This shrimp curry with onions and carrots was so good that I just barely had time to take a couple of photos before we had wolfed it all down. I'm so glad to be able to get frozen, raw queues de crevettes — shrimp tails, or headed shrimp — in the Asian groceries in Tours and Blois, even if the shrimp do have to come half way around the world before arriving in France. In France, most of the shrimp you find in the markets and supermarkets are sold already cooked.
Shrimp curry with onions and carrots
Would it be chauvin of me to say that these shrimp from Asia aren't quite as good as the North Carolina brown shrimp that we used to have when I was younger? But it's the truth. Anyway, the ones I get here can be thawed in cold water, peeled, and then "de-veined" — that means cutting a slit along the back of the shrimp and pulling out the digestive tract, which can sometimes have sand in it or give a bitter taste to the shrimp. For many people, de-veining is perfectly optional.
Cooked "brown" rice — riz complet in French
We also found a bag of "brown" rice and the Asian supermarket in Tours a while back, so we cooked some of that to go with the shrimp curry. And I decided carrots and onions would be good with the shrimp. I cut a large carrot into sticks and parboiled them in water first. When they started to get tender, I poured off the water and added sliced onions to the pan, with some vegetable oil. When the vegetables were nearly done, I dropped 20 or so shrimp into the pan and sauteed them for two or three minutes, until they were just starting to turn pink.
Then I poured on about a cup of a curry sauce I had made using a blend of spices and herbs, some chicken broth, and some cream. The sauce had cumin, cayenne pepper, cilantro, basil, turmeric, ginger, mustard powder, cloves, allspice, and other spices in it. You can make your own spice blend or use commercially blended curry powder. Make the sauce to your own taste, and as piquant as you like your curry. Add garlic. Let the shrimp and vegetables simmer in the sauce for five minutes, and serve the curry with rice or noodles.