I am so excited to share with you this recipe. If you know me, you know that the part I was most excited about moving to New York a few years ago was access to all of the Caribbean food!! I remember the first time I had curry, I was working at an apartment complex in the DC area and one of my residents, Ms. Judy, invited me to dinner. Ms. Judy was a short, petite woman with long, dark hair, caramel colored skin and a super thick Trinidadian accent. Ms. Judy also had a super fine son named Walter. It was at this dinner she taught me to cook curry chicken from scratch; every detail from how to clean the chicken to which curry to buy, she was so meticulous. It was also at this dinner that I realized she was trying to hook me up with her son and I needed to know how to make his favorite dish! Things never went anywhere with me and Walter, but I did get a great foundation of how to make curry from his mama!
Since, I've experimented with the recipe she gave me as a foundation to make my own version that speaks to my preferences and dietary needs. Enter coconut milk. I'm obviously not the first person to ever use coconut milk in curry, duh! But I wanted to give the sauce a richness you'd usually get from adding potatoes the way Ms. Judy taught me, without adding the additional simple carbs to the dish. I also wanted to achieve this without adding dairy (it hates me!) or coconut cream, because I find it too sweet for this dish. I also wanted a way to control the spice before it was too late to turn back, which is where the burst pepper comes in. My mentor and big sis Marj is also Trinidadian and taught me in cooking to cut the bottom of a hot pepper and add it to a dish as it simmers. This slowly infuses heat and you can remove when you reach the level of spiciness you want. Ms. Judy seasoned the dish with cut up pepper sand some cayenne. By the time it was done it was the level it would be and there was no going back. And I like spicy...but DAMN!
Some quick tips based on the testers of this recipe:
- Make sure you use full-fat coconut milk. It's necessary to have the cream in the milk because that is what will allow it to thicken to a gravy consistency.
- Add the salt for the sauce a little at a time to get to the taste you want. You may not need all of it, but you won't need more than 1 teaspoon no matter what.
- If you make this with cauliflower, it's important to make the sauce and add already steamed, fried or roasted cauliflower after the water, just at the end. Otherwise it will over cook.
- If you want a thicker sauce, remove the protein to avoid over cooking, then simmer longer. Just remember sauce will thicken as it cools.
If you'd like to see an accompanying cooking video for this recipe on my channel, be sure to let me know in the comments below. While you're there, give it a like and subscribe (and a share) please!! I've already posted a few other videos there as well, so get comfortable and watch them all!!
What is your favorite dish outside of your own culture that you can't get enough of?
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Nutrition per serving (without rice): 262 calories, 19.2g fat, 7.3g fat, 15.4g protein
For the shrimp:
- 8oz Shrimp
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 tbsp Cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp Parsley
- 1/2 tsp Allspice
- 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
- 1/4 tsp Ground Clove
For the Sauce:
- 1 tbsp Grapeseed Oil (or high heat oil)
- 1/4 cup Shallot, finely minced
- 4-6 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 tbsp Curry Powder
- 1 cup Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 3/4 cup Water
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 whole Scotch bonnet, Habanero or Hot Cherry Pepper, sliced open at bottom (optional)