Coconut shrimp curry with mushrooms. Picture by Karsten Moran/The New York Times.
I let the shrimp for this recipe steep in spices for a bit, starting with a combination of salt and pepper, turmeric, cumin and coriander, and adding chilies and sweet-sour tamarind paste. 

Mushrooms, a natural pairing, also played a part. You can use whatever cultivated varieties you can find, whether button-type brown or white ones, pale gray or golden oyster mushrooms.

To put it all together, I used coconut oil and coconut milk. 

My Indian grocery had fresh curry leaves, so I added those to the pan, but the dish is fine without them. Mint and cilantro and lime wedges decorated the platter.

Coconut shrimp curry with mushrooms

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 40 minutes

  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 serrano chili, finely diced
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • A few fresh curry leaves (optional)
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups coconut milk, fresh or canned
  • A few mint leaves and cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
Ingredients for your coconut shrimp curry. Picture by Karsten Moran/The New York Times.

  1. Put shrimp in a medium bowl, and season generously with salt and pepper. Add ginger, garlic, turmeric, coriander, cumin, tamarind paste, serrano chili and cayenne, and mix to coat well. Leave to marinate for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add curry leaves, if using, and let them sputter, then add mushrooms and stir-fry gently for about 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook, stirring for about 1-2 more minutes until shrimp have turned pink and mushrooms have softened.
  3. Add coconut milk and simmer for about 1 minute. 
  4. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with mint and cilantro and serve, with lime wedges on the side.
* The New York Times