Friday, December 18, 2009

Recipe Spotlight: Indian Shrimp with Creamy Coconut Sauce

It is not often that I step outside of my Italian themed dinners, but last night I was inspired to make something new. My new favorite cuisine is Indian- I just love the exotic creamy sauces and tender morsels of the most delectable stewed meat imaginable. But I'd never attempted to cook it at home because, well, it just seemed too complicated! Exotic ingredients, unattainable cookware, and hours of stewing just not did not seem appealing to me. That is, until I realize that it doesn't have to be so difficult! I adapted the recipe below from Emeril to make it as easy and delicious as possible, and I have to say I loved the finished product. Succulent shrimp, crispy vegetables and a creamy sauce that was both sweet from the coconut and spicy from the chili sauce, with a distinctive ginger flavor that almost had my head in the pan, soaking in the aroma. I hope this recipe inspires you to make Indian food at home too!

Indian Shrimp with Creamy Coconut Sauce
Exotic flavors shine in this easy-to-make knockout! 
Serves 2-3

2 T. vegetable or canola oil
2 tsp. mustard seeds
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tsp. chili sauce, or more to taste
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. tomato paste
1 package frozen stir fry or harvest blend vegetables
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes OR 3-4 fresh tomatoes, chopped and mixed with 1/4 c. chicken stock
1 5 oz. can coconut milk
3/4 pounds raw shrimp (peeled, deveined and tails removed)
1 tsp. salt
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro OR parsley leaves
2 cups instant white rice, for serving
1 c. chicken stock, optional

Set a 14-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil and toast the mustard seeds and cumin until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are slightly caramelized, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the diced tomatoes and frozen vegetables. Cook for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are softened and tomatoes begin to reduce.

Meanwhile, prepare the instant rice by bringing 1 c. chicken stock mixed with 1 c. water up to a boil, add the rice, and remove from heat. Cover and let sit 5-8 minutes until liquid is absorbed. (If you don't have chicken stock use all water.)

Back to the sauce, raise the heat to high, add the coconut milk, and cook for 2 minutes. Season the shrimp with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Add the shrimp to the pan, stirring often, and cook until curled and pink, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped cilantro and season with additional salt to taste.

*Try chicken instead of shrimp. Add cooked chicken to the sauce when you'd normally add the shrimp for a delicious variation! 

Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse


  1. sarah, that looks delish. i'm going to have to try this recipe out!

  2. Looks Yummy!!! Isn't Indian food wonderful? I love it, it's so easy to cook to, and you can pretty much do whatever you want with it, once you get the basics down. Check out my blog, one of my first enteries was on a Shrimp Malai's a traditional creamy Indian curry with coconut milk. So good, and you can make it in like 15 minutes!

  3. Sounds wonderful, I am going to give this a try for sure!