Shrimp with cashew-yoghurt sauce. Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post.

WATCH: Make a shrimp with cashew-yoghurt sauce


  • 16-20 count frozen shrimp, shell-on and deveined
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 2 cups plain Greek yoghurt, preferably full-fat


  1. Place the shrimp (to taste) in a bowl of tap water and let them defrost a bit while you prep the butter. 
  2. When you can, pull off the tails and reserve.
  3. Melt the butter in the pot, over medium-low heat. As soon as white milk solids form on the surface, skim off and discard them. The butter should be mostly golden and clear; you have clarified it enough for this dish.
  4. Add the reserved shrimp tails; cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. (You are infusing the butter with shrimp flavor!)
  5. Meanwhile, peel the shrimp; it's okay if they are not fully defrosted. Discard the shells or reserve to make broth (see the NOTE, below). Cut the onion into small dice. Mince the garlic.
  6. Remove the shrimp tails from the pot and discard, then stir in the onion and garlic. Increase the heat to medium; cook for 3 or 4 minutes until just softened, stirring a few times, then add the chilli powder, cumin, turmeric, salt and pepper, stirring to incorporate. Add half the cashews.
  7. Add the yoghurt, stirring to form a thick sauce; cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to low.
  8. At this point, you can decide: Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree the mixture right in the pot. (For a textured sauce or to make less of a mess, you can skip the blending step; if you don't have an immersion blender, you can transfer the mixture to a food processor.)
  9. Drain the shrimp and add them to the pot, along with the remaining cashews. 
  10. Increase the heat to medium; cook for about 4 minutes, stirring to make sure all the shrimp is pink and no longer translucent. Taste and add more salt and/or chilli powder, as needed.
  11. Divide among wide, shallow bowls. 
  12. Sprinkle each portion with a little chilli powder, and serve warm.


  • Having a broth made from shrimp shells gives you a flavorful head start on seafood soups, chowders and sauces. 
  • To make it, combine the reserved shells from this recipe, half an onion or some fennel scraps and a few peppercorns in a medium saucepan. 
  • Cover with water and bring barely to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 15 minutes. 
  • Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a heatproof container; cool and freeze flat in a zip-top bag for up to 6 months. (Be sure to label, including the date.)

The Washington Post/Adapted from