Malay Shrimp Curry With Pineapple (Gulai Lemak Udang Dengan Nenas)
A Malay-Style Shrimp Curry With Pineapple
Malay cuisine offers many sensational culinary delights. The spices and seasonings that characterize this cuisine have evolved through centuries of diverse populations coming together to form a multicultural society. The central principle of Malay cuisine is, of course, the ingredients.
One of my favorite Malay curries is shrimp with pineapple. It might sound odd to people who have never tried this dish, but it is deliciously rich and flavorful. I learned the recipe from my mother while I was a university student many years ago. It is a type of comfort food that my siblings and I enjoyed so much when we were young, and the dish always brings back childhood memories. I remember my mother would go into the backyard to pick a pineapple for this recipe. My family used to grow pineapples in our backyard.
What Is Galangal?
In addition to pineapple, the other main ingredient in this dish is galangal. Galangal is a dark brown root that is an important herb in the Southeast Asian countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand (see photo above).
A member of the ginger family, galangal is never eaten raw. It is often cooked with shallots, chili paste, and marinade. The root can be sliced or crushed and added to soups or curries. Due to its strong taste, I recommended using it sparingly. To keep the root fresh, place it inside an airtight jar with cold water and keep it in the fridge. Make sure to change the water every two weeks.
Perfect for Lunch or Dinner
Once the curry is cooked, it will make a perfect lunch or dinner when served with steamed white rice. If you have leftovers, save them in a container and store it in the fridge. I love leftover curry, as the sauce will thicken over time. If I'm hungry for lunch, all I have to do is take it out and heat it on a stove for a few minutes. I hope you will try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do!
- 3 cups coconut milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cups pineapple, cut into small chunks
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar
For the paste:
- 2 shallots
- 4 dried red chilies, chopped (add more if you like it spicy)
- Half-root turmeric (you can substitute with 1 teaspoon turmeric powder)
- 1 inch galangal, sliced
- 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and chopped
- Chopped coriander leaves
- Steamed rice
- Make the paste: In a blender, throw in red chilies, lemongrass, shallots, turmeric, and galangal. Add some water and blend.
- In a large pan, combine the paste, pineapple, and coconut milk. Stir the mixture evenly with a spatula.
- Transfer the pan to a stove over medium heat.
- Pour in the water. Mix well and let it boil.
- Add the shrimp to the broth and let it continue simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the salt and palm sugar. Reduce the heat for 5 minutes and don't forget to taste. Turn the heat off.
- Place the curry into a serving bowl.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
- Enjoy with steamed rice or garlic bread.
© 2019 Liza