I’ve done shrimp stir fry more times than I can count, but felt like having something I don’t normally do. I love curried shrimp with potatoes and channa in a roti or over rice but never make it myself. I had a taste for curry and some shrimp on hand, and so, curried shrimp stir fry was born! The great thing about shrimp, although it is considered high in cholesterol, as is most shellfish, it is very easy to cook. Like, super easy. So easy, that it’s easy to mess up because people tend to overcook it. My family hails from Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados. We love curry, and I like to think curry from T&T is the best, though I am sure there are many people from other countries in Asia and Africa who would beg to differ. In any event, I love the way that Trini curry is flavored and anytime I go, I make sure to bring back the authentic stuff. And, if I can’t go myself, I put in my request for friends and family to bring some back!
For this particular dish, you will need the following:
1-1/2 lb. shrimp (peeled deveined)
12 oz. broccoli florets
1-2 heaping tbsp. madras (West Indian) curry powder
½ -1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper, deseeded (use more or less depending on your level of heat tolerance)
1 medium tomato
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
1-2 tbsp. chopped chadon beni (also known as recao or culantro, not to be confused with cilantro, but if you cannot find chadon beni, cilantro will do.)
1-2 tsp. thyme
1-2 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. olive or canola oil
1/2 bell pepper (green or red)
¼ c. water
salt, black pepper, and any other dried seasonings you desire (You know I love Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
- Rough chop the scallion, thyme, chadon beni or cilantro, onion, peppers, tomato and garlic. In a large bowl place the shrimp and add the salt, black pepper, any other dried seasonings of your choice, about a teaspoon of curry powder, chopped peppers, chadon beni, thyme and scallions. Stir it up and allow it to marinate for about 30 minutes.
- In a large sauce pan, heat the oil over a medium heat, then add the onions before the garlic to prevent the garlic from burning. Cook for about 3 minutes or until they get soft and edges start browning.
- Add the curry powder and let it cook for a couple minutes. The curry will darken a bit and will become grainy. If it smells like it’s burning, turn down the heat so that you can cook it for a few more minutes.
- Gradually add the water and cumin. You can add a little more than a teaspoon because the cumin really enhances the flavor of the curry. While it will be watery at first, bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. After 3-4 minutes, turn up the heat to reduce the water to create a paste-like texture.
- Increase heat back to medium heat, then add all the contents of the bowl to the pan with the exception of the shrimp. Stir and then place the lid on the pan to get the natural juices flowing. After about 3-4 minutes, remove the lid and bring the pan to a boil. Add the shrimp and broccoli and cook for about another 5-7 minutes, being careful not to overcook the shrimp. Once the shrimp curl and turn pink, they are pretty much done. If you want the broccoli and other chopped veggies to cook down a little longer, I’d suggest removing the shrimp from the pan and transferring to a plate because there’s nothing worse than overcooked shrimp!
- Serve over brown rice, quinoa or couscous and ENJOY!!!
Note: If you wanted to add some potato chunks, you could, but that wouldn’t necessarily keep it low-carb. They do, however, help thicken the gravy and add a little depth. To cook them, you should add them to the curry mixture (between step 4 and 5) before adding the chopped veggies and shrimp to allow them to soften a bit. No one likes undercooked potatoes! Just ask your aunt who makes the slammin’ potato salad! LOL