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Shrimp Curry with Peas

December 2, 2009
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I come from a seafood-loving family.  Fish, shrimp, crabs, squid, clams, just about everything– even the raw stuff (although, for me, that’s been more of a recent development).  My parents and my little sister live in central Wisconsin, where there is an obvious dearth of fresh seafood.  Unless you like trout and other fish that live in fresh water.  (Don’t get me wrong– I love myself some trout but it’s nice to have other options.) 

So when my mom and my sister visited us over Thanksgiving, they were pretty excited to eat fresh seafood.  We went to the Maine Avenue Fish Market, where they bought enough crab to feed a small army and fresh clams.  My sister wanted to steam the clams, freeze them (and the steaming water) and bring it back to Wisconsin to make real, true clam chowder.  All I have to say is that with all that effort, I hope they make the best clam chowder in the world.

I also got some big, fat Carolina shrimp at the market and I decided to make a curry.  I got home from work, and I was absolutely starving.  I threw the curry together in about 20 minutes, and it smelled so good my mouth was watering.  That was when I realized I hadn’t made the rice.  So I had to wait another 40 minutes.  It was 40 minutes of absolute torture.  This shrimp curry was definitely worth the wait, as are most Cooks Illustrated recipes, and hopefully I’ll have time to give their other curry recipes a shot!

Shrimp Curry with Yogurt and Peas

(From Cooks Illustrated)

1/4 cup vegetable oil (canola oil)
1 medium onion , sliced thin
4 large cloves garlic , pureed
1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger , peeled and pureed
1 1/2 pounds shrimp , peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon table salt , plus more to taste
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeño chile , stemmed and cut in half through the stem end
1 cup green peas (thawed if frozen, or fresh)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Heat oil in large deep skillet or soup kettle, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Add onion to skillet; sauté until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in garlic, ginger, ground spices, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and yogurt; cook, stirring almost constantly, until liquid evaporates, oil separates and turns orange, and spices begin to fry, 5 to 7 minutes, depending on skillet or kettle size. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until spices smell cooked, about 30 seconds longer.

Stir in cilantro. Add 2 cups water and jalapeño and season with salt; bring to simmer. Reduce heat; cover and simmer.  Add shrimp and peas. Simmer 3 minutes longer and serve.

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