Nov 05 2009

Shrimp and Calabash in a Coconut Curry.

Published by at 11:12 am under Indian,Seafood

I call this the ‘Blend of Cultures’. This is a very traditional East Indian curry that I have modified and cooked the Malvani way. And I must say I am very happy with the result. For those who do not know, I am an East Indian Catholic and am married to a Malvani (from the Konkan Coast of India) guy. So I am always trying ways to blend the two cultures. In the East Indian version of this dish, coconut milk and vinegar is used in place of the roasted coconut paste and the kokums.

Calabash which is also called Bottle Gourd or Lauki (in Hindi) is widely available throughout India. This is my mom’s favorite vegetable and she would be happy to eat it everyday if she can. Myself and my sister-in-law share this liking with her as well. I think its a girls and guys thing in our family as the guys don’t seem to enjoy it as much :), but who cares, they get to eat whatever we cook!

Hope you enjoy the blend of my cultures as much as we did! Comments are welcome as always.

Shrimp and Calabash in Coconut Curry

1/2 pound of raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 small Calabash (bottle gourd or dudhi or lauki) peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup grated coconut
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp coriander seed
2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
6 curry leaves
3 Kokums
2 Tbsp meat masala
1 and 1/2 cups of water
coriander to garnish
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp cooking oil

In a skillet, heat 2 tsp of cooking oil. Add the crushed garlic and 1/2 cup of the onions. Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the coconut and coriander seed and cook it till the mixture is evenly browned. Take it off the heat and allow it cool. Grind the coconut mixture with 1 cup of water and salt till it forms a paste.

In a 3 quart cooking pot heat the oil on medium heat. Add the curry leaves (stand back to avoid getting splattered). Add the onions and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the calabash,and the salt and let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the meat masala and stir well. Add the crushed tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. cook on medium heat until it comes to a boil. Add the coconut and onion paste and the kokums. Stir and cooked covered for another 5 minutes.

In the end add the shrimp and cook covered for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.


  • Calabash or bottle gourd is availbale in Asian and Indian grocery stores. If you cannot find it substitute with Zucchini.
  • You may also substitue the kokums with 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar.
  • The Cucumber and Onion Salad goes great with this curry.
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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Shrimp and Calabash in a Coconut Curry.”

  1. Tasty Trixon 05 Nov 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Interesting! I have never had kokum, but I think I could find it at H-Mart, a big Asian store. I just love finding new (to me) dishes like this one!

  2. Kunalon 08 Nov 2009 at 8:52 pm


    This really hit the spot! Wonderful recipe, reminded me of home. I made a few modifications, added a whole red chilli to the coconut mixture while grinding and added Malvani masala instead of meat masala. Spicy but awesome dish…

    Keep them coming..

  3. avantion 09 Nov 2009 at 7:11 am

    @Kunal: Glad you liked it! I had used the Malvani masala as well, but put meat masala in the recipe because of its wide availability.

  4. Aashooon 17 Nov 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Nice picture. This one is my favourite too. Thanks for the variation.

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