Photo by Nita Ragoonanan
Coconut Curried Shrimp
- 2 lb shrimp 56-60 count
- 2 stalks green onions
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup small diced tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. canola or vegetable oil
- 1 cup finely shredded coconut unsweetened
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder
- 1 large shallot thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. freshly grated garlic
- 1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 stalk lemongrass use only soft inner part
- 3 pimentos or Trinidad seasoning peppers if you don't have any you can use 2 Thai chili peppers
- 1 Tbsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1 lime
Rinse shrimp beneath cold running water and drain. Using a mortar and pestle or a food processor, grind 1/2 cup of cilantro, the green onions, 2 of the pimentos or Thai chili peppers and the sea salt into a paste. Season shrimp with the ground seasoning and black pepper. Set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
In a medium skillet over medium heat toast the shredded coconut for 4 to 5 minutes until light brown. Stir it occasionally. Set aside in a small bowl.
In the same skillet heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil on high heat. Add the shrimp a few at a time to cook. Do not add all at the same time. Brown the shrimp 1 minute per side then remove from heat. Set aside when all the shrimp has been fried. Do not worry if the shrimp is not cooked all the way through. It will cook more in the sauce. Reserve the marinade the shrimp was in.
To the same skillet, add the shallots and lemongrass and fry for 2 minutes on medium heat. Once the shallot has started to soften, add the garlic and ginger. Once this is fragrant, add the curry powder. The curry powder has to fry for a little in order to get out the bitter taste. Let it fry for 2 to 3 minutes then add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Add the last pimento pepper, if using. Just split it in half down the middle. Add the reserved marinade and let this come to a gentle simmer.
Once the sauce begins to simmer, taste it. Adjust the seasoning, if necesary. Does it need more salt? A little more Ohmpff! Go ahead spice it up some more, with a little black pepper.
Turn off the heat, remove the lemongrass and transfer the sauce to a blender and pulse to a smooth pureé. Add the sauce back into the skillet on low-medium heat. Once the sauce has heated through add the shrimp. Add the remaining chopped cilantro and lime juice. Turn off the heat.
Empty your curry shrimp into a dish and sprinkle with the toasted coconut. Serve over a bed of fluffy basmati rice or with roti!