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South Indian Style
Shrimp Curry

This curry is an attempt to recreate one of the most memorable seafood dishes I have ever eaten. It came while on a brief visit to Kochi, the capital of the Indian state of Kerala, and the taste of the ultra fresh shrimp against a spicy sauce of coconut cream, tomatoes and spices is something that has stayed with me ever since. It is hard to try and successfully recreate a dish that you sample on your travels, but this one comes pretty darn close.

A bowl of Shrimp Curry by Simon Majumdar being scooped with a spoon

South Indian Style Shrimp Curry Recipe

(Serves About 2-4)


24 Shrimp (15-21 Count – Peeled, Tail On)

  • ¼ Cup Canola Oil

  • 1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds

  • 5 Black Pepper Corns

  • 3 Green Cardamom

  • 5 Curry Leaves (Optional)

  • 1 White Onion (Blended to a Puree)

  • 4 Cloves Garlic (Blended to a Puree)

  • 2 Inches Fresh Ginger (Blended to a Puree)

  • 4 Serrano Chili (Deseeded and Blended to a Puree)

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Turmeric

  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Red Chili Powder

  • Kosher Salt (To Taste

  • Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)

  • 1 x 14.5-oz Can Chopped Tomatoes

  • 1 x 14-oz Can Coconut Milk
  • 24 Shrimp (15-21 Count – Peeled, Tail On)

  • ½ Lime (Juice and Zest)

  • ¼ Cup Freshly Cilantro Leaf (Finely Chopped)


  1. Heat the canola oil to a medium heat in a large saucepan or wok.

  2. Add the fennel seeds, the peppercorns, the cardamom and the curry leaves to the oil.

  3. Once the seeds, etc. begin to pop, add the blended onion and cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes.

  4. Add the blended garlic, ginger and serrano chili and cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes.

  5. Add the ground spices, and salt and pepper. Combine well and cook on a medium heat from 2-3 minutes or until the spices lose their raw smell.

  6. Add the chopped tomatoes. Combine well and cook for 3-4 minutes.

  7. Add the coconut milk. Combine well and cook the sauce until it has reduced by half and thickened.

  8. Gently place the shrimp in the sauce and cook gently until the shrimp has begun to turn pink.

  9. Check seasoning and add salt, as needed.

  10. Sprinkle with lime juice and zest.

  11. Sprinkle with cilantro just before serving.

  12. Serve with steamed rice, pulao rice or Indian breads.


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