Shrimp Madras Curry

This quick and flavorful recipe satisfies both curry lovers and those who have never tried making curry at home. Madras is a widely available type of curry powder named for the city in southern India where it’s made. A burnt mustard colored powder, Madras is one of the hotter blends, but the sweet coconut milk and punchy tomatoes provide a nice balance to the dish. The combination of coriander seed, turmeric, dried red and green chilies, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, black pepper, garlic, ginger, fenugreek, cinnamon, cloves, anise and mustard infuses stews with a slowly building heat that may seem puny at first but will have you sweating by the time your plate is clean. That’s where the raita comes in to play: a spoonful of cool yogurt sauce flavored with grated cucumber does a great job combatting the heat of curry. Serve Shrimp Madras Curry over an aromatic jasmine or basmati rice with a side of raita and plenty of warm flatbread for sopping up the sauce at the end.

Ingredients for Raita

  • 1 (7 oz.) container of Greek yogurt
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Ingredients for Shrimp Madras Curry

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. grated (peeled) ginger
  • 2 tbsp. Madras curry powder
  • 1 lb. shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 lime
  • Salt

Make the raita by spooning the Greek yogurt into a medium sized bowl, stirring until the texture is smooth. Toast the cumin in a small skillet over low heat just until aromatic, a minute or two. Grind the cumin into a powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Set the ground cumin aside.
Prepare the cucumber by slicing off and discarding the peel. Cut the cucumber in half horizontally and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds, which should be discarded as well. Grate the cucumber flesh and add it to the bowl of yogurt, along with the sliced green onions and ¼ teaspoon of the cumin powder. Stir the ingredients to combine, then garnish with the cilantro. Refrigerate the yogurt sauce until ready to serve.
Pour the vegetable oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot (such as a Dutch oven) and warm over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, until tender and just beginning to brown. Toss in the garlic, ginger and Madras curry powder and cook for one minute. Add the shrimp, coconut milk and diced tomatoes, stirring to combine all the ingredients well. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through and pink. Taste the curry and season with salt if needed (if the Madras curry powder contains salt, you may not need to add more). Just before serving, grate the zest of 1 lime over the shrimp curry. Serve Shrimp Madras Curry over aromatic jasmine rice accompanied by the raita (yogurt sauce) and warm flat bread.
Serves 4