06 February 2013

Curry de crevettes avec oignons et carottes

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.


  1. LIDL often do raw frozen Asian prawns... they just seem to arrive [much like their wonderful smoked chickens]... there might be some around soon, seeing as it is almost the Chinese New Year. [If you've run out or are headed towards Loches that is!]
    The frozen pre-cooked ones always have a rubbery texture to me...

  2. There are LIDLs in Amboise and in Blois too. The best sources for me, because they seem always to have the frozen raw shrimp, are the Asia Store in Blois and Paris Store in Tours-Nord. Dia (ex-ED) sells the frozen, de-veined, cooked shrimp, or used to. I'd rather have raw shrimp, frozen or not.

  3. Oh my, that does look good, but tell me Ken, do shrimp really taste different if they are raw as I have always bought the cooked ones which I love, here in Pays de la loire in Super U they have the giant ones frozen raw which I think are called Gamas or something similar..happy cooking, Roz

  4. Nothing can beat fresh shrimp! When we lived near the coast I caught flounder (only once), some shrimp and many crabs using a crab trap and chicken necks for bait. Fresh is way better.

    In a couple of months you'll be eating some fresh seafood.

  5. Hi Evelyn, you are right about fresh seafood being the best. The frozen shrimp from Asia would probably be tastier if they were fresh and not frozen.

    Hi Roz and John, the cooked shrimp you get in France are perfectly good, but it's not the same thing. Those gambas are surely delicious but they 'cost you your eyeballs' as they say in French.

  6. I love curried anything. We have curried chicken with couscous....a lot.

  7. Awwww shucks, I can't have seafood, but that looks DELICIOUS!!

  8. I'm thinking you stole Walt's heart with your cooking! You have such a variety of meals you prepare!


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