Goan Shrimp Curry

Goan Shrimp Curry – Serves 4

Goa is a small, beautiful state in the southern part of India. Goan cuisine is exquisite and known to be hot (spicy), colorful and flavorful. Some of India’s most famous curries including Vindaloo, Xacutti, and Sorpotel come from the region in and around Goa. Β Goan shrimp curry is another popular curry – a traditional family recipe taught to me by my mother-in-law who, in turn, was taught by her mother in law.

Shrimp is simmered in a red “masala” or gravy consisting of onions, dried Kashmiri chillies, fresh garlic, grated coconut, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. I dry-roast the coriander, cumin seeds, and Kashmiri chillies, before grinding them in a coffee bean grinder into a fine powder. Blend onions, coconut and garlic with this powder to make a gorgeous red paste. Cook the shrimp in this masala and add coconut milk and tamarind paste. The coconut milk makes it rich, creamy and sweet while the tamarind paste makes it tangy. It’s a winning combination of sweet and sour spiciness!


  • 1 pound of medium sized white shrimp – peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 onion chopped ( 1 onion is to be browned while cooking and half is for grinding)
  • 8 to 10 dry Kashmiri chillies (deseed)
  • 8 big cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon of tamarind paste ( I used a concentrated ready made paste)
  • 1/3 cup of thick coconut milk (canned)
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro ( 1 tablespoon for gravy and 1 tablespoon for garnish)
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • salt to taste

Note: If using fresh grated coconut to extract coconut milk, grate 1 whole coconut. Add 1 cup lukewarm water to the grated coconut and blend. Strain this.


Peel, devein the shrimp. Wash, pat dry and add salt. Set aside.

Dry roast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and dried Kashmiri chillies after deseeding them. Roast on a flat griddle for 5 minutes. Cool, grind in a coffee grinder and set aside the dry powdered masala.

Β Grind the garlic, onion, grated coconut and the dry powdered masala by adding enough water to make a smooth and fine paste.

Heat oil in a vessel and add onion. Fry it till it’s dark brown.

Add the ground red paste. Stand back as this will splatter due to the water in it while grinding. Add turmeric and salt to taste. On medium heat, cover and let it cook for 10 minutes. Stir it occasionally.

Fry the “masala” well and add the shrimp. Fry this for a couple of minutes and add hot water. Cover and let it cook for 10 minutes.

After the shrimp is cooked, add tamarind paste. Then, slowly add the coconut milk. Keep on low flame and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.

Add finely chopped fresh cilantro and mix.

Garnish with more cilantro and serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

65 comments to Goan Shrimp Curry

  • Thank you for sharing this recipe πŸ™‚

  • You know what- I was just hurrying out but your shrimp curry made me stop to write. Love shrimps as anything…its a finger licking curry.
    Have a good day!

  • Thanks so much for stopping by and introducing me to your delicious blog! We love Indian food and enjoy many good Indian restaurants in Chicago.


  • Aamir Fakih


    You’ve made me into a cook too…I’ve started with your mushroom masala and last night was chicken keema..Both turned out fantastic. I think this goan shrimp needs to be next. BTW, a request..Shahi Tukda please.

    • Hi Aamir,
      Thank you so much. You really brought a smile to my face. I am so happy to know that you have been cooking these recipes from my blog. I will post shahi tukda soon!

  • I love that this recipe was taught from generation to generation. Helene from Masala Herb is living in Goa and that’s how I know about the city, but until then I didn’t know about the city. Looks very delicious, Asmitha!

    • Thanks Nami,
      Goa is a beautiful state in southern India. It’s very famous for its beaches, temples and cuisine. The opening shot of the film “Bourne Supremacy” is filmed in Goa. This last summer when I was visiting family in India, I was to visit Goa (family vacation) and meet up with Helene. Unfortunately, my Goa plan got cancelled.
      Anyway, whenever you visit India definitely keep Goa as a holiday destination!

      • You know the Bourne Supremacy was shot in that “Big Fish” shack in Palolem (my husband was all excited about that when he realized where it was), I had written a review about the place back in Jan. Apparently that house which they showed was just build for the movie and taken down right after it. Loved the place buy the way, the seafood was great!

        Ah Asmita next time I hope to meet you as well! For sure we can plan something in the future. =)

        Nami, you know your always welcome in Goa. Next time your husband goes to Bangalore, he should take you as well and then you guys should take a break in Goa for a little extraordinary holiday. =)

        • Hi Helene,
          I would love to visit Goa and meet up with you. Goa is one of my favorite holiday spots. As kids, almost every year during the monsoons we would take a trip there.The beaches, people and food are awesome!

  • Oh my gosh, I love curries and this looks wonderful! Can’t wait to try!

  • Lovely recipe….perfect balance of flavours….clean and neat presentation too…

  • Love this curry, the whole creamy and tangy taste is one of my favourites! And I have lots of memories of Goa!

  • I have never seen shrimp in a curry but I think it looks stunning πŸ˜€

    Choc Chip Uru

  • I love this curry and I like the idea of grinding the spices and create your own Masala. I did not have the opportunity to visit Goa when I was on holiday in India but it sounds like a fantastic area and something to keep in mind for the future travelling adventures.

  • Looks simple and delicious. Definitely weeknight doable!

  • Sour and Spicy delight! Love that goan prawns curry, in fact in general I am a goan food dish lover (but you know that already). I am still trying to get my husband to go to the market to pick up sungta. Those fisher ladies are smart and every time I go they cheat me, so I stopped going. My husband is tough and he doesn’t get that easily distracted with their little tricks. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for sharing your great recipe, my husband doesn’t like my recipe that much so I am glad to learn a new one and then from you Asmita! I ll let you know how I fared. =D

    • I love going to the fish market in India. Yes, you really have to bargain well. I am so not good at it though. In Mumbai,if my mom went without me to the market, the fisher ladies would feel disappointed. I always end up paying the price they ask for.
      Would love to know how the curry turned out. My father in law is originally from Goa and it is an authentic Goan shrimp curry recipe. Keep me posted.

  • I never knew about Goa but now you make me want to visit it! A few of my friends are Indian, perhaps I will tag along when they next visit. πŸ™‚ Love my curries, this looks like a beautiful recipe to try at home!

  • Droolworthy curry gravy! Thanks for sharing it.

  • Asmita – your curries sound so delicious…my mouth is watering and I have not even had breakfast yet. I want to come live at your house! πŸ™‚

  • Indu

    Mouth-watering curry you got there!
    I like the masala base for the dish.It is very authentic.

  • One of my favorite dishes from the south USA was a thick and rich seafood gumbo. This bowl of goodness reminds of that dish. It looks so rich and delicious, lots of flavors – WOW! Love it!

  • Beautiful seafood curry Asmita! Perfect for the first chills of Autumn!

  • i have friends from goa and i have seen pictures from their vacations. honestly, i just want to hop on a plane one day and go there… it looks like a beautiful place with amazing food. heheh.

    until i do something that spontaneous, i can make your goan curry and dream of the goan trip that i will some day go on πŸ˜›

  • I really love spicy, so Goan recipes are among my favorite Indian dishes. Never had this curry though – it looks incredible! So flavorful – I have to make this! Thanks so much.

  • Great looking shrimp curry! Goa is absolutely beautiful, and one day I will go and visit! Our Indian holidays were always to Hyderabad to my grandparents home. One day I will take my children and visit all the other cities. I am glad I got to visit the Taj Mahal and Jaipur when I could.

    Shrimp in Indian food is great because all the fishy smell goes away! I always like to make them spicy. This Goan curry looks delicious.


  • Goan shrimp curry and rice is comfort food for me! This recipe sounds fantastic, Asmita!

  • I would love to explore the different types of Indian Cuisine. It’s hard to find a variety here.

  • Mighty scrumptious looking! A great curry.



  • Dear Asmita last night I made Goan Srimp Curry and it was delicious. I was too lazy for grinding so I’ve used ground spices instead…next time I will try with seeds. It was very good even with ground spices!!

  • This recipe looks amazing. I love shrimp curry – I have to make it. I may not be able to get kashmiri chilies – any ideas for a suitable suggestion?

    • Hi Alyssa,
      Goan curries are made using a lot of Kashmiri red chillies to give that deep red color and flavor. Try adding Kashmiri red chilly powder (which is not so spicy as a regular chilly powder) and also gives color. Whole Kashmiri red chillies are available at your local Indian grocery store.
      There is a tangy shrimp recipe on my blog too and seems to be my family’s favorite.I hope you try these recipes!

  • Sanjpresh

    This really reminds me of my vacation days in Goa! Super food! Of course, I am a terrible cook so I can only hope.

  • Your photo pops! with the orange background πŸ™‚ yummy

  • I’m a sucker for anything and everything, Goan related. This looks sooo delish!!

  • This post is making me miss Goa! I went on a weekend trip last year with 8 girlfriends and you better believe we lapped up the shrimp curry….especially with the “pao” bread! Your recipe looks yummy! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Asmita – this looks really good – great flavors!

  • That looks SO good Asmita (LOVE curry!!). I guess the reason my curries are always a bit… “off”, taste-wise is maybe I’m missing tamarind paste. It seems to feature a lot in recipes, but I’ve never seen it. Is it very important?

    • Hi Charles,
      Tamarind gives the curry tanginess which helps and enhances the other flavors in the dish. I usually use a ready made tamarind paste (concentrated) OR just soak a small piece of tamarind in water and then after 5 to 10 minutes of soaking, mush it up with your hands in the water which will yield a tamarind pulp and then add this to the dish.

  • This makes me really hungry. It looks delicious.

  • thats a beautiful photo of yours asmita in the sidebar.

    goan shrimp curry used to be my fav curry with rice minus the shrimps of course. my mom makes in a similar way like yours. i still have not made any vegetarian version of it but will do soon.

    • Thank you Dassana,
      I also make a vegetarian version of this using mushrooms but using less garlic and masala. It turns out very well. We at home, enjoy eating non-vegetarian food but do enjoy this curry too with mushrooms or vegetables.

  • Beautiful recipe and this soup is so rich, thick and hearty. I love all the flavors.

  • Just perfect. I love a great curry.

  • This looks great! I’m afraid I don’t eat shellfish but I would also love to make a vegetarian version of this delicious looking curry. I often fail at making a good curry so I have a lot to learn from you!!

  • this looks fantastic. haven’t been to Goa, but i’ve heard great things. I love Goa Fish Curry, this looks just as good. πŸ™‚

  • shrimp and curry! Delicious combination and I think this would be so great on a cool fall night

  • Asmita, this curry dish with shrimp looks delicious and yes, I love it spicy πŸ™‚
    Hope you are having a fantastic week!

  • As a total curry lover all I can say it, OMG I want some right now! What a great recipe. Thanks for sharing;)

  • Now the monsoons have passed, I can’t wait to get back to Goan for the best curries in the world. Yum.


  • Persis

    Tried this curry 2days back and it turned out great. I added some more coconut milk to get some gravy and reduced the spice a bit and it tasted absolutely fine except the tangy flavor got reduced. Next time will increase the tamarind if I decided add more coconut milk again. My husband and I enjoyed this while the kids ate Mac n cheese!!!!!

  • Alain

    I just made this tonight and it was delicious. My curry wasn’t as liquid as it should have been. How much water did you add to your paste?

    • Hi Alain,
      I am glad to know you tried this recipe and enjoyed it. While grinding the cilantro, coconut and chillies I do tend to add a lot of water to get a fine and smooth consistency and so while cooking if I feel it’s a little too watery I go easy on adding water later. But, if want a more fluid and curry like consistency, I suggest adding some hot water 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup depending on how thin you like it. You can add the water after you have added the coconut milk too if you don’t like the consistency of the curry. I hope this helps.