Balinese Shrimp Curry

This little dish actually came about largely from my need to use up some cauliflower and spinach and is pretty much a made up affair. However, the use of coconut milk and the particular spice blend do suggest both curry and Bali, hence the name…


The Ingredients

  • medium Shrimp;
  • 4 cups Baby Spinach leaves;
  • 2 cups Cauliflower florets;
  • ½ cup finely chopped Onion;
  • 2 cups Thick Coconut Milk;
  • 1 tbsp. Coriander Seed;
  • 1 tsp. Fennel Seed;
  • 1 ½ tsp. Turmeric;
  • 1/3 tsp. Cardamom powder;
  • 1 tsp. Salt;
  • 1 tsp. each Garlic and Ginger Paste;
  • 3 tbsp. Sambal Oelek;
  • 3 tbsp. Butter.


First, grind the Coriander and Fennel Seeds and blend with the Turmeric, Cardamom powder and Salt.


Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for 20 or 30 seconds and then plunge into cold water to arrest the cooking. Next, squeeze the leaves as hard as possible to expel excess water and then chop coarsely;


Heat the butter in a pan over moderate heat and sweat the onions. When they have softened, add the dry spice blend, along with the garlic and ginger, and cook for a minute or so longer.


Now add the cauliflower and coconut milk and simmer over low heat until the florets are tender. If your coconut milk is quite thin, you may wish too cook down over high heat until it has the consistency of a very thick chowder.


Add the shrimp and the Sambal Oelek and cook until the shrimp are fully done and a nice pink.


Finally, stir in the spinach and as soon as this is heated through, transfer to a dish and serve.




  1. hmmm, just reading this makes my mouth water. I love Thai Curry and this sounds lovely. I might add a few potatoes, since they are my favorite in the Thai version a local restaurant serves.

    1. I almost never used to use potatoes in curries or other eastern preparations but I’ve been doing it often lately and then don’t include rice or noodles in the rest of the meal.

      1. I know, it struck me as odd at first but the spices and coconut milk do amazing things to the potato and large pieces of carrot -it’s about as comforting as food can get -especially in the winter! I am always torn between the red, green and yellow versions. Yet, I usually choose yellow.

    1. Absolutely … I’m actually doing a pork dish heavy on fermented shrimp for an upcoming post in the next few days, but it would work well here too.

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