- 1 large onion, quartered
- 1 (2-inch-long) piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
- 1 to 2 fresh serrano chiles, halved lengthwise
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 (14-oz) can unsweetened coconut milk (not low fat)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 lb large shrimp in shell (21 to 25 per lb)
- Accompaniment: cooked basmati rice
- Garnish: lime wedges
Pulse onion and ginger in a food processor until finely chopped. Cook onion mixture with salt and sugar in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in curry powder and chiles and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes. Stir in water, coconut milk, and lime juice and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 5 to 8 minutes.
While sauce simmers, peel shrimp (devein if desired) and season with salt and pepper. Add shrimp to sauce and simmer, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add salt to taste and serve immediately.