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Indian Stir Fried Shrimp in a Tomato Cream Sauce in an Authentic Indian Black Bowl

Stir Fried Shrimp in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Course Fish, Seafood
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 707kcal
Author Barb


For the Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon ground roasted cumin seeds
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 fresh hot green chili, finely chopped (do not remove seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small can 7 ounces coconut milk, well stirred, or 7/8 cup heavy whipping cream

For Stir-Frying the Shrimp:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
  • 10 to 15 fresh curry leaves optional
  • 1 ¼ pounds medium-sized shrimp peeled, deveined, and washed, then patted dry. (The cleaned shrimp could be covered and kept in the refrigerator overnight, if necessary.)


To make the sauce:

  • Put the tomato paste in a bowl. Add the salt, sugar, garam masala, ground roasted cumin seeds, cayenne, cilantro, green chili, lemon juice, dried curry leaves (if you are not using fresh leaves with the shrimp), and 1 tablespoon water. Mix well.
  • Slowly add the coconut milk or cream, mixing as you go. Set aside. (The sauce can be made several hours ahead of time and refrigerated.)

To Stir Fry the shrimp:

  • Put the oil in a wok or frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop--this takes just a few seconds--put in the garlic and fresh curry leaves, if using. 
  • Stir until the garlic turns medium brown and put in the shrimp. Stir until the shrimp turn opaque most of the way through. (I simply cooked mine until both sides were pink and they had curled).
  • Add the sauce, turn the heat to medium, and heat the sauce through until it begins to simmer. By then, the shrimp should be completely opaque and cooked through. Turn off the heat.
  • Serve over rice (I used basmati that I had cooked with the remainder of the coconut milk from a 14 oz can).
  • Garnish with additional chopped cilantro if desired


I did not have ground roasted cumin seeds; I just had ground cumin so I put it in a small skillet and heated it for about a minute.
I only had yellow mustard seeds so I used them instead of the black.
I only had a 14 oz container of coconut milk so I used it and used the remainder as part of the liquid to cook my rice for the dish.
While I know where I can find curry leaves; it's a 2 hour round trip to an Indian market...so I did not use them and the dish was still fantastic.


Serving: 1grams | Calories: 707kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 53g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 20g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 386mg | Sodium: 2270mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g