it down all the way… the taste will be a bit different.
Wasn’t that simple? I assure you this could well be the best curry shrimp you’ve ever had.. trust me! In the video below you can follow along in the event I was confusing above in my description.