When you grow up in the ‘country’ areas on the islands, you’re sure to have a kitchen garden where most of the vegetables, herbs and peppers you use in in the kitchen, comes directly from. My brother and I were gardeners from a very young age (not by choice.. especially when we wanted to run football and not tend to plants). Looking back, it seems we always had some sort of beans planted in that small plot of land at the back of our home. Maybe this is where my love for beans of all types originated? In this recipe we’ll use two of my favorite ingredients, string beans and shrimp along with that curry base, this will definitely be delightful.
1 lb shrimp
1 teaspoon Caribbean green seasoning
1 teaspoon veg oil (marinating the shrimp)
1 tablespoon veg oil
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
3 cloves garlic
1/2 medium onion
1 heaping tablespoon curry powder
2 lbs string beans (any type of green beans)
1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust accordingly)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Note: You can use bodi (yard beans), French beans or just about any green beans you enjoy! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire ingredient list to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary requirements. Be mindful that most curry powder may have flour as a filler, so do read the label.
Trim the edges off the beans, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces and wash/drain. Dice the peppers, onion and garlic. Remember when handling scotch bonnet peppers you must wash your hands with soap and water immediately after. Peel and devein the shrimp, then season with the green seasoning and the teaspoon of vegetable oil and set aside to marinate for about 10-15 minutes.
Heat a wide pan on medium heat, then add the seasoned shrimp and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then remove from the pan and set aside as we don’t want to overcook the shrimp (they will go rubbery).
Burn off any liquid in the pan, then add the tablespoon of veg oil and go in with the diced onion and garlic. Turn the heat down to low as we don’t want to burn the garlic but get that lovely flavor out of it. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
With the heat still on low, toss in the curry powder and black pepper, stir well. In this step we’ll toast the curry to release the rich flavors of the spices which makes up the curry blend. This step will also cook-out the sort of raw curry taste.
The curry will go dark and grainy.. that’s exactly what we’re looking for. Turn the heat up to medium and add the trimmed string beans as well as the scotch bonnet pepper. Mix well to get all that lovely curry goodness from the bottom of the pan. Now add the water, cover the pan and bring it up to a boil. When it comes to a boil, lower the heat to low, cover the pan and cook for about 12 minutes. Don’t forget to add the salt at this point as well.
At this point it’s time to go in with the previously cooked shrimp and diced bell peppers and turn up the heat to burn off any liquid at the bottom of the pot. Taste for salt (adjust accordingly) and cook longer (or less) depending on how you like your beans cooked. To stretch this dish you can also add some diced tomato near the end.
You should have plump and juicy shrimp, tender beans and that curry will bring it all together. For a more rich flavor you can use coconut milk instead of water in the cooking process. You may notice that I included some of the seeds of the scotch bonnet pepper.. be mindful that will increase the heat level as most of the heat in such hot peppers are in the seeds and white membrane surrounding the seeds.