Shrimp and Green Banana Curry (From the Island of Mauritius)

“The food of Mauritius is a fascinating fusion of Chinese, Creole (island), French and Indian cuisine, also with input from South East Asia. France has had a strong influence here, and the main languages are Mauritian Creole and French. The food is either delicate, or spicy and hot. Fruits are used in abundance. This is a simple taste from that far-flung Indian Ocean island, a beloved holiday spot for South Africans. The coral-reef lagoons around most of the island is reminiscent of the Bahamas. I lifted the basic recipe from the local Sunday Times, but I tweaked it. As far as portions go, I always feel it depends on who's eating, and how hungry they are! You decide.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 4 tablespoons oil (for frying, you might need more)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon medium curry (fresh and good quality)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
  • 6 bananas, large, green, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled, raw weight (can be frozen, but preferably not cooked)
  • 4 curry leaves (or use lemon leaves and bash a little)
  • 4 tomatoes, ripe, peeled, juice pressed out, chopped
  • 1 -2 hot pepper, green, chopped (remove seeds if worried about heat)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt
  • chopped cilantro, for serving
  • desiccated coconut, for serving (optional)


  1. Add cumin to the curry powder, add the wet spices and coriander, and add just a bit of water, to mix to a paste.
  2. Fry the onion until transparent. Add the spice mixture, and stir so it fries and the flavour is released. If it's too thick, add a little more water.
  3. Add the bananas and stir. Add about 1/2 cup water, cover, and simmer for about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimps, curry or lemon leaves, chopped tomato, hot peppers and sugar. Stir over medium heat, turn heat down, and cook about 8 minutes, until bananas are soft and the shrimps pink and curled. Make sure the banana has softened -- this will depend on degree of greenness or ripeness!
  5. Taste for seasoning and add salt.
  6. Serve over rice and sprinkle over chopped cilantro. Dessicated coconut can be served on the side, or over the dish as well.

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