This creamy shrimp curry is one of my go-to recipes when I want to impress my guests. It’s easy to make, always delicious and perfect served with homemade naan bread and fluffy rice.
Shrimp curry (Prawn curry) is one of our favorite meals as a family. There’s just something about plump shrimp cooked in an aromatic, creamy sauce. Served over steamed rice and homemade naan bread there are few recipes as easy yet impressive as this one. It’s as perfect for dinner parties as it is for a cozy meal at home.
- Shrimp/Prawns. Peeled and deveined.
- Curry leaves. This is optional but adds great flavor.
- Spices: I used Garam Masala, Cardamom, Turmeric and chilli powder. A good curry powder can be substituted but check on the ingredient list that it contains spices like ground coriander, ground cumin, cardamom, turmeric, chilli, etc.
- Stock. Chicken, fish or vegetable broth.
- Heavy cream/whipping cream. Coconut milk or coconut cream can be used as substitute.
- Lemon juice.
How to make shrimp curry
- Shrimp: Season the shrimp with Garam Masala and salt and toss well. Heat a deep pan over high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and add the prawns. Cook the prawns until golden brown on both sides. Remove and set aside while you make the sauce.
- Curry sauce: In the same pan you browned the prawns, melt butter and add the onions. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent then stir in the garlic, ginger, curry leaves and spices. Cook for another 30 seconds. Pour in the stock. I use chicken because it’s what I have in my pantry at all times but you can use vegetable or fish stock too. Pour in the cream, lemon juice, sugar (if using) and season with salt. Allow the sauce to come to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly. For a thicker sauce, mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour) into a few tablespoons of water and add to the sauce. Once the sauce is the consistency you desire, add the shrimp and any resting juices back into the curry. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes then garnish with fresh cilantro/coriander (optional) and serve.
What spices to use in curry
Each curry recipe will include a different blend of spices but the following are spices that are often used in curry.
- Garam Masala (a good quality blend of Indian spices is a great way to get all the flavor you want without using a lot of different spices.)
- Ground coriander
- Garlic and ginger
- Curry leaves
- Mustard seeds
- Red chilli powder/seeds
- Black pepper
Making ahead and freezing
Although I love making curries ahead and freezing them, this is one exception. The shrimp tends to be very tough once thawed and reheated. This really is best served when it is made so I wouldn’t suggest making it ahead or freezing. The sauce can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Sear the shrimp and add to the sauce before serving.
What to serve with shrimp curry
I always serve shrimp curry with homemade naan bread. You can use my recipe which delivers soft, fluffy naan breads or use store-bought dough. The key to making naan bread is a smoking hot pan and really allowing the naan to blister and bubble before flipping. This dish is also delicious served with rice (cauliflower rice is a great low carb option) roti or poppadoms.
- Easy spicy shrimp tacos
- Creamy lemon garlic shrimp pasta
- Easy lemon pepper shrimp
- Shrimp Aglio e Olio
Creamy shrimp curry
- 750 g (1½lbs) shrimp peeled and deveined
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 onion finely diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 10 curry leaves (optional)
- 1½ tbsp Garam Masala
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1 cup stock
- 1½ cups heavy / whipping cream
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
For the Naan bread (this will make 6-8 medium-sized naan breads)
- ½ cup warm water
- 10 g (2tsp) instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2½-3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- For the Naan bread: Whisk the yeast and sugar into the water and allow to stand for a few minutes until foamy.
- Add 2½ cups flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment.
- Pour in the yeast mixture, yogurt and oil. Knead on low speed until the dough comes together. If the dough is very sticky add more flour.
- Allow to knead until the dough is soft and smooth. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Once risen, break off small handfuls of the dough and roll out on a floured surface.
- Heat a large skillet then add the dough. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes until the dough is blistered. Carefully flip over and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.
- Remove from the pan and brush with melted butter.
- For the curry: Season the shrimp with salt and garam masala and toss well. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large, deep frying pan and brown the shrimp on both sides. Remove and set aside.
- To make the sauce, melt the butter in the pan then add the onions. Cook until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger and spices and cook for another 30 seconds.
- Add the stock, sugar, cream and lemon juice. Bring the sauce to a simmer then allow to cook for 7-10 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly. I prefer the sauce to be a little looser in consistency but you can thicken the sauce with cornstarch/corn flour if you prefer a thicker sauce.
- Once the sauce is the consistency you like, add the shrimp back in to the sauce and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Season to taste.
- Serve the curry with rice and naan bread.
Is it possible to replace the cream with fat-free yoghurt to reduce the calories?
You could but it won’t be as delicious and you need to be careful that the yogurt doesn’t curdle. Add it right at the end to prevent that from happening.
Got to make this curry and Naan! I’ve got curry leaves 🙂
Love your recipes, Alida.
Going to try this soon. Made the garlic grilled prawns. My wife desires it weekly now.
Of course like many I can’t find the curry leaves and can only find generic curry powder. Can I use curry paste? and if so, what do you recommend for this recipe.
The curry leaves aren’t essential. I would use any good quality Indian spice mix or spice paste. Garam Masala is always my go-to.
I have never seen curry leaves in any market. I was looking for curry powder seasoning in the recipe,, which is what I would use. How much curry powder, two tablespoons?
If you can’t find curry leaves you can just leave them out. The remaining spices will add plenty of flavor to the recipe.
What kind of stock do you use?
Would frozen shrimp work in this recipe instead of fresh?
I used chicken but you could use fish stock too. Yes, frozen shrimp works well. Just thaw and pat dry before cooking.
Do your nutrition stats include the naan?
No, just the curry since you can serve it with naan, rice, poppadoms or roti.
Was very yum! We used Spot Prawns which are quite large so might make add’l sauce another time. I’ve not used (nor found) curry leaves so used curry powder. I will keep my eyes open for them – presume they add a curry flavor? Great idea to make the sauce up and freeze for a quick dinner.
They do. They don’t replace the powder though, just adds more aroma.