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Goan-Style Shrimp and Vegetable Curry

February 25, 2009

I found this recipe on another blog and thought it sounded like a good second attempt into Indian food with meat.  I typically make vegetarian Indian recipes, but I’m a sucker for curry and coconut milk.  This ended up being a beautiful dish with a fiery red curry sauce- fiery in color, not heat.  This dish doesn’t have a lot of spice, and can be scaled up by adding more dried chilies or hot curry powder.  I probably committed an Indian food faux pas by combining meat and vegetables in the same curry, but I like one-dish meals that contain both.  This recipe comes from Eat. Drink. Think. and is a an adaptation of an adaptation of a recipe from Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur, Devi.  Serves 4-6.


1 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces

2 handfuls green snap beans, ends trimmed and beans cut in half

3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/8 t cayenne pepper

1 1/2 t salt

1/2 t black pepper

3 T vegetable or canola oil

4 dried red chilies

1 red onion, diced (optional)

3 inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 t ground coriander

1/2 t ground turmeric

1 28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, tomatoes chopped and juices reserved

1 t curry powder (preferably Madras)

1 14 oz can coconut milk

1 c chopped fresh cilantro

Steamed basmati rice, for serving


Steam cauliflower and green beans until tender, about 7-10 minutes.  Set aside.

Combine shrimp in small bowl with cayenne pepper, 1/4 t black pepper and 1/2 t salt and stir to combine.  Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat oil and dried chilies over medium high heat, stirring occastionally for 1-2 minutes, until chilies are beginning to blacken.  Add 1/4 t black pepper and stir for 1 minute.  Turn heat down and add ginger, onion and 1 t salt, being careful not to get splattered with hot oil.    Turn heat back up to medium high and cook for 3 minutes (for ginger only) or 5-8 minutes (with onion), stirring, until onions begin to soften and are translucent.  Add garlic, ground coriander and turmeric and stir for one minute.  Reduce heat to medium low again and add chopped tomatoes and their juices.  Increase heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-8 minutes.  Add coconut milk and curry powder and cook for another minute, until mixture is about to boil.  Add shrimp and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they are opaque and just cooked through. Taste to adjust for salt (this dish takes more salt than you might usually use, but is kind of flavorless without a good amount of salt).  Stir in fresh cilantro and serve with basmati rice.  Remove dried chilies, if desired.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Haley permalink
    March 3, 2009 4:33 pm

    We made this Friday night (hello Lent!) and it was delish! Note of warning, if you use red pepper flakes instead of dried chilis, they burn quickly when frying and make a lovely pepper spray in your house that will make you and your loved ones cough and cough. Take heed and watch those flakes carefully.

  2. January 6, 2010 6:05 pm

    Hi. I am a Goan and had to comment on this recipe. Goans definitely do combine vegetables and shrimp but in this recipe, I’ve only ever used okra. I don’t know about the Madras curry pdr though… most goan shrimp curry powders are a combination cumin seeds, coriannder seeds, pepper, chilli pdr and turmeric. Be very careful with Coconut milk as it tends to split if the flame is too high.

    Another sweeter version of the curry drops the chillies completely and is called sweet curry (caldeen) . The curry is a light yellow because of the absence of the chilli. Vegetable like potatoes, cauliflower even turnips can be added here. You can add a couple of green chillies if desired.

    • juicybits permalink*
      January 6, 2010 6:13 pm

      thank you for your comment! i can’t be sure of the recipe’s authenticity, and it sounds like the publication did a shortcut by using curry powder instead of a combination of spices. i will have to try it with okra.

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