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curry shrimp with coconut milk

curry shrimp with coconut milk

curry shrimp with coconut milk

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curry shrimp with coconut milk

A flavour-filled  shrimp  curry with an aromatic coconut cream sauce cooks in no time from scratch! Forget jarred sauces….this sauce will have you licking your plates clean! Make an incredible dinner with minimal ingredients. You’ll be surprised at how GOOD this curry is!



  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (or curry powder)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 pound (500g) peeled Jumbo-sized shrimptails on or off


  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder or curry powder
  • 14 oz. (400g) can crushed tomatoes, or Passata for a smoother sauce
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red chili powder, adjust to your taste preference
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 13.5 fl oz (400ml) can coconut milk, or coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro, to garnish
curry shrimp with coconut milk
curry shrimp with coconut milk



  • For shrimp, combine spices in a bowl. Toss shrimp with the spices and 1 tablespoon of oil. Set aside.
  • Heat 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear shrimp for only 1 minute on each side, then transfer shrimp to a plate. Set aside.


  • Heat remaining oil and butter in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Fry onion until soft (about 3 minutes), scraping up any browned bits left over from the shrimp on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add garlic and ginger; sauté until fragrant, about for 1 minute. Add in garam masala, cumin, ground coriander and turmeric (or curry powder). Cook stirring occasionally until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  • Add crushed tomatoes (or Passata), chili powder, salt, sugar and coconut milk/cream. Let simmer until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes.
  • Stir in shrimp and let cook until the shrimp is fully cooked and warmed through, about 1 more minute.
  • Take off the heat immediately. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fresh garlic butter rice and homemade naan bread.

What Is Curry?

Originating in India, curry describes a variety of dishes, typically sauces, that contain a variety of exciting and complex spices.  I tried to make this dish as simple as possible with just a couple spices: turmeric, cumin, and curry powder. Those combined with a few aromatics result in a curry so good you’ll be craving it for days after!

What Is Turmeric?

This curry though is quite simple, and you get that gorgeous yellow color from the turmeric. If you’ve never cooked with turmeric before it’s a bit bitter in flavor, but it’s mildly aromatic and has scents of ginger or orange. If cooking with turmeric, make sure you don’t overuse it because it is slightly bitter and it has a note of medicinal powdery aftertaste in large amounts.

curry shrimp with coconut milk
curry shrimp with coconut milk

How to clean shrimp?

Cleaning and deveining shrimp is easier than you think. Start by rinsing shrimp in cold water and discard the ones that are discolored or slimy.

Hold the shrimp and firmly twist its head. Hold the tail, peel away the outer shell, and pull off the legs from the underside of the shell.

Now use a knife and put a small cut that runs down the length of the shrimp’s back. Once you make a cut, you will see a small black line, it’s the vein. Use the tip of the knife to pull out the vein and discard it. Keep the tail on or discard it. Rinse them once more with cold water and use them.

curry shrimp with coconut milk recipe



Heat large skillet over medium heat, then add 1 tablespoon butter. When foam subsides, add shrimp and cook until they just turn pink. Remove from pan and reserve. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to pan. When it melts, add onions and stir; cook 5 minutes until softened. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, curry powder, garlic and ginger over the onions, reduce heat to low, and cook gently 5 minutes until onions are softened and translucent. Add red pepper and chayote and cook 5 minutes. and, Add about 2/3 of the coconut milk and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes to bring flavors, Add shrimp back to skillet along with scallions, cilantro leaves and lime juice. Taste and adjust seasoning adding more pepper if necessary, adding more coconut milk if desired for a soupier consistency. Serve over rice.

curry shrimp with coconut milk
curry shrimp with coconut milk

Coconut Shrimp Curry with Peas and Potatoes

  • coconut or canola oil
  • shallot, thinly sliced
  • garlic clove, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 cup potatoes, diced into small cubes
  • 1 small can coconut milk (about 6-8 ounces)
  • 1 can of milk (use the empty coconut milk can to measure)
  • 8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • salt and pepper, to taste

In a large pan, heat oil and add curry powder, cook for about two minutes. Stir in garlic and shallot and cook for a minute. Mix in potatoes, then stir together with coconut milk and regular milk. Add shrimp, tomatoes, tomato paste, honey and chili powder. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add frozen peas and cook for a few more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with basmati or brown rice.

Can I use reduced-fat coconut milk?

No. Since coconut milk is such an important part of this dish, it needs to taste good. So make sure you use canned, unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk. Light coconut milk is not creamy enough, and it also doesn’t taste very good.

Can I use frozen shrimp?

Yes, but you should defrost them first. To quickly defrost them, place them in a bowl filled with lukewarm water for 5-7 minutes. Replace the water once during thawing. Drain on paper towels.

Jamaican Curry Shrimp with coconut milk

Jamaican Curry Shrimp delivers big, bold, tropical flavors from coconut milk, curry powder, garlic, and bell peppers. And, of course, we can’t forget delectable, juicy shrimp. This mouthwatering stew is flavor-packed yet surprisingly straightforward to make.


  • 2 tablespoons (28 ml) virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon (1 g) fresh thyme, minced
  • ½-1 tablespoon (3-6 g) Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper, optional
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) tomato paste
  • ½ red bell or green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk (unsweetened)
  • cup (240 ml) broth, or more (I use chicken broth, but you can replace it with vegetable or seafood broth)
  • 1-1½ pound (453-679 g) extra-large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven.
  • Add onions, garlic, thyme, curry powder, and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. If using scotch bonnet pepper, add at this time.
  • Add tomato paste, bell pepper, and green onions, followed by coconut milk and broth. Bring it to a boil, then simmer for about 7-10 minutes. Toss in the shrimp. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Adjust for salt, pepper, and thickness. Serve with Jamaican rice and corn pigeon rice and vegetables.

Curry In An Instant Pot?

Rather than using the stovetop and saucepan method, this curry can be prepared in an instant pot in a matter of minutes. Turn the instant pot to the sauté setting and add the olive oil, onion, and garlic. Once the garlic is fragrant the other ingredients can be added. Turn the manual setting on high and set the timer for 2 minutes.

curry shrimp with coconut milk
curry shrimp with coconut milk

curry shrimp with coconut milk and potatoes


  • Oil- 1 tbsp
  • Whole cardamom- 2
  • Whole cloves- 2
  • Bay leaf-1
  • Onion, chopped-1
  • Tomatoes, chopped- 2
  • Potatoes, diced- 3
  • Shrimp, shelled and deveined- 15
  • Chili powder- 1 tsp (add more if you want this curry to be spicy)
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Ground Cumin – ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ⅛ tsp
  • Ground pepper- ¼ tsp
  • Water- 1 cup (or use ½ cup coconut milk + ½ cup water)
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handfuls
  • Salt- to taste


  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat, add oil. Let the oil turn hot.
  2. Add whole cardamoms, cloves and bay leaf, saute for a few seconds till aromatic.
  3. Add onion, season with salt and saute till light golden in color.
  4. Add tomatoes and cook till slightly mashed up.
  5. Add diced potatoes along with ¼ cup water and cook covered till the potatoes just turn tender.
  6. Do not over cook the potatoes.
  7. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander power, ground cumin, ground pepper and salt to taste. Combine well and cook for a minute.
  8. Add shrimp and combine well with the spices.
  9. Add 1 cup water and cook covered till the shrimp has cooked well.
  10. If you want you could add ½ cup water and ½ cup coconut milk instead of 1 cup water.
  11. Open the lid, cook till the gravy thickens.
  12. Add cilantro, get everything a mix and cook for a minute.
  13. Remove the saucepan from the heat, keep covered for a few minutes.
  14. Serve this curry with chapati, roti, naan, poori, pathiri, rice etc.

What Type of Coconut Milk Should I Use?

You should used canned unsweetened, full-fat coconut milk. If using low-fat coconut milk, the sauce will be thinner and has a tendency to break.

Tips for Making Coconut Curry Shrimp

PLEASE TAKE NOTE! There have been some comments that the dish is too salty. I believe this is from using a lesser quality fish sauce, which will lend a saltier taste. Please use a high quality fish sauce like the one I recommend, or add just 4 tablespoons of sauce and then taste it, and add more to your liking.

Use fresh or dried ginger in this dish. I’ve used both. If using fresh, use 1 1/2 tablespoons minced ginger and cook it with the peppers and onions and omit the dried ginger from the coconut milk mixture.

I like Key West Pink Shrimp in my shrimp dishes. In my opinion, they’re sweeter and more flavorful than striped or tiger shrimp that are typically farmed. I find the wild caught Key West Shrimps in the freezer section at my local Kroger (under the Private Selection brand).

Keep the tails. I like to leave the tails on this dish for presentation sake, but if you want to, feel free to remove the tails from the get go.

Serve over brown rice for another layer of nutty flavor. If you’re a white rice kinda eater, go for it. Cellophane or rice noodles would be really good underneath too, or spiralize a few zucchini noodles to keep the veg-love flowing.


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