Twice as Tasty

Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt

I always buy unpeeled raw shrimp so that I can save the shells for stock

By Julie Laing
Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt. Photo by Julie Laing

I eat plenty of yogurt under granola and blended into smoothies, but like sour cream, it has far more uses. Some are cold, like the dip recipe I shared last week, but yogurt can be delicious in hot meals too.

I’ve been making yogurt for decades, and you’ll find my simple technique at TwiceAsTasty.com. If you buy yogurt, choose a plain one so that you can flavor it as you like – sweet or savory. It’s easy to add honey or vanilla to taste to a serving of yogurt; for a fruity yogurt, stir in a spoonful of jam or berry syrup or mix in fresh fruit. Then you can scoop from that same container of plain yogurt to smooth out a bean dip or make a sauce for shrimp, fish or potatoes. I typically serve the sauce I share here with shrimp, but it can be used on all three.

It’s so easy to overcook shrimp that I avoid precooked ones. I always buy unpeeled raw shrimp so that I can save the shells for stock, which is easy to make from scraps and compounds the flavor of any shrimp dish.

In this recipe, the flavor mainly comes from the blend of spices, which I’ve listed separately. If you don’t keep these individual spices in your kitchen, replace them with 2 to 3 teaspoons of your favorite homemade or store-bought curry blend. If you want a little garnish, opt for a sprinkling of minced cilantro and a squeeze of lemon. Serve these shrimp on their own, over rice, alongside flatbread and sauteed vegetables or as part of an Indian spread with chutney and pickles.

Indian-Inspired Shrimp in Yogurt

Serves 4

1-1/2 pounds raw shrimp

3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided

2 tablespoons sunflower or canola oil

1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika or chili paste

1/2 cup yogurt, lightly whipped

1/4 cup water (optional)

Defrost the shrimp under cold running water if frozen, and then remove the shells. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of salt on the shrimp; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about five minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and cook an additional one to two minutes, until golden. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric and paprika or chili paste. Add a spoonful of yogurt at a time, stirring constantly; cook for two to three minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add the shrimp and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, stirring to coat with yogurt. Stir in water as needed to make a bubbly sauce, and then bring the mixture almost to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about seven minutes, just until the shrimp are cooked through. Serve immediately.

Julie Laing is a Bigfork-based cookbook author and food blogger at TwiceAsTasty.com.

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