Spicy Shrimp Curry

“I’ve got a fever, and the only cure is more …” CUMIN! Ok, so maybe it’s supposed to be “more cowbell” (I promise I will stop the SNL references). But seriously I feel like the weather got cold and some switch clicked in my head/stomach that commenced my craving for cumin. So far I have made Moroccan-spiced spaghetti squash, stir-fried cauliflower, and my pork tacos, to name a few recipes including this spice. Considering my affinity for all things cumin, the next logical thing to do was make a curry dish.

This recipe is adapted from the Indian cookbook 5 Spices, 50 Dishes by Ruta Kahate. I have to say kudos to my sister Molly for giving me this book for a Christmas present last year. She gave me the book along with bottles of the 5 spices (coriander, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper, and turmeric).

Although these spices are characteristic of Indian food, I think they are delicious in most cuisines. I was sad to see that someone had already thought of my idea to start an Indian/Mexican fusion restaurant called Cowboys and Turbans. I’ll have to visit one day, but in the meantime I’ll work on my concept for an Indian burger joint. The menu will feature “The Wholly Cow Burger” and “Don’t Have a Cow Burger” … that’s not offensive, right?

Spicy Shrimp Curry, serves 4

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 3 small eggplants, cut into 1 in. pieces*
  • 2 serrano peppers, cut in half lengthwise
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lb small shrimp (I left the tails on, but next time I will peel them)
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Israeli Couscous

*I used 2 small Italian eggplants and 2 tiny Thai eggplants, just for fun. I’m not sure I could tell a difference in the taste, but they added some color.

In a large saucepan heat the canola oil and add the onion. When the onion is translucent add the tomato, garlic, cayenne, coriander, cumin, and tumeric. Cover and cook until the tomato has broken down. Then add the eggplant, serranos, and salt. Mix everything together well, cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the Israeli couscous according to the package instructions for 3-4 servings. After the eggplant has softened, add the shrimp. Pour in the coconut milk and water. Let the mixture simmer, uncovered, until the shrimp is fully cooked. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Serve over couscous and try to save some for leftovers – it only gets better the next day!


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