Shrimp with Curry Sauce


The curry and tomato sauce here is made from the liquid the shrimp are poached in.


  • 1 pound large shrimp

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon garlic, coarsely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 1 3-inch piece fresh lemongrass, thinly sliced crosswise (optional)

  • cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger

  • 8 cardamom pods

  • 2 cups unsalted tomato juice

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • cup nonfat yogurt

  • ½ medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (1 ½ cups)

  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala (a spice blend available at Indian groceries and specialty-food stores)

  • ½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint or cilantro

  • 12 sprigs cilantro, for garnish


  1. Peel and devein shrimp, reserving shells and leaving tails intact. Cover; refrigerate.

  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add shrimp shells, curry, lemongrass, ginger, and cardamom. Cook, stirring often, until shells are pink and mixture is very aromatic, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add 4 cups water, tomato juice, and salt. Raise heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, skimming off scum as necessary, about 1 hour.

  4. Combine the yogurt, cucumber, garam masala, lemon juice, and chopped mint or cilantro; cover with plastic and refrigerate.

  5. Strain stock, pressing on solids, into a clean medium saucepan. Return to a boil. Reduce heat so stock is at a bare simmer. Add shrimp; poach, adjusting heat as needed to maintain a bare simmer, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer shrimp to a dish; cover with foil. Raise heat to medium high; simmer liquid until it is reduced by about half, about 20 minutes. Pour the sauce over shrimp; garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with reserved cucumber relish.

Cook's Notes

Pappadam, crisp lentil wafers available at Indian groceries, would be pair well with these shrimp.

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