Spicy green coconut curry (in a hurry) with shrimp

An entire bunch of fresh herbs and sweet, creamy coconut milk tame the heat of the chilies in this quick, easy and so satisfying green shrimp curry. While this recipe is wonderful any time of year, it’s actually pretty perfect for a hot summer night when you need to turn up the heat and sweat a little to cool off.

Life on Laurel Street has been a bit of a whirlwind lately.

Beyond the blog, I’ve had some freelance writing assignments for newspapers and magazines, filled up my nights with part-time editorial work for a food brand that I love, and — the most thrilling — taken on a few new clients in the content creation and social media strategy space. (Ping me if ya interested!)

If you’ve seen my Instagram stories, I’ve also chronicled some pretty soul-satisfying trips to the East Coast for my best friend’s bachelorette celebration and wedding. Thanks to my loving husband and superstar nanny, these have been kid-free, no-mama-talk vacays (so good, so necessary).

That’s all to say that dinner has been simple around our house. And by simple, I mean really simple.

This green shrimp curry recipe is one I can do with my eyes closed, with ingredients I pretty much always have on hand (except the shrimp). We eat it so much that I even made a video for you!

Like many of the spice-forward recipes I feature, it’s one from my mother-in-law’s repertoire of her son’s favorite meals. It’s one that my husband requests any time he sees his mom, and one that I've come to love, as well.

Made up of mostly fresh herbs and coconut, the spice level can be modified to your tastebuds. We like it really spicy around here, so 5 to 7 Serrano peppers (depending on their heat level) aren’t a typo. If you can find those little Thai green chilies, a handful of those would work in this recipe, as well. My mother-in-law’s original recipe doesn’t include spinach, but I like to throw it in for added flavor and nutrition.

 Spring naan flatbread
 Spring naan flatbread

COOKING NOTES

The spice level of this dish is entirely up to you. We like a lot of heat, so sometimes even 5 Serranos doesn’t cut it. Maybe start low and build on it. The sweetness of the coconut milk does a great job of balancing out the spice.

PREP TIME: 10 Minutes COOK TIME: 20 Minutes TOTAL TIME: 30 MINUTES

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS

1 bunch cilantro, ends trimmed
1 sprig mint
3 to 5 Serrano chilies (depending on desired spice level)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
2-inch piece ginger, minced or grated
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
Kosher salt, to taste
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 pound baby spinach
Cooked rice (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a blender, add the cilantro (stems and all), mint leaves, chillies, cumin seeds, and yogurt. Blend until mostly smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, warm the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and starting to caramelize, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Then add the turmeric and shrimp. Cook, stirring, until the shrimp turn pink and the water disappears, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the blended cilantro and chile mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine. Then stir in the coconut coconut milk and a couple pinches of salt. Let it simmer until the flavors start to meld, 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garam masala and spinach and cook, stirring, until the spinach is just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat. Serve curry on its own, over a bed of rice or with a flatbread for dipping.