Shrimp curry for the cilantro-crazy

Monsieur and I love Indian food, the kiddo not so much. I still remember how, as a two-year-old, he would moan with delight while eating a mild chicken curry, all my friends were astounded. But Indian fare became a total no-no when Junior entered his picky phase and the Cilantro-crazy Quickie Shrimp Curry I made last night was no exception. Dad and Mom loved it to the extent of wanting to wallow in it. Junior had roast chicken and popcorn cauliflower also, let’s cheer at least the vegetable team for that small victory.

As a food writer, I am endlessly collecting recipes in a FileMaker Pro database that is 20 or so recipes shy of 10,000. If you do the math, I would need to cook 3 brand new recipes a day for the next 9 1/2 years just to try all of them once. (9 1/2, she says, is that a coincidence or is there subconcious meaning here, do you think.) Of course, that does not include all those recipe books I buy every month, to the tune of 2 or 3.

Yet, while I have no realistic hope of ever cooking the recipes I collect, I often will do a Find in my database, say for shrimp curry, read the 3 or 4 recipes I am bound to unearth, and then start combining them according to ingredients I am missing or just a desired taste profile. Case in point: the curry I cooked last night, a mix of a recipe I found on the web and the ingredients I found—or more to the point, did not find—in the fridge.

If you are not crazy about cilantro, you will loathe this recipe because really, it’s all about the burst of coriander with other ingredients acting as a foil to our favourite herb. If you’re like Monsieur and moi, you have to…have to…try this. Ready in 35 minutes or so, it will blow your brain. Monsieur might even have gone on the record as saying this was my “best quickie curry” yet. And he’s not one to lavish easy praise.


  • 1. Heat oil and butter in a large pot. Add in onion and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to brown.
  • 2. In the meantime, on a cutting board, chop garlic and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Using the flat of a large knife, scrape garlic and salt again and again against the cutting board to reduce into a paste. Either chop ginger or grate using a microplane, then add to garlic and blend into a thick paste.
  • 3. Incorporate to onion in the pot and cook, stirring, 2 minutes or so. Add in the curry paste, chopped tomatoes, green onions and cilantro. Cook a good 5 minutes or more, stirring once in a while, until tomatoes start falling apart.
  • 4. Add shrimp and continue cooking until they turn pink and start to curl up. Avoid overcooking. Adjust seasoning. Serve with rice, sprinkled or not with fresh cilantro. (But really, there’s already a LOT in the curry, believe you me.)