Pakistani Food Recipes/ Seafood

Shrimp and Coconut Curry in 15 Minutes!

August 25, 2018 (Last Updated: September 7, 2020)
15 Minute Shrimp and Coconut Milk Curry

Jump to the 15 Minute Shrimp and Coconut Curry Recipe

There is a kind of summer afternoon that is almost magical. The afternoon that is neither too hot nor too cold, pleasantly breezy, and magically mellow. As I sit and type this I hear the gentle swishing of leaves and branches, the lake water lackadaisically lolling against the dock, the kids quietly painting, and Coke Studio in the background. We are up in the Kawarthas for our annual cottage vacation. The first time we came up here my little one wasn’t born yet and now she is the one who is most enthusiastic and will plunge right into the lake on overcast days with an infectious glee.

I will be totally honest with you and say that although I have adjusted to it cottage living does not come naturally to me. In my childhood an outdoorsy trip meant going to stay in a fully staffed guest cottage up North in Pakistan. Outdoor excursions were peppered with “bhutta” (roasted corn), expresso, and chai breaks. Here if I want a chai break then I should get cracking right about now.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how time consuming cooking ‘our’ food can be. Most dishes, especially those with some kind of gravy, take a long time to get there. This delicious 15 minute Shrimp and Coconut Curry fortunately isn’t one of them. It gets ready thanks to the tomato paste and quick cooking protein (shrimp). If you want a smooth curry (i.e. no onion pieces) then simply pull out the onions after sauteing them and blitz to a paste with a little water. I’ve tried making a paste before frying the onions and I find two things happen. One it takes a lot longer to saute a raw onion paste. Two it takes a lot more oil. Bah I say.15 Minute Shrimp and Coconut Curry

Now if you’ll excuse me I am going to go hunt down some tea bags.

If you make this recipe do take a few seconds to rate it! I would love to see your recreations so tag me on instagram @flourandspiceblog !

4.45 from 9 votes
15 Minute Shrimp and Coconut Milk Curry
15 Minute Shrimp and Coconut Curry
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Pakistani
Keyword: pakistani recipe
  • 1 onion, extra finely diced
  • 1/4 t tsp kalonji (onion/nigella seeds)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 400 ml can coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 3/4 - 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3-4 tbsp tomato paste
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 200g peeled raw shrimp
  • 2-3 green chillies cut into strips (optional)
  1. Heat a little oil in a heavy bottomed pot

  2. Add the nigella seeds, let them splutter a little then add the onions 

  3. Saute the onions until just translucent and then add the garlic and ginger paste, cook for a minute

  4. Now add the chilli powder, turmeric, and 3/4 tsp salt

  5. Cook till the oil rises a little to the top then add curry sprig and 3 tbsp of the tomato paste, stir to mix

  6. Pour in the coconut milk, a pinch of sugar, mix well and bring to a boil.

  7. Add the shrimp, let cook just until the shrimp forms a open C shape.

  8. Adjust consistency with water per your liking ( I usually add a small splash) then taste and add more tomato paste if needed and the green chillies (if using)

  9. Serve with plain rice

Recipe Notes
  • This is a less is more recipe, keep the ginger-garlic levels scant for best flavour
  • If you wish to double it then put in 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder in the first round, 2 becomes too much somehow.
  • For a smooth curry blitz the cooked onions and spices together with a little coconut milk and then return to the pot and add curry leaves and remaining ingredients. Otherwise just mince the onions super finely and enjoy!

Plate of Pakistani Shrimp Curry w Pea Pilaf

Pin it right here to try later!

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  • Reply
    August 26, 2018 at

    Wow your angreziii(English)!! You should try writing a novel or something! 🙂
    How does shrimp taste ? I don’t know why but I can’t get myself to try it. Anyways, enjoy your trip. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 26, 2018 at

      thank you so very much!!! Also I really like shrimp, it’s fairly neutral but with a firmer texture. This curry works well with any white fish as well, do try it that way!

  • Reply
    August 28, 2018 at

    Hi sarah, tried making yor curry today but my onions were swimming in the curry 🙈 Where did I go wrong?

    • Reply
      August 28, 2018 at

      Hey – oh no! that doesn’t sound ideal! Ok so when you say swimming then I am going to guess one of the two following things 1.) that your onions weren’t finely diced and that two the curry may have been thinned out too much? I didn’t blitz mine into a paste so I had a little bit of texture too but not quite like what you are describing!

  • Reply
    October 13, 2019 at

    Can’t wait to try all your recipes but can you label how many people each recipe feeds?

    • Reply
      October 22, 2019 at

      I will thanks!

  • Reply
    Maria Z
    December 25, 2019 at

    Turned out great!! Thank you!

    • Reply
      January 8, 2020 at

      Yay!!! Thank you Maria!!!!

    Penny for your thoughts?