Friday, January 7, 2011

Spicy Shrimp Curry

I love spicy flavor intense foods, and when I’m trying to eat more healthy (aka dieting!) I find I need even more than usual!  So I found a curry recipe online that looked promising… except it was waaayyy too complicated.  I really hate recipes that you actually have to run to the store and clear your whole schedule to complete. So, I set to simplifying the recipe to something that was easy to make and tasted good.  I was surprised and pleased at how fast this came together, and how easy it was to make. I liked it better than the curries that I order at Thai or Indian restaurants.  It IS spicy, so if you are not a fan, cut back, or remove some of the spicier elements like the cayenne pepper and the jalapeno.

I like to keep frozen shrimp/prawns in the freezer… it’s a great last minute thing to cook for dinner, and it’s an almost instant appetizer when people are coming over.  You can thaw frozen prawns in about 20 minutes by running a very thin stream of running water into a bowl, in the sink.  I’m going to be posting another 3 or 4 favorites prawn recipes in the coming weeks.

Here's what you need:

1 lb of frozen, raw shrimp/prawns, thawed and tails removed. Choose the kind that is pre-shelled and already de-veined
Juice of one lime
1-2 Tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, thin slices
1 large jalapeno, minced
1 2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
1 15oz. can ‘light’ coconut milk
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
Veggies!  Here are some suggestions
            Pea pods and carrots (I used grated carrots in my version)
            Bell peppers and Mushrooms
            Zucchini and celery
1 cup chopped cilantro, about one handful
Salt and pepper
Thaw the shrimp and pull off the tails… believe me, you’ll be happy you did when you’re eating this that you don’t need to stop and take each one off as you eat.   Oh yeah, guess who thought she’d save some time and not do that?... In the process, I also managed to stain my new white cloth napkin with the yellow fingerprints of turmeric and curry powder, which is super hard to remove BTW! 
Squeeze the lime into the prawns and add a little salt and pepper.  Let this mixture sit while you complete the next steps.
Add the oil to a large saucepan on medium heat, sauté the jalapeno and the onion for a minute or two. 

Add the ginger, garlic and the turmeric, curry powder and cayenne and stir until it’s very fragrant.  Add the can of light coconut milk and the can of diced tomatoes, including the juice. 

Let simmer for about 5 minutes and then add the cilantro, veggies and the shrimp.  I like my veggies quite crunchy, if you do not, put in the veggies first and cook a couple of minutes before you add the shrimp.  The shrimp/prawns cook SO quickly, and they tend to get hard if you cook them too long. I added the pea pods at the very last minute, since they cook so quickly, but I neglected to get a photo of that!

Serve over rice... I used brown rice, but basmati rice would be more traditional. 
Side Dish Inspirations
This a main course kind of meal, but here are some ideas to serve with the curry:
  • Green Salad
  • Marinated veggies, like cooling cucumbers to beat the heat.
  • Nan bread

Round Two cooking… make more and use it for:
If you plan it right, you could make some extras  for another meal. 
Here's some ideas:
  • Make a double batch, and before you add the veggies and the shrimp, take half the sauce out and freeze it. That way, you can easily add meat and veggies for a quick dinner.  Even frozen, this sauce would be easy to defrost in the microwave if you forget to take something out before work.
  • Lunches…. Hmmm, I ate last night’s dinner for lunch today and it was a nice warm healthy choice!

What else would this technique work on???
You could easily use this technique on:
  • Do a Vegetarian curry by adding a variety of veggies and serve over brown rice.
  • Chicken, Scallops, shredded beef or pork instead of the shrimp.

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