Friday, December 16, 2011

Shrimp Korma and Basmati Rice

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? – June 17, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published by MyRecipes via e-mail on June 15, 2011.

For reasons I don’t quite understand, I don’t like spicy food.  When I came upon this recipe, I was excited since I had a bunch of basmati rice I needed to use, it was chock full of vegetables and it didn’t have tablespoons of curry powder in it.  This is important for the heat factor but also for a certain individual’s gas factor (not mine, mind you).

© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp Korma and Basmati Rice
Yummy, right?  It looks very similar to the original picture, although my curry sauce is slightly more red and brighter.  That is because of the type of curry powder I used, which I’ll detail in the ingredients section.  It was thick, chunky and smelled fantastic!  That is everything I want out of a curry… and more.

© myRecipes
You can probably see what attracted me to the dish, even before I read the ingredient listing.  They put their dish on a pasta-type plate, which I wouldn’t recommend.  It makes it hard to get last bit of the rice and sauce, which I guarantee you will want.  Also, they didn’t specify in the ingredient listing to use Greek yogurt, so I used regular low-fat yogurt.  Greek yogurt has a creamier texture which is why my yogurt seemed to melt while theirs seems to have some form to it.


for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessSIGH – Everything is done in almost a single pot with the exception of the rice, which means it should be fairly low on the mess factor.  However, my rice cooker seems to be projecting the starch from the rice EVERYWHERE.  That kicked the mess up a notch.  Add to that the messy prep and I came close to a meltdown.

Start-to-Finish Time: ALMOST AN HOUR – There is a lot of prep work to do so expect to be chopping for at least 20 minutes.  You can shave off some time by buying pre-chopped vegetables.  Just be sure to start the rice before you get started cooking.  My rice took over 30 minutes to be done.

Prep Work: LOSS OF FINGER POSSIBLE – You’re going to spend a lot of time de-seeding and chopping the vegetables for this dish.  Luckily they don’t specify petite cuts, but still there was a lot to do.  I saved some time used pre-chopped ginger and garlic, which would have added probably 5-10 minutes more to the prep time.  Finally, you have to peel and clean shrimp.  Not hard, but definitely messy.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – If you want the extra kick, you’ll probably have to go to a specialty store for the Madras curry powder.  The recipe itself is simply adding stuff to a pot.  The only trick is to make sure you have your ingredients ready to go since most things only need to be sautéed for 1-2 minutes before the next thing needs to go in.  If you’re not on top of it, some things could burn.

OverallYUMMY – The smell was intoxicating.  The basmati rice was a perfect fit with the spicy curry.  It was so delicious and worth making again and again.  The only reason I didn’t give it a SORRY HONEY, NO LEFTOVERS was because of the prep work, but if I have left over veggies, I’d absolutely make this one again.

Recipe Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of Spark Recipes.  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Servings: 6
Total Time: 30 minutes

There is a significant amount of food between the rice, shrimp and vegetables, so you should definitely get 6 servings out of the dish.  I would definitely serve it with a crusty bread so you can scoop up the extra rice and sauce from the dish.

It took me almost twice as long as the specified time to make it.  In fact, it took me over 20 minutes to do only the prep work.  There is a lot of chopping, peeling and cleaning involved. 

Here is how my timing came out:
  • Make Rice: 35 minutes
  • Prep: 22 minutes (done during rice cooking)
  • Prepare Shrimp and Curry: 25 minutes (started during rice cooking)
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
I can’t see how this dish could be done in the time specified even if you have only half the prep work to do… you have to get the broth to boil THEN simmer it for 5 minutes.  There’s also additional cooking time in each step.

Nutritional Information
  • Calories: 295
  • Fat: 5.9g
  • Saturated fat: 3.5g
  • Protein: 20.1g
  • Carbohydrate: 39.1g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Cholesterol: 119mg
  • Iron: 4.3mg
  • Sodium: 524mg
  • Calcium: 71mg
I didn’t expect this dish to be terribly high in calories, but I knew there was going to be some fat.  Shrimp is one of the fattier seafood varieties and it does use coconut milk as a base in the sauce.  The carbohydrates also didn’t surprise me since each serving gets approximately three-quarters of a cup of cooked rice.  I ran the recipe through my nutritional informational calculator to verify it and get a baseline for my changes.  Here is what I got:
  • Calories 238.5
  • Total Fat 5.3 g
  • Saturated Fat 3.4 g
  • Cholesterol 118.0 mg
  • Sodium 636.9 mg
  • Potassium 426.7 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 28.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
  • Sugars 2.6 g
  • Protein 19.0 g
I was pleasantly surprised that the calorie count was lower and that they were accurate in the fat and cholesterol numbers.  I was shocked at the jump of sodium in between the two calculations.  I made a couple of changes to the dish to lighten it up a little and make it healthier.  I started with the coconut milk and opted for a light version.  Then I found brown basmati rice.  The changes affected the nutritional information as follows:
  • Calories 220.5
  • Total Fat 3.4 g
  • Saturated Fat 1.7 g
  • Cholesterol 118.0 mg
  • Sodium 474.5 mg
  • Potassium 399.2 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 28.4 g
  • Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
  • Sugars 2.4 g
  • Protein 18.9 g
The calories went down slightly, which is always a bonus, but there was a significant drop in fat.  We also got a much needed dip in the sodium content.  I was a little surprised that the fiber didn’t go up since I used the brown rice, but I’ll take the other changes.  Even better is that the recipe is a great source of the following:
  • Vitamin C – an antioxidant that is needed by the body to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels, and which aids in the absorption of iron.
  • Selenium – which your body needs for normal growth and health. Selenium is needed for certain enzymes that help with normal body functions.
Changes denoted by red text
© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp Korma and Basmati Rice - Ingredients
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 cups organic vegetable broth
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup frozen green peas
1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
4 cups hot cooked brown basmati rice
1/4 cup plain low fat yogurt

Ingredient Notes:
Butter – The recipe didn’t say to use unsalted butter, but that’s what I always keep on hand.  What’s the difference?  Mostly that salted butter doesn’t spoil as readily because the salt as a preservative.

Red Bell Pepper – You’ll need about 1 medium size pepper to get the 1 cup needed for the recipe.  You can use green ones (which are cheaper) but red ones are riper and more flavorful according to Cook’s Thesaurus.

Onion – You’ll need about 1 small onion to get the ½ cup needed for the recipe.  Although the recipe doesn’t specify it, I used a white onion.

Ginger – I always have pre-chopped ginger on hand, so that is what I used to save a little time.  Peeling and grating ginger can be messy and time consuming (although definitely tasty and worth the effort).

Garlic – I used 3 teaspoons of pre-minced garlic to save some time.

Curry Powder
  • The recipe called for Madras Curry Powder, which I couldn’t find in several grocery stores, so I used regular curry powder instead.  Madras is a spicier variety so if you like heat, you may want to look in a specialty store or order it from Amazon.  It is also slightly darker in color which explains the difference in my curry compared to that of MyRecipes.
  • You can make your own curry powder using equal parts ground coriander, ground cumin, ground pepper, ground ginger and turmeric.
Coconut Milk – The recipe called for regular coconut milk, but I don’t ever taste a difference between regular and light coconut milk and it only has half the fat.

Tomato – You’ll need approximately half of a medium sized tomato to get the ¼ cup needed for the recipe.

Basmati Rice – I used brown basmati (pronounced bahs MAH tee) rice, which has the grain intact containing more fiber, instead of white basmati rice.  It has a slightly stronger flavor and takes a lot longer to cook, so if you’re pressed for time, you may want to use the white variety.  The cooked rice is dry which makes the curry stick better to it, as compared to sticky sushi rice.  You can use long-grain rice to help your budget or jasmine rice if you can’t find basmati.

Yogurt – The recipe called for fat-free, but I already had low-fat on hand so I used that.  Since I made this recipe, I’ve discovered and developed a love for Greek yogurt.  I certainly would use that next time.

Equipment Needed:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp Korma and Basmati Rice - equipment
Cutting board
Sharp knife
(2) Medium bowls
(2) Small bowls
Rice Cooker
Dutch oven
Large spoon

Equipment Notes:
Medium Bowls – I use one to collect the peeled shrimp and one for the peels (and as a garbage bowl).

Small Bowls – Even though the recipe doesn’t call for the spices to be pre-mixed, I found it helps a lot when you have to add things to your pot quickly.  Spices can burn, so it helps to have them premeasured and mixed.

Rice Cooker – You don’t really NEED one, but you’ll have to make the rice and this takes the hands-on time for the rice out of the equation.  You just add the rice and water and turn it on!  If you don’t have one, include a saucepan, spoon and fork into your equipment list.


(1)  Cook rice as directed on package or cooker.

(2)  In a bowl, mix the flour, ginger and garlic.  Set aside.
In step #7, you’re going to have to add the spices quickly and cook them for only a minute.  It is a lot easier to have them pre-measured and mixed so you can concentrate on stirring them and making sure they don’t burn.
(3)  In another bowl, mix the curry powder, garam masala and salt.  Set aside.
Same as the previous step, in step #8, you’re going to have to add the spices quickly and cook them for a very short period of time.  It is a lot easier to have them pre-measured and mixed so you can concentrate on stirring them and making sure they don’t burn.
(4)  Make sure the broth and water are measured and ready to pour.
The spices cook fast, so at a minimum you should have the broth ready.  Since I have a large measuring cup, I just combined the broth and water to add it all at once.
(5)   Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

(6)  Add bell pepper and onion to pan; sauté 2 minutes.

(7)  Add the flour, ginger, and garlic mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

(8)  Add the curry powder, garam masala, and salt mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp Korma and Basmati Rice - Curry broth
(9)  Stir in broth and 1/3 cup water; bring to a boil.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp Korma and Basmati Rice - Curry
(10)  Stir in milk and tomato; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Shrimp Korma and Basmati Rice - Curry with Shrimp
(11)  Add peas, shrimp, and remaining salt; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done.

(12)  Spoon about 2/3 cup rice into each of 6 bowls. Top each serving with about 1 cup shrimp mixture and 2 teaspoons yogurt.

This was a spicy and creamy dish that is an all-in-one.  It’s got your vegetables, protein and a side dish of rice.  The great thing about it is that you can use regular curry powder for a more mild spice or you can use a spicier curry powder to kick it up a little.  It’s an easy introduction to Indian cooking if you’ve been wanting to give it a try.

If I were going to make any changes:
  • I would consider using the Madras curry to see if I could handle the heat.
  • I would use Greek yogurt instead of regular yogurt to give the dish a little creamier consistency.
Happy cooking!

1 comment:

  1. Very good! I think that you have done a great job! FANTASTIC!!!!
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