Go Back
+ servings
Coconut Saffron Shrimp Curry

Shrimp Curry with Saffron and Coconut

The following was minimally adapted from the recipe by chef Vikram Vij. This curry is full of flavour but mild when it comes to heat. Once you start cooking, you can have the savoury saffron shrimp on the table in under 30-minutes.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 6 hrs 35 mins
Course Main Dish
Servings 4 people


  • 1 teaspoon Saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 28 large Prawns peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Salt divided
  • 1/2 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsps cumin seeds
  • 3 cups Puréed Fresh Tomatoes see note
  • 2 tbsps Brown Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Ground Fenugreek Seed
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Coconut Milk full fat, stirred
  • Basmati rice for serving


  • Place the saffron in a small bowl and pour in the lukewarm water. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  • Place shrimp in a non-reactive bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the salt. Using your hands, massage the salt into the shrimp. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Stir in the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for 30 seconds.
  • Turn the heat to medium, then add the tomatoes, mustard seeds, ground fenugreek, pepper flakes, turmeric, and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes, or until the oil glistens on the tomatoes.
  • Add the 2 cups water, stir well, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the curry another 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, saffron, and the saffron soaking water, and cook another 10 minutes. (The curry can be made to this point in advance and brought back to a boil just before serving.)
  • With the curry boiling over medium heat, add the shrimp in a single layer but do not stir them. Allow them to cook undisturbed for 1 minute.
  • Then stir gently and toss, coating with the sauce. Let cook another 4 minutes, or until shrimp are done.
  • Serve with basmati rice.


Note: I used two tomatoes to get 3 cups purée but they were big tomatoes! I cut them in half and squeezed as many of the seeds out as I could, then puréed them in the blender.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!