This simple 30-minute curry is rich and bursting with flavors and spices. Packed with healthy vegetables and proteins of your choosing, this recipe is customizable for not just taste preference but diet too!
I’m a huge fan of curries. Seriously. Everything about it screams comfort food; the combination of warming spices, the depth and earthiness of the sauce, the ability to pair it with anything I have on hand from vegetables to meats /proteins, and the sheer customizable nature of everything from the heat/spice level to the thickness of the sauce. It can all be adjusted to suit your preference, and who among us doesn’t enjoy some customization? 😌
Let’s talk a little about the different types of curries…
What I appreciate even more about the humble curry goes beyond the simplicity of the ingredients and prep work involved, and delves into the unique spice blends various cultures use to create their preferred curries. For example:
- Thai Red or Green Curries with notes of kaffir lime, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, shallots, and chilies.
- Indonesian, Vietnamese, Singaporean, or Malaysian curries often contains spices such as coriander, chilies, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, fennel, ginger, mustard and even cinnamon.
- Chinese, Korean and Japanese Curries which may contain turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, red pepper, black pepper, cinamon, ginger, star anise, cloves, cardamon, fennel, nutmeg, laurel leaves, allspice, and garlic.
- Then there are Caribbean curries (which this recipe is based on) that often feature spices such as coriander, cumin, garlic, tumeric, fenugreek, ani, and ajwa.
- And then of course there are the most famous of all the curry types: Indian Curries. Varying across the regions and provinces, the combination of spices can use any and all of the above listed spices combined in unique ratios to give you any type ranging from madras to korma to tikka masalas.
The combination of spices are all unique to not just cultures but regions and even households. It’s the small details (like adding a bit of grated apple to a Japanese curry or using more or less of one spice) that can make all the difference. With all this being said…
Here’s what you need to make this wonderful curry dish:
- Shrimp: I’m using large shrimp that have been peeled, deveined and their tails removed. (See notes below for other options)
- Coconut Milk: You can Make Your Own Coconut Milk, or, if using the canned variety opt to use full fat and ensure that it contains no artificial additives or stabilizers.
- Broth or Stock: Use either a chicken, beef or vegetable broth or stock. Today I’m using a chicken bone broth.
- Chickpeas: I’m using the canned variety that’s been drained and rinsed. If using dry chickpeas, be sure you’ve presoaked and boiled or pressure cooked them so they’re soft (but not mushy).
- Oil: I’m using extra light olive oil but you can use any preferred neutral-tasting clean label cooking oil.
- Cornstarch: This is a bit of an optional ingredient but I like adding a touch to my curry to help it thicken up into a luxuriously rich and silky sauce. If you’re not a fan of cornstarch you can opt to use potato starch, arrowroot or tapioca starch in its place.
- Salt: I’m using a pink Himalayan but you can also use a sea salt if preferred.
- Black Pepper: pre- or fresh ground works fine.
- Vegetables: Honestly you can use any vegetable of your choosing such as potatoes, cauliflower, butternut squash, peppers etc. Today I’m using some broccoli florets, carrots and snap peas…
(don’t forget to remove the tips and the fibrous string from the shell of the snap pea! ☝️☝️☝️)
And finally, but most importantly, the herbs, aromatics, and the core of our recipe, the curry powder! We’ll be using:
- (Minced) Onion: Red, white or yellow onions can be used.
- (Minced) Garlic: I recommend using whole fresh cloves over dried or powdered garlic.
- (Minced) Ginger: A small piece of fresh ginger goes a long way to flavoring our curry.
- Fine Thyme: Just the leaves, sticks and stalks removed and discarded.
- Turmeric Powder: This adds both an earthiness as well as a rich yellow color to our curry.
- Curry Powder: The one I’m using today is a Caribbean staple brand called Chief, and the ingredients listed include coriander, cumin, garlic, turmeric, fenugreek, ani, and ajwa. You can use any curry powder blend of your choosing.
Make it vegetarian/vegan-friendly:
To make this dish vegan/vegetarian friendly be sure to use a good quality vegetable stock and omit the use of shrimp or substitute it for another protein of choice such as tofu. Since chickpeas are high in protein, you can also double the amount of chickpeas as a great option.
What other meats can I use besides shrimp?
Cuts of beef or chicken can be used in place of the shrimp in this recipe. If you’d like to use fish or tofu, be sure to cook it first but remove it from the pan and set it aside until the rest of the curry is made then add the cooked fish/tofu in last. Once added into your curry, don’t stir or disturb it too much. If you do, you run the risk of them breaking apart in the pan and turning to mush.
Once all your ingredients are prepped and ready to go all you need to do is…
- Start by heating your oil in a skillet on medium heat. Once hot, quick fry your onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, turmeric and curry powder until fragrant.
- Add in your protein and toss to coat it in the aromatics before letting it cook through.
- Once your protein is cooked, add in your hardier veggies and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Next, add in your broth and coconut milk and cover your skillet and allow it to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Mix your cornstarch with 2 parts water into a slurry and add it to your simmered sauce, stirring until your sauce begins to thicken.
- Finally, add in your softer veggies (in my case it’s the broccoli florets and chickpeas). Turn off the heat, cover your skillet and let your curry sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Once your curry is rested you can taste and adjust your flavorings by adding salt and pepper and any other spices you’d like to suit your personal preference.
Once you uncover your skillet, you’ll have a luxuriously thick and creamy curry in which your medley of herbs, spices, vegetables and meat has simmered in.
All that’s left is to serve your curry with steamed brown rice or noodles or enjoy it by itself as a main or side dish. Hearty, healthy, clean and simple 😍
Also, if you like adding bit of heat to your meals, this dish pairs amazingly well with a touch of some Chinese Hot Oil or any hot sauce of your choosing!
Easy And Delicious Coconut Curry
- 2 tbsp extra light olive oil
- ¼ med onion finely minced
- 1 clove garlic finely minced
- ½ tsp fresh ginger finely grated
- ½ tsp fine thyme leaves only
- ½ tbsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder optional
- ½ lb Shrimp or your choice of protein (see notes)
- 1 large carrot cut into diagonal slices
- ½ cup snap peas ends and strings removed
- ½ cup coconut milk full fat, unsweetened
- 1 cup chicken bone broth or stock or vegetable broth/stock
- 1 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 8 oz Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans) about half a can (precooked)
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt to taste
- 1 tsp ground black pepper to taste
To garnish: hot chili oil, chopped parsley, sesame seeds.
- To a large pot or skillet on med-heat, add your oil, onion, garlic, ginger, thyme, curry powder and turmeric powder and fry until fragrant.
- Add your protein of choice and cook until cooked through.
- Next, add in your carrots, snap peas, and (if using) cubed squash and potatoes and let your vegetables cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the broth and coconut milk (it should be enough to cover at least 75% of your meat and veggies). Cover and simmer for 5-7 minutes.
- Mix the cornstarch (or potato starch) with a 2 tbsp of water to make a slurry, stir it into your simmering curry and stir to allow it to thicken evenly.
- Finally, mix in broccoli and precooked chickpeas, turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley. Additionally you can add a touch of chili oil to bring some heat to your curry.
- Serve with steamed brown rice or noodles.
- To make a vegetarian/vegan friendly version omit the use of meat or use a clean-eating protein substitute (a great option is to double the amount of chickpeas) and use a vegetable broth.
- You can use any protein of your choosing from chicken to beef to tofu or fish. If using tofu or fish, cook it first, then remove it and set it aside until the curry is done, then add it in after stirring the broccoli and chickpeas into the curry. Cover and avoid disturbing it too much.
- You can adjust the amounts of vegetables and types of vegetables used to suit your personal preference based on what you like or have on hand. Other great options include cubed potato, sweet potato, butternut squash, cauliflower, etc.
- You can also adjust the liquid level/ thickness by adding more broth or coconut milk or water to your curry.