Instant Pot Malabar Shrimp Curry

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Instant Pot Malabar Shrimp Curry

What is Malabar Shrimp Curry?
Malabar shrimp curry is a spicy shrimp curry made with curry leaves, onions, and tomatoes. This recipe is from South India, mainly Kerala. Some people cook it with coconut while others prefer to exclude coconut. Some people also cook the curry in coconut milk. I have simplified this recipe and added tamarind and desiccated dried coconut to the gravy in the end. Instead of coconut milk, I have added a little bit of heavy whipping cream. It is very delicious and flavorful.
This curry is spicy, sour, and tangy with a unique coconut flavor. This recipe has been made in the Instant Pot and is super easy and quick.
Shrimp: I used frozen shrimps, peeled and deveined. I used the 70-90 count per pound shrimp, that is the small sized shrimp.
Tamarind concentrate: After trying tamarind paste, tamarind concentrate, and tamarind pulp, I firmed up on tamarind concentrate. Tamarind concentrate is easy to use and is convenient. It is a thick dark paste sold in small plastic tubs in most Indian stores. I normally use this for the convenience aspect. Additionally, I like the way it tastes. I also use it in other dishes that require tamarind.
Coconut: I used the dried desiccated coconut from the Indian store.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Servings 2




  • Wash and finely chop the onion, tomato, and cilantro.


  • Select sauté on the instant pot and adjust to normal.
  • Add oil to the pot.
  • When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds.
  • When the mustard seeds splutter add the fenugreek seeds, red chili peppers, and curry leaves.
  • After about 30 seconds, add the chopped onions. Stir occasionally.
  • When the onions turn golden in roughly 2 to 4 minutes add the ginger garlic paste.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté for a few minutes until the tomatoes get mushy. Keep stirring.
  • Add the red chili powder, turmeric, salt, sugar, and ¼ cup water. Keep stirring for about a minute.
  • Add the shrimp and stir.
  • Add the remaining ¼ cup water. Make sure nothing is stuck to the bottom of the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot well.
  • Press cancel.
  • Secure the lid on the pot with the pressure-valve sealed.
  • Select manual and cook at high pressure for 1 minute.
  • Use quick pressure release to depressurize.
  • Open the lid.
  • Select sauté. 
  • Add the desiccated coconut and tamarind concentrate. Stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the heavy whipping cream.
  • Press cancel.
  • Transfer in a serving bowl immediately.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro.


  • Serve with steamed rice or roti.


  • This recipe has been tried on a 6-quart instant pot. The proportions may vary depending on the size of the instant pot you choose to use.
  • All the ingredients can be easily found in an Indian grocery store.
  • The shrimp can be purchased in the frozen aisle of most leading grocery stores.
  • Ground cayenne pepper and red chili powder can be used interchangeably as both of them make the dish spicy. So if you don’t have red chili powder you can use cayenne pepper instead.
Keyword Instant Pot Malabar Shrimp, Instant Pot Spicy Shrimp
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My name is Shilpa Tiku. I am a foodie and love experimenting with different cuisines. Originally a Kashmiri, born in Mumbai and currently live in Dallas.

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Alisa Hanson
Alisa Hanson
October 29, 2020 4:06 pm

5 stars
I just made this last night along with two other curries to pass around the table. This was my favorite of the three! So delicious and easy!

Fast Curries
October 29, 2020 5:23 pm
Reply to  Alisa Hanson

Hi Alisa. Thank you for your feedback. So glad to hear that. We will be posting a Fish curry recipe tommorow which is similar to the shrimp recipe. Do give it a try. Thank you and stay safe.

Jane Thompson
Jane Thompson
January 24, 2022 11:14 am

Can I make the sauce in a slow cooker and just add the prawns near the end?

Fast Curries
January 25, 2022 11:10 pm
Reply to  Jane Thompson

Yes absolutely you can. Please let me know how it turns out.

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