Curried Shrimp in Spicy Coconut Tomato Sauce

It is a triumph particular to the busy home cook to have everything on hand to make a delicious lunch, especially on a rainy day at the end of June, when everyone is a little stir-crazy-cranky. We’re cooped up without a car. Some of us are teething. One of us would like a nap, and it isn’t the one-year old, who only wants to watch the Feist 1-2-3-4 Sesame Street video over and over, ad nauseum.

In the freezer I had shrimp, and in the pantry onion and garlic and a can of tomato, and in the spice cupboard all the little jars I needed for this Indian-inspired curry dish. Coconut milk would have been nice, but in its absence, I used shredded coconut which dissolved into the sauce, imparting a gentle coconut aroma.

Shrimp in Spicy Coconut Tomato Sauce
Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Steamed rice, for serving


In a large skillet over medium heat, heat vegetable oil. Add onions, and season with salt. Turn down the heat to medium, and add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, mustard seeds, cumin, turmeric, curry powder, coconut, and tomatoes. Check seasoning and add more salt. Cook 10-12 minutes. Add shrimp into the pan sauce, and cook 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add yogurt. Garnish with cilantro, and serve over rice.


Jillian Bedell

Jillian Bedell is a writer and mother living in a farmhouse in Cushing, Maine. She is very good at talking about herself in the third person. She is co-author of Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road.

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