Articles & Recipes

Shrimp Moilee

February 26, 2019

'My first trip to India was with Mum and Dad when they were leading one of their Spice Discovery tours. I was enthralled by the amount of fresh seafood available in Cochin, in the southwestern state of Kerala. This recipe from that region is easy to make and tastes amazing. The flavors are fresh, simple and highly characteristic of South Indian cuisine.' -Ian Hemphill, author of The Spice & Herb Bible, Third Edition

Ingredients Makes 4 servings

2 cups basmati rice 500 mL
16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact (see Tips) 16
1 tsp fine sea salt 5 mL
11⁄2 tsp ground turmeric, divided 7 mL
2 tbsp coconut oil 30 mL
20 to 30 fresh curry leaves 20 to 30
1 small onion, sliced 1
3 small green chiles, seeded and diced 3
1 piece (1 inch/2.5 cm) gingerroot, peeled and finely sliced 1
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced 2
2 tomatoes, peeled, cored and diced 2
1 cup coconut cream (see Tips) 250 mL


  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  1. In a saucepan with a lid, cover rice with 2 cups (500 mL) cold water and set aside for about 10 minutes. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until water is completely absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sprinkle shrimp with salt and 1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric and toss to coat. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, melt coconut oil and add half the curry leaves; cook until leaves are crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer curry leaves to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. In the pan, combine onion, chiles, ginger and garlic; cook until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and remaining curry leaves and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in remaining 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Stir in coconut cream. Add shrimp and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until pink and cooked through.
  4. To serve, fluff cooked rice with a fork. Divide among 4 serving plates and top with moilee. Garnish with reserved fried curry leaves.
You can also make this dish using frozen cooked shrimp. Simply thaw and add as directed in Step 3. Reduce the cooking time to 1 minute, just to heat through (be careful not to overcook them or the shrimp will become tough). Coconut cream tastes the same as coconut milk but is thicker, with less water content.


Buy the Book


A new edition of the IACP award-winning book on spices and herbs.
Cooks use spices and herbs not only to enhance food’s flavor, but also to create new taste combinations and sensations. From...

Buy Now


View store listing