My First Curry

I think I’ve just found a new weekly dinner staple for this family.


Fast, delicious, comforting and spicy. Adaptable to almost anything you’ve got in your larder without a trip to the store. In this case, we always have a bag of shrimp and a box of peas in the freezer, a few onions and carrots in the drawer and a can of tomatoes on the shelf. (A potato or yam would not have been out of place added to this mix…) And while the coconut milk is delicious, it’s not essential to a great curry.

I do realize that I will have to start keeping cilantro around more routinely. I think I’ll add it to my herb garden in the spring.

Shrimp Coconut Curry

This is not an authentic Indian curry recipe. It started out as this recipe, but I forgot to use the open can of coconut milk in the rice, so I decided to add it to the curry instead. I also added garlic and a few more spices – ┬áit just seemed like the right thing to do.

What I ended up with was not far from authentic. This curry is similar to those originating in the Kerala region of India. It’s pretty mild as curries go, and not bad for my first try at this genre of meals.

Coincidentally, a patient today dropped off a big bag of spices she brought back from the Kerala region of India, so be prepared for even more authentic curries to come.


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large fresh tomato, diced (or a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp coarse grain mustard (or mustard seeds if you have them)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (better yet, use fresh ginger if you have it)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Cooked basmati rice


Start your rice cooking.

Toss shrimp with some salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes until just pink. Remove from pan.

Heat remaning tbsp oil in the pan. Add onion and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add spices and cook one more minute, stirring constantly. Add coconut milk, peas, carrots and tomatoes – bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer till carrots are soft, about 5-10 mins. Return shrimp to pan to heat for a minute.

Serve immediately over rice with cilantro garnish.

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