This Shrimp Saag is an earthy, flavorful curry made with juicy shrimp, onion, garlic, ginger, frozen spinach, and aromatic spices.
This is an easy curry to make at home; you can find everything you need at the grocery store. The tender shrimp soak up all of the spices in this easy and delicious curry.
If you love an Indian takeout, then try this at-home version, serve it with a side of rice, and you'll be blown away by the flavor.
What is Shrimp Saag?
Shrimp Saag is a mild to medium shrimp and spinach curry that is easy to make at home.
Saag means leafy greens, so a saag curry will contain something like spinach, kale, mustard greens, basella, collard greens, or a combination of them.
For ease and cost, this shrimp saag recipe uses frozen chopped spinach. It adds that beautiful iron richness to the dish and also cooks quickly.
Why You'll Love this Recipe
- It is easy to make and tastes just like takeout.
- It is tasty yet healthy as it has plenty of spinach in it, plus shrimp are naturally low in fat.
- It is perfect for summer or winter.
- You can vary the spice level to suit your family.
- It is loaded with flavor from all the delicious spices. But all the ingredients can be found in the grocery store.
Spinach: The recipe uses frozen chopped spinach, which makes it super convenient. Just get it out of the freezer in the morning or when you get home from work, and it will defrost quickly and be ready to use.
If you want to use fresh spinach, then remove any tough stems and finely chop. You will need to give it 3-4 minutes extra cooking time to allow it to wilt down fully.
Shrimp: The shrimp you use in this recipe is totally up to you. You can use large or small, fresh or frozen. The only thing to remember is they must be peeled and raw.
I like to buy peeled frozen raw shrimp. It means I can keep them in the freezer and know I always have something quick for dinner.
If I remember, I will defrost the shrimp overnight in the refrigerator. But for a quick defrost, I dissolve a teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of water, add the frozen shrimp and leave them on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes. They defrost in the water, and then I can drain them, pat them dry, devein them and use them for the curry.
Spices: The spices in this recipe are all ground spices, making it easy to mix up the spice blend. They are all easy to find in the grocery store.
The least common is Fenugreek powder (also known as methi powder). I find it in my grocery store, but you can leave that out of the curry if you can't find it. Or replace it with some yellow mustard seeds.
The cayenne pepper adds heat to the dish, as written it is a medium-mild curry, but you can increase or decrease the cayenne to your tastes.
Making in advance
Although this is quite a quick curry, you can make the sauce in advance, reheat it, and add the shrimp just before serving.
Prepare the curry up until step 7 (when you add the spinach). At this point, remove the pan from the heat and allow the sauce to cool. It will then keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
To serve the curry, reheat the sauce over medium heat until simmering, then add the raw shrimp and cook for 4 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked through.
What to serve with Shrimp Saag
This shrimp curry is delicious served with rice. Try this Indian Pilau or Basmati rice.
Other currys you might enjoy
If you cook this shrimp curry, don't forget to come back and comment or tag me on social media.
Any questions about the recipe? Use the comments section below.
Shrimp Saag Recipe
For the base
- 2 onions - yellow/brown
- 2 tablespoons oil - vegetable/canola
- 1 cup broth - vegetable/fish
For the spice mix
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoon ground fenugreek - see note 1
- 1½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamon
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper - see note 2
For the curry
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons oil - vegetable/canola
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste/tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach thawed (-see note 3)
- 1 lb raw peeled shrimp -see note 4
Make the curry base
- Peel and roughly chop the onions
- In a large pan, heat the oil until shimmering.
2 tablespoons oil
- Add the onions and cook over medium heat until soft and golden in color. (About 10 minutes)
- Transfer the onions and oil to a blender, add the broth, and puree until smooth.
cooked onions and oil
1 cup broth/stock
To make the curry
- Combine the spice mix ingredients in a small bowl and set to one side.
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
1½ teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cardamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Peel and grate the ginger and garlic.
2 cloves garlic
- Heat the oil in a large pan (you can use the same pan you cooked the onions in, no need to wash it)
3 tablespoons oil
- Add the ginger and garlic and cook over low heat for 2 minutes.
- Add the combined spices, tomato paste, and water. Then stir to combine.
prepared spice mix
1 tablespoon tomato paste/puree
2 tablespoons water
- Add in the onion base and cook over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until thick and darkened in color.
- Add the defrosted spinach (no need to drain) and stir to combine with the sauce.
1 cup chopped frozen spianch (thawed)
- Add the shrimp and cook for 3-4 minutes until just cooked.
1lb/450g raw peeled shrimp
- Serve immediately.
- If you can't find ground fenugreek, you can replace it with ½ teaspoon of mustard powder or yellow mustard seeds.
- The cayenne adds heat; as written, this is medium-mild curry; you can increase the cayenne to make it spicier.
- If you want to use fresh spinach, use ½lb, remove any tough stems and finely chop. You will need to give it 3-4 minutes extra cooking time to allow it to wilt down fully.
- The shrimp you use in this recipe is totally up to you. You can use large or small, fresh or frozen. The only thing to remember is they must be peeled and raw. If using frozen, ensure they are fully defrosted before using.