Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shrimp coconut curry. Ooooohm...

It is cold. It is grey. It is wet. Very wet.

About ten days ago it felt like spring might be on its way, but a lot of rain has washed away any further hope. I know we need lots of rain but I also need my 6:00am runs to burn off some of the chocolate ganache and chocolate chip cookies that have been accumulating on my hips lately. So, on the 5th consecutive day of rain, I must concentrate on my mantra.

Rain is good, rain is good, rain is good. Oooooohm.

Rain is wet. Rain cleans the polluted air of this city. Rain is depressing. Rain washes all the dog waste (and more, but I will not get into that) off of the sidewalks. Rain = mud. Rain = puddles that my children love to jump in, in their cute little rainboots. Heavy rain means taking the subway to work. Light rain means it is just me and my bike in the pedestrian (and usually overcrowded) part of the center. Rain means soaked clothes, wet dripping strollers and umbrellas all over the apartment. Rain gives life.

Rain is good. Rain is good. Rain is good. Oooooohm.

I don't know about you, but all this oooooohming has carried me to warm, sunny Indian beaches and made me hungry. I hear the waves rhythmically breaking on the strand, the breeze gently relieving my skin from the burning sun. I am drinking the water from a freshly opened coconut and I can smell my lunch being prepared not far from where I lie.

Shrimp coconut curry. Big, plump shrimp, the sweat richness of coconut milk spiced up with coriander, cinnamon and turmeric. The tangyness (does that word even exist? Well, it does now!) of lime juice and lots of aromatic basmati rice. You want to join me?

When I attempted my first curry from scratch, I was intimidated by the huge amount of spices and herbs required. Also, I am known to get excited by new ingredients, to purchase them, use them once and then let them sit in my kitchen for eons. The truth is that making a tasty curry is pretty simple and once you have gone out and spent the money, these multicolored, quite inexpensive and wonderfully aromatic packets will go a long way, so it is a worthwhile investment, a promise of many curries to come.

Recipe found on Food & Wine.

Ingredients (for about 8 people)
1/4 cup oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
1/4 tsp cumin, ground
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 cup drained canned whole tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 cups canned, unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, shelled
3/4 cup fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped
lime wedges to serve

500gr basmati rice

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium to high heat. Add the onions and stir frequently until golden, approximately 5 minutes. Then add the ginger and garlic and cook stirring for another couple of minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the tomatoes (I used a whole small can, juice included) and, shortly after, the coconut milk, water and salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil until thickened, stirring frequently.
Add the shrimp, reduce heat and cook until they are just done. You don't want rubbery shrimp! Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro and serve with basmati rice and lime wedges. Unfortunately the only fresh cilantro I could find was purchased a few days before making this dish and there wasn't much of it. So I washed it, chopped it and froze it. It tasted good but didn't look as pretty as fresh cilantro. I kept my curry more on the liquid side as I had made plenty of rice to soak up the sauce.


  1. Oh, I hate rain! And when we lived in Milan it was worse because in ten minutes flat the streets would be filled ankle then knee-deep in water! But rain is the best time for staying in and savoring something luscious and rich like this fabulous shrimp curry! Wow does that look sooo good! Now, if I could only get fresh shrimp in France :-( Great recipe!

  2. Too fuuny! Yes rain has been getting me down recently but the sun is out here now!

    Good for you for making your own cuury! Love that! I also LOVE Shrimp curry w/coconut milk! It's one of my favorite dishes and yours look beautiful!

    Also, just wanted to let you know I am having computer issues so sorry if I miss a post or two. I am hoping to get a new one soon - right now I am on a temp

  3. How delicious! I love curries that have coconut in them. It gives them a pleasantly sweet mildness that I just adore.
    Sorry to hear about all the rain! Guess its a good opportunity to cuddle up in front of the tv and eat a little comfort food though, no?
    *kisses* HH
    p.s. dont forget to enter my competition daaaaahling :D there's an Amazon gift card that could have your name on it!

  4. Jamie - ditto. I actually used frozen shrimp. They were very good quality and I let them slowly defrost in the fridge so they stayed nice and tender.
    DD&W - sorry to hear about your computer troubles. No worries, posts will still be there when you get back.
    HH - daaahling, of course I entered your competition, right at the beginning!

  5. ...e altra cosa che adoro... il latte di cocco...sto curry lo adorerei! e lo proverò!

  6. Can't think of a better dish to lift one's mood! I lived in Paris and the constant grey, drizzle and rain got to me after a while; so I left! I regret it from time to time but sunshine is essential to one's mood I think!

  7. I don't mind rain but only as long as I am indoors and don't have to go outdoors. Make that indoors with this curry actually :P

  8. This looks like heaven in a bowl. I need a mantra. I can't believe how negative I was today. It rained all day here in Rome too. Honestly, the only thing that cheered me up was the smell of my osso bucco cooking. Tomorrow is another day. :)

  9. I HAAAAAATE RAIN!!! No "ooohhhm" from me! I'm spoiled by sunny LA weather and whenever it rains, I pout like a child.

    But I'll keep the curry, rain or shine. Curry in a dreary day just sounds marvelous to me.

  10. Terry - ciao! Fammi sapere.
    ToB - I would go crazy in a constant grey drizzle. All in all it was a pretty nice winter, so I shouldn't complain really.
    Lorraine - that is the problem, it is so rare that you can just stay home and watch the rain. Especially with kids...drop off and pick up is a nightmare.
    Nicole - a whole day of rain in Rome too? I love ossobuco...
    Sophia - I have to admit I am really jealous of LA weather. True, curry is good in ANY weather.

  11. Oh YUM! This is my type of dish! And just so happens that I have all the ingredients, how convenient and great on the wallet, like you spoke about!


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