This easy, authentic Shrimp Korma recipe is a delicious Indian shrimp curry with tomato, yogurt, cream, nuts and warming spices. Packed with flavor, but made in just 30 minutes.
Why You’ll Love This Shrimp Korma Recipe
- Easy to whip up, this recipe doesn’t require many ingredients or fancy cooking skills.
- The creamy sauce is so delicious and pairs beautifully with the lightness of the shrimp or prawns.
- Versatile: I love that I can serve this with hot basmati rice, or even better, fresh, buttery homemade naan bread. For a healthier option, this soft Chapathi recipe is a staple in our family.
Shrimp Korma Ingredients
- Ghee or oil. Use Indian ghee (clarified butter) for a richer flavor if you’ve got it on hand, or reach for a neutral oil like avocado oil with a high smoke point that can handle the spices cooking.
- Onion. A regular white onion is perfect for this recipe; you can use red onion if you’d prefer.
- Shrimp. I love to buy the biggest shrimp I can find for this. Avoid using super little ones, as they get a bit lost in the sauce.
- Fresh ginger. Bright and zingy in the sauce, I like to take my time finding the freshest-looking piece in the store. Ones with a little green shoot popping out are usually a safe bet.
- Garlic. Fresh garlic or garlic paste is perfect for this dish.
- Chilies. You can choose to leave these out if their heat is a bit much.
- Coriander powder. It adds distinctive flavor, don’t skip this element.
- Cayenne powder. You can leave this out if you don’t like heat, or switch it out for paprika.
- Cinnamon. Earthy and sweet, this spice grounds the cream a little.
- Cardamom pods. Find the brightest green pods you can; this is a good sign that they’re fresh.
- Tomato puree. You can use diced tomatoes or bottled passata if you like.
- Almond butter. Korma almost always includes nuts in some form. I find almond butter gives the creamiest mouthfeel and a lovely nutty taste to the sauce. Don’t skip this ingredient. You could also try this with cashew butter. You could swap in finely-chopped almonds or cashews if you prefer more texture.
- Yogurt. Choose a plain dairy or coconut yogurt.
- Whipping cream. Aka double, 35% milkfat. Don’t choose a skinny cream for this recipe. You want a cream with real curves.
- Shrimp. I love to buy the biggest shrimp I can find for this. Avoid using the super little ones, as they get a bit lost in the sauce. Frozen shrimp work perfectly, just thaw in a bowl of lukewarm water while you prepare the rest of the curry.
- Cilantro. Aka dhania or coriander. All the same thing, all absolutely delicious.
How To Make This Creamy Shrimp Korma
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook onions with one spoon of salt until very soft and deep golden brown, about 25 minutes. Try not to don’t rush this step; it’s important for flavor development.
- Add in the garlic, ginger, and chilies and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Stir in the garam masala, coriander, cayenne, cinnamon, and cardamom pods and cook for a minute longer.
- Stir in the tomato puree, almond butter, water, and the remaining teaspoon of salt; cook until oil bubbles and shimmers on top.
- Pop in the shrimp; cook, covered, for about 5 minutes or until opaque, then stir in the yogurt and cream to heat through. Top with cilantro and enjoy.
What To Serve With This Shrimp Korma
For a special dinner, you’ll definitely want to whip up a batch of this viral Butter Naan. If you’re having friends over, I highly recommend starting with a pot of steaming authentic Indian Chai, and a batch of crispy golden samosas (you could either do these incredible potato samosas or my favorite chicken samosas). Or you could impress with a batch of Keema Naan to start (they’re soft naan stuffed with spiced meat filling).
You could also boil some rice (using the rice cooking method my mother-in-law taught me – it went viral on Instagram!) or serve some soft, homemade chapathi.
Make Ahead Instructions
If you’re looking to save time, you can make this recipe up to the point of cooking the shrimp. In other words, make the sauce and then set the pan aside until you’re ready to serve the dish.
When you’re ready to go, gently heat the sauce on the stove and pop in the shrimp.
You can store any leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. Ensure the curry is cool before packing it up. It will need to be stored in an airtight container.
You can freeze leftovers if you have any; just keep in mind the texture of the curry sauce might be a little different in texture after thawing.
Variations of Shrimp or Prawn Korma Curry
- Veggie korma. Swap out the shrimp for veggies such as peas, carrots, mushrooms, sweet potato, chickpeas, bell pepper, spinach, or cauliflower.
- Chicken korma. You can switch the shrimp to chicken pieces; you’ll just need to adjust the cooking time.
- Whole nuts. Add whole almonds or cashew nuts to this recipe and allow them to simmer and soften in the sauce
- Add other spices to play around with the flavor; you can experiment with turmeric, curry powder, and cumin.
- Spicier version. Add some chopped red chillies or kashmiri chili powder.
It’s made with warming Indian spices, a bit of heat, and a creamy sauce that typically includes nuts, yogurt and cream.
Tikka masala is usually a base of a rich, spicy, bold tomato sauce while korma is a slightly sweet and creamy curry sauce.
There is another kind of korma that is white in color, has little spice, and is sweet in flavor. Not to be confused with this tomato-based korma, which has a little sweetness from the slow-cooked onions, but just enough to balance the flavor-packed curry.
Pro Tips and Tricks
- The mixture will look thick before you add the shrimp but the shrimp release moisture as they cook. I prefer not to add too much water, which dilutes the flavor. If it’s still too thick after the shrimp are cooked, you can add a splash or two of water, tasting and adjusting for salt as needed.
- Make sure the spices have enough time to bloom in the pan before you add the liquid ingredients.
- Pick a bag of large shrimp for the best results.
Other Indian Recipes You Won’t Want To Miss
If you love Shrimp Korma, I’m sure you’ll love some of these other flavor-packed, fan-favorite Indian recipes! This creamy, comfort food vibe of this recipe is like my Best Butter Chicken and Butter Paneer recipes to start. For a creamy vegetarian dish, you can’t miss my Creamy Madras Lentils. Here are a few other can’t-be-missed recipes:
- ¼ cup ghee or vegetable oil
- 2 ½ cups finely chopped onion
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 green chillies
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cayenne powder
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 10 whole green cardamom pods smashed with flat side of knife
- ½ cup tomato puree
- ¼ cup almond butter
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup yogurt
- ¾ cup whipping cream aka double cream, 35% milkfat
- 1 ½ lbs large shrimp peeled and deveined (tail on is ok)
- 1 tbsp finely minced cilantro
- Heat oil over medium heat and cook onions with 1 tsp salt until very soft and deep golden brown, about 20 minutes (don't rush this step, it's important for the flavour).
- Add garlic, ginger and chillies and cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
- Stir in garam masala, coriander, cayenne, cinnamon and cardamom pods and cook a minute more.
- Add tomato puree, almond butter and water plus remaining 1 tsp salt; cook until oil starts to bubble up and shimmer on top. Stir in shrimp; cook, covered, about 5 minutes or until opaque, then stir in the yogurt and cream to heat through. Top with cilantro.
- Choose large, plump prawns or shrimp for the best eating experience possible.
- If the sauce looks a bit thick at first, give the prawns time to release their moisture as they cook down a little, before jumping in and adding more water to the sauce. You don’t want to dilute that yummy flavor!
- Instead of tomato puree, you can use: diced fresh tomato or use jarred passata
Last Updated on March 3, 2023 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD
Nice…..I just took a picture. My wife is preparing this today
So I made this tonight and subbed coconut milk & coconut yogurt and it worked out great! I can’t eat dairy right now, so this made me so happy. This will be on regular rotation!
Could you use this with Coconut milk (canned) & coconut yogurt (Yoggu is the brand I use). I can’t have dairy.
This recipe was amazing!! Jam packed with flavour, and super creamy. Paired with Foodess delicious butter naan and Smitten Kitchen’s aloo gobi. Will absolutely be making this again and again!
I have ground cardamom on hand and would like to sub it for the pods. How much ground cardamom would you recommend? This looks like a great recipe.