20 Minute Spicy Coconut Curry Shrimp

coconut curry shrimp

This Spicy Coconut Curry Shrimp is perfect for hectic weeknights, made in 20 minutes from start to finish and is loaded with flavor! Coconut curry shrimp in a hurry is loaded with tender shrimp, crunchy bell pepper, onions and the MOST DELICIOUS coconut curry sauce. Perfect served with white rice.

photo of three plates, each filled with cooked white rice and shrimp bell pepper coconut curry and a black fork

Today, we are talking curry.  

A simple, (almost) authentic Indian shrimp coconut curry, but made very different!

Spicy Coconut Curry Shrimp is

  • Ready in under 20 minutes
  • Easy. EASIEST
  • Made in one skillet
  • Healthy
  • Spicy
  • Perfect for meal prep
  • Comforting
  • Delicious with rice

Why is this a revolutionary coconut curry recipe?

Indian curry recipes are made by adding layers of aromatics at different stage and cooking for a long period of time. More traditional coconut curry recipes involve freshly powdered spices and grinding fresh coconut meat into a fine paste, which is then added towards the end of the cooking process.

But, this 20 minute shrimp recipe adopts many clever shortcuts like

  • Tomato added in the end of cooking process
  • Spices are sautéed with shrimp
  • Using canned coconut milk
  • Bell pepper for added crunch

When it comes to quick weeknight dinner recipes, I tend to turn to shrimp recipes. They are always stocked in the freezer (my favorite is the frozen shrimp from Costco), thaws quick, cooks in minutes, kid friendly and delicious.

Some of my favorite shrimp recipes include – Instant pot shrimp alfredo pasta, Best shrimp soup, Shrimp fried rice made in instant pot, Instant Pot shrimp pasta with tomato cream sauce or this Garlic Butter Shrimp and Rice in Instant Pot

A photo of ingredients to make a Indian shrimp recipe

Main ingredients

  • Shrimp
  • Coconut milk
  • Green bell pepper
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Garlic
  • Curry spices – Coriander, cayenne and turmeric powder
  • Sriracha, sugar, salt

Method:

(Refer step-by-step photos above)

Step-1: Toss shrimp with coriander powder, cayenne pepper powder, turmeric powder and salt. 

Step-2: Sear both sides in vegetable oil and transfer to a bowl. 

Step-3: Saute sliced onion, bell pepper and garlic for just couple of minutes.

Step-4: Stir in sliced tomato, coconut milk, sugar and remaining salt. Bring to a simmer. Stir in cooked shrimp and simmer for couple of minutes. 

Step-5: Finish off with a dash of Sriracha

Done and DONE. 

A enamel cast iron pan filled with hot prawn curry and a brown wooden spoon for serving

Pro Tips:

Shrimp : Use raw, cleaned shrimp with tails intact. Since we are not using any kinda stock in this recipe (like this instant pot shrimp fried rice), the tails add more flavor when cooked and that means a flavorful shrimp coconut curry. Also, it helps in making a speedy shrimp coconut curry. You could remove tails, if desired.

Thaw frozen shrimp – Place shrimp in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold or room temperature water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until thawed (the time will depend on the quantity of shrimp). Drain shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.

Cooking shrimp – Make sure that the shrimp is cooked half way during the searing process, since it finishes cooking along with the curry. Overcooking shrimp tends to get rubbery. 

Bell pepper – The bell pepper is cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. The coconut curry shrimp in a hurry maintains the crunchiness of the veggie. But, if you have kids ( like mine) who are NOT fans of bell pepper, then I would slice them much more thinner, which tends to kinda mellow down / soften and have better luck with those picky eaters. 

Sriracha – If you like a spicier curry then increase Sriracha to 1/2 teaspoon.

Rest: Let the curry rest for about 10 minutes before serving for 2 reasons: Tomato softens and the flavor blends into the sauce AND Curry has a chance to thicken slightly.  

Is coconut curry good for you?

In general coconut curry is a very healthy dish, since it is made with good for you ingredients like onion, ginger, garlic, spices, fresh herbs and ground coconut or coconut milk. But, restaurant versions sometimes contain lots of oil.

Is curry with coconut milk healthy?

Coconut milk is made from fresh coconut meat and water, which is ground and squeezed to get a creamy liquid. Though high in calories, it is packed with vitamins, minerals and nourishes skin and hair. Consuming in moderation is recommended.

What is Coconut curry called?

Coconut curry is an intensely flavor packed dish, which is made from simmering protein, vegetables, herbs, spices and freshly ground coconut or coconut milk for a length of time. It is a staple dish in south east Asia and is called Kurma or Thenga paal Kuzhambu (which translates to coconut milk curry) in South India.

How long does shrimp take to cook?

It depends on the size and quantity cooked. Large shrimps might take about 3 minutes on each side, whereas medium shrimp cooks in just 2 minutes per side. You want the shrimp to curl up and look pink. Over cooked shrimp end up being rubbery. Try not to over crowd the pan, which slows down the cooking process and might make them over cooked.

  

A hand holding a grey bowl filled with white rice topped with spicy coconut curry shrimp held above a bug pot of curry in the background

How do you serve Indian coconut curry shrimp?

Enjoy with white rice / naans / rotis / whole wheat flat breads or even crusty bread.

Can I make coconut curry shrimp in a hurry with other veggies? 

Here are few vegetable options to use instead of bell pepper-

  • Red bell pepper
  • Green peas
  • Cooked chickpeas
  • Cooked potato
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach

How to store leftover Shrimp coconut curry ?

Cook and cool curry. Store in a tightly sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, heat in the microwave until heated though ( cooking for a long period of time might make the shrimp tough. So, remove as soon as it is heated though).

More Indian recipes with a modern twist :

Butter Chicken Pasta

Mango Mug Cake

Chocolate Kulfi

Kulfi Ice Cream Cake

Curried Sheet Pan Shrimp Dinner

Ginger Garlic Pita Chips

Tandoori Chicken Sandwich

Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake

Tandoori Chicken Salad 

Healthy Indian Spinach Soup 

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas that tastes like Tandoori Chicken

or a huge collection of Indian recipes

coconut curry shrimp
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

20-Minute, One Skillet Coconut Curry Shrimp

A speedy dinner made in 20 minutes from start to finish! Healthy coconut curry shrimp in a hurry is loaded with tender shrimp, crunchy bell pepper, onions and the most delicious coconut curry sauce. 
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: coconut curry shrimp, healthy shrimp coconut curry, shrimp coconut curry, shrimp coconut curry in a hurry, shrimp coconut curry Indian
Author: Maria Doss

Ingredients

Group-1

  • 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and tails intact I used 24 shrimps ( 31- 40 pound)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt, divided

Group-2

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sliced onions (cut into 1/8-inch thick )
  • 1 cup sliced green bell pepper (cut into 1/4-inch thick)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Group-3

Instructions

  • Toss shrimp with all spices and 1/2 teaspoon salt from group-1 ingredients. 
  • Heat a large skillet with vegetable oil over medium-high heat. When hot, place shrimp in a single layer, cook for about 1 minute and turn over and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Remove shrimp (trying to drain most of the oil) into a bowl. The shrimp will be only half cooked at this point ( If you cook shrimp longer then it might get over cooked and get a little tough). 
  • Now, add sliced onions, bell pepper and garlic. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes, and then add  all group-3 ingredients (except Sriracha ) and 1/4 teaspoon plus  2 pinches salt.
    Stir well and let the curry begin to simmer. Add the shrimp (along with any accumulated juices), stir well and continue to cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Take coconut curry shrimp off heat and stir in Sriracha sauce. 
  • Now, let the curry rest for about 10 minutes before serving. This helps the sauce to thicken slightly and soften tomato which then blends its flavor into the sauce. 
  • This dish is best served with white rice but also good with naans / rotis 

Notes

Shrimp : Use raw, cleaned shrimp with tails intact. Since we are not using any kinda stock in this recipe, the tails add more flavor when cooked and that means a flavorful shrimp coconut curry. Also, it helps in making a speedy shrimp coconut curry. You could remove tails, if desired.
Thaw frozen shrimp – Place shrimp in a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold or room temperature water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until thawed (the time will depend on the quantity of shrimp). Drain shrimp and pat dry with paper towels.
Cooking shrimp – Make sure that the shrimp is cooked half way during the searing process, since it finishes cooking along with the curry. Overcooking shrimp tends to get rubbery. 
Bell pepper – The bell pepper is cut into 1/4-inch thick slices. The coconut curry shrimp in a hurry maintains the crunchiness of the veggie. But, if you have kids ( like mine) who are NOT fans of bell pepper, then I would slice them much more thinner, which tends to kinda mellow down / soften and have better luck with those picky eaters. 
Sriracha – If you like a spicier curry then increase Sriracha to 1/2 teaspoon.
Rest: Let the curry rest for about 10 minutes before serving for 2 reasons: 
  1.  Tomato softens and the flavor blends into the sauce. 
  2. Curry has a chance to thicken slightly      

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