Coconut Curried Shrimp with Bara


Light, airy, and slightly sweet, bara, a fried Indian-Trinidadian bread, is perfect for sopping up this spicy shrimp curry. The quick Scotch bonnet hot sauce here is intense on its own, but drizzled sparingly over the curry it adds just the right amount of heat and acidity.

Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins



  • Vegetable oil, for oiling and frying

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/8 ounce)

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast (from 1 [1/4-ounce] envelope)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper

  • .6666 cup warm water (about 100°F)

Scotch Bonnet Hot Sauce

  • 2 medium-size fresh Scotch bonnet chiles or fresh habanero chiles (about 1/4 ounce), stemmed (unseeded)

  • ½ cup white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Coconut Shrimp Curry

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 small yellow onions, finely chopped (about 2 3/4 cups)

  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, finely chopped (about 1 cup)

  • 5 small scallions, thinly sliced (about ½ cup), plus more for garnish

  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 3 tablespoons curry powder

  • 4 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 3 ½ cups lower-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk, well shaken and stirred

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste

  • 1 ½ pounds peeled and deveined tail-on raw extra-large shrimp


Make the bara

  1. Lightly oil a medium bowl; set aside. Stir together flour, sugar, yeast, salt, cumin, turmeric, and white pepper in a separate medium bowl. Stir in 2/3 cup warm water to form a soft, sticky dough. Using oiled hands, knead dough in bowl until smooth and stretchy, about 2 minutes. Transfer dough to oiled bowl; cover with a dish towel, and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, make the Scotch bonnet hot sauce: Process Scotch bonnet chiles, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a blender until smooth, about 20 seconds. Transfer mixture to a small bowl; set aside until ready to serve.

Make the coconut shrimp curry

  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onions and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add scallions, thyme, curry powder, and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until beginning to caramelize on bottom of Dutch oven, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld and curry sauce reduces slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Toss shrimp with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Add to curry mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are opaque and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Reduce heat to low, and cover to keep warm.

Fry the bara

  1. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a large skillet; heat over medium to 350°F. Turn bara dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide dough evenly into 18 pieces (about 5/8 ounce each). Using lightly oiled hands or a lightly oiled rolling pin, flatten 1 dough piece into a 4 1/2-inch circle. Repeat process with a second dough piece. Add flattened dough pieces to hot oil, and fry, carefully basting dough with hot oil, until puffed, 20 to 30 seconds per side. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer fried bara to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat process with remaining dough pieces.

  2. To serve, garnish coconut shrimp curry with additional scallions. Drizzle Scotch bonnet hot sauce over curry, and serve with warm bara for dipping.

    Coconut Shrimp Curry with Bara
    Photo by Greg DuPree / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

MAKE AHEAD Scotch bonnet hot sauce can be stored in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2weeks.

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