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.  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.

 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!

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