It is not easy to come by fresh curry leaves here in Orange County.
So whenever they are available at the local Indian grocery store, I rarely let the opportunity to whip up something spicy slip by, especially during the winter months.
The curry leaf is one of the many Indian influences that blends really well into Malaysian cuisine, which is exotic and predominantly spicy.
The leaves impart an unmistakable fragrance when used in any cooking, especially stir-fries, that I can best describe as smoky with a citrusy note.
Ironically, unlike its namesake implies, the curry leaf doesn’t smell or taste like curry powder, although it is used to enhance the flavor of many curry dishes.
Growing up on an island where jumping fresh seafood is abundantly available has nurtured my deep affinity for seafood as my ingredient of choice.
And one of the scents that evokes fond memories of my childhood is the distinct aroma of curry leaves coupled with the briny-sweet aroma of fresh shrimp wafting from my mother’s kitchen whenever she prepared her pièce de résistance—”Shrimp with Curry Leaves“.
This dish is one of the truly “old school” seafood with curry leaves favorites before the advent of new creations such as Butter Prawn, Black Pepper Crab, or Creamy Butter Crab.
To fully savor the intense flavor of spices in this shrimp with curry leaves recipe, you have to lick the sauce coated on the shrimp shell as you take a bite of the shrimp, so be prepared to get your fingers “dirty.”
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 240 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
For more great recipes like this, sign up for our newsletter. We’ll send daily recipes you’ll love!
Sign up for our newsletter!
Shrimp with Curry Leaves
- 1 lb. large shrimp, shell-on and and head-on
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 2 sprigs curry leaves (use only the leaves)
- 5-10 bird's eye chilies (depends on your heat tolerance, chopped)
- 5 shallots (finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Rinse the shrimp and pat dry. Season the shrimp with salt and marinate for about 5 minutes. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil and deep fry the curry leaves and shrimp for 1 minute or until the shrimp turn slightly crispy and color changes. Remove the shrimp with curry leaves and set aside. If there is remaining oil left in the wok, leave it in.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in the wok, put in the bird eye's chilies, shallots, garlic, and stir fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Mix in the shrimp with curry leaves. Add in the turmeric powder, tamarind concentrate, sugar and stir fry continuously for 3 minutes or until all the ingredients are well combined. Dish out and serve immediately with steamed rice.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
I would say this dish is finger licking good ..and so easy to follow, thanks for sharing
Super flavorful and so easy to make. I ate every one of those fried caramelized curry leaves!
This is simple to make and has awesome flavour. Im from Singapore, never seen this in any restaurant and it as least equal to any shrimp dish I’ve had anywhere in the region.
Cheap Charlies in Bangsar, KL, used to do a great butter cream shrimp with curry leaves and tamarind but in a cream based sauce was much heavier. I prefer this recipe, also prefer it to the ubiquitous cereal prawns that are everywhere.
BTW curry leaves are as easy to grow as basil if you can find the seeds we have a couple of plants in the window box all the time.
Hi, what if I cant see any Curry leaves in the market, What should I do? What leaves I can replace?
Just do without them. You can’t actually replace curry leaves they have a very distinct flavor.
Wow. I’m blown away by this recipe! I cooked this for dinner tonight and it was very flavorful despite the small amount of salt, which is a welcome trait in any recipe in my book. It’s my first time cooking with curry leaves and turmeric. So glad I finally tried this. Fresh curry leaves are hard to come by here. I’m from the Philippines. Thank you! Now I want to try your other recipes…