Curried Shrimp with Tomatoes

By Ann Fulton

Quick to cook and loaded with flavor, this one-pan meal is delightful served over rice, polenta, or with a piece of crusty bread.
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Quick to cook and loaded with flavor, this one-pan meal is delightful served over rice, polenta, or with a piece of crusty bread.

 

Getting dinner on the table never happened so fast!

This one-pan meal relies on a bag of frozen shrimp, tomatoes, and a handful of seasonings that deliver exceptional flavor with incredible ease.

Quick and easy enough for weeknight meals, the dish is equally worthy of company. To further elevate the meal, I like to serve with Coconut Rice. (Go with the toppings for major wow factor.) Cilantro Lime Rice offers another complementary upgrade to plain rice, but for ease and reliability, you can’t go wrong with Baked Rice.

Originally inspired by a Melissa Clark recipe, curry powder is my go-to for the spice blend. Using the amount called for, the flavor is mild enough that my husband, who doesn’t count curry among his favorite flavors, has never expressed anything but enjoyment for this dish.

On occasion, I’ve substituted garam masala or harissa powder. You could further experiment with chili powder (perhaps mixed with some cumin and no more than ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika) and other spice blends as well as curry and harissa pastes. Note that spice levels will vary depending on variety and brand used.

A word on  shrimp…

Did you know? Because of their perishability, shrimp are almost always flash frozen within hours of being caught. This preserves their quality and flavor, and if you cook the shrimp soon after thawing, the resulting taste and texture with be close to fresh caught.

So, when we purchase fresh shrimp at the fish counter, they’ve simply done the thawing for us. And we usually pay a little extra for that service!

Luckily, shrimp doesn’t take long to thaw, and the process can be expedited by running cool water over top. Keeping a bag of shrimp in the freezer also makes this a handy meal to make on short notice.

For added ease, buy a bag that has been peeled and deveined. Make sure it’s raw though. I’ve made the hasty mistake of purchasing cooked shrimp, and while there’s a time and place for that, it isn’t ideal for this meal!

Frozen shrimp is frequently sold in two-pound bags, which allow for a second round of this meal in the weeks ahead. That said, I’ve recently been seeing more one-pound bags, which provide the precise amount of shrimp needed for this recipe.

I like to round out Curried Shrimp Tomatoes with rice, polenta, or a piece of crusty bread. Following are some reliable pairings:

Tomatoes are coked first to soften before the remainder of the meal quickly comes together.

After tossing the shrimp with the spice mixture, sauté the tomatoes until they start to soften and wrinkle, about 2 minutes.

Quick to cook and loaded with flavor, this one-pan meal is delightful served over rice, polenta, or with a piece of crusty bread.

The shrimp are then added, and depending on size and precise level of heat, will take just 2-4 minutes more to cook through.

Quick to cook and loaded with flavor, this one-pan meal is delightful served over rice, polenta, or with a piece of crusty bread.

The shrimp and tomatoes are finished with a pat of butter, a squeeze of lime, and a smattering of fresh herbs. The dish is truly an example of simple ingredients coming together in glorious ways. (Pictured with Coconut Rice, a delicious upgrade to the curried shrimp.)

Quick to cook and loaded with flavor, this one-pan meal is delightful served over rice, polenta, or with a piece of crusty bread.

This was a batch I made some time ago for a quick weeknight dinner, and I’m including the photo as it shows that two batches are never quite the same! The tomatoes in this batch were noticeably juicier, but importantly, the taste is great every time. 

Quick to cook and loaded with flavor, this one-pan meal is delightful served over rice, polenta, or with a piece of crusty bread.

I’d love to know if you try this recipe. Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @fountainavenuekitchen on Instagram and Facebook. Your feedback is always appreciated.

Curried Shrimp with Tomatoes
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 16 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings
Quick to cook and loaded with flavor, this one-pan meal is delightful served over rice, polenta, or with a piece of crusty bread.
Ingredients
  • 1½ teaspoons curry powder, plus more to taste*
  • 1½ teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (and an optional pinch or two of cayenne)
  • 1 pound large or extra-large shrimp (shelled, deveined, tail off; thawed if frozen and patted dry)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into a few pieces
  • For serving: Hot cooked rice**, polenta, or crusty bread; lime wedges; 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, torn or roughly chopped (a lovely addition but could substitute cilantro, parsley, basil, and/or scallion greens…or omit in a pinch)
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the curry powder, ginger, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and optional pinch or two of cayenne. Add the shrimp and toss well. Set aside. (Prep ahead tip: At this point, the shrimp can sit at room temperature for up to 30 minutes or be refrigerated for 2 hours.)
  2. Add the oil to a 12-inch skillet and heat over high. Add the tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt. Sauté until the tomatoes start to soften and wrinkle, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add shrimp mixture and sauté for another 2 to 4 minutes, turning the shrimp, until they are mostly pink but just short of cooked through.
  4. Stir in butter and cook for another minute, or until the shrimp are just cooked through. Remove from the heat and add a squeeze of one of the lime wedges (for those who like to measure, I add 1 teaspoon). Taste and add another pinch of salt and/or spices, if desired. Garnish with mint or herbs of choice and serve immediately with an additional lime wedge.
Notes

*Mix it up: Garam masala could be used instead of the curry powder for those who enjoy. Feel free to also experiment with different spice blends, like harissa powder or even curry and harissa pastes (noting that spice levels do vary from one to the other and brand to brand).

**For a flavor upgrade, I like to serve the shrimp with Coconut Rice. Cilantro Lime Rice is another complementary option. For your choice of perfectly cooked plain rice, I recommend these methods for Baked White RiceBest Brown Rice, and Black Rice.

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