Shrimp in Aromatic Tomato Sauce

This simple, delicious dish requires curry leaves.  You can find them fresh in Indian grocery stores (buy a bunch and freeze them for later!).  You can also order dry curry leaves here.  I used to have a curry tree and you can find the whole sad story of its demise in the Curried Avacado post.  Once you have the curry leaves you will be amazed by how fast and easy this recipe is to make.

If this sort of dish is appealing to you, I also encourage you to check out this recipe at the lovely food blog The Patterned Plate.  The Patterned Plate recipe really makes good use of fresh ripe tomatoes and garlic, where as the recipe that I am posting here is richer and works fine with good quality tomato paste.  So maybe buy a bunch of curry leaves, make the patterned plate recipe right now while the tomatoes are good, and freeze the rest of your leaves to make my version in the winter when you have no time and no tomatoes?  The two recipes are both delicious and are more different from each other in flavour than these two photos suggest.  The photo on the left  is of the Patterned Plate recipe which I made the moment I got my hands on some decent tomatoes this summer, and the one on the right is a photo of the recipe posted here.


from Quick and Easy Indian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

  • 1 Tablespoon good quality tomato paste
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 hot green chili finely chopped (including seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • about 7 ounces coconut milk
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • about 15 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 and 1/4 pounds medium sized shrimp, peeled, deveined and washed
  1. Combine the tomato paste, salt, sugar, garam masala, cayenne pepper, cilantro, green chili pepper and water in a medium sized bowl.  Slowly add the coconut milk, whisking to combine.  Set the sauce aside
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds.
  3. When the mustard seeds pop (this takes only a few seconds)  add the garlic and curry leaves.
  4. Give a stir or two and then add the shrimp.  Stir unitl the shrimp is almost cooked (it should be opaque almost all the way through).
  5. Add the sauce and turn the heat down to medium.  By the time the sauce begins to simmer the shrimp should be done!

Either version goes well with Curried Avacado and some corn on the cobb.  It might sound odd, but when you think about it Indian cuisine is really comfort food, so why not pair it with American comfort food?   Also the combination of shrimp corn and avacocado is hard to mess up really!  On the other hand, you could serve this shrimp with rice like a normal person.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Katherine says:

    This shrimp dish (the madhur jaffrey one) is one of my favorites!! I’m excited to try the other one, too – guess I need to get my hands on some curry leaves! (I don’t believe Ive ever made it wig curry leaves actually. I can never find them so I always omit them.)

  2. Katherine! Both recipes would certainly be still good without curry leaves, but the flavour of the curry leaves is really special. Hmmm, the next time we visit we should arrange a curry leaf pass off. I think that you would like the Patterned Plate in general (I do!).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s