Gulai Labu - Spicy Shrimp and Cucumber Curry

This is the first peppery dish I made for my wife, and she really likes it.

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  • Peel and devein the shrimp; wash them and pat them dry.
  • Peel the cucumber and cut it crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds.
  • Peel 7 of the shallots and chop them very finely; peel and finely slice the remaining shallots.
  • Peel the garlic cloves; chop 4 of them very finely and cut the other 2 into fine slivers.
  • Combine the sliced shallots and slivered garlic and set these aside.
  • In a medium-sized pan combine the chopped shallots, chopped garlic, ground coriander, ground fennel (if you cannot get ground fennel seeds, simply grind whole seeds in a clean coffee grinder or food processor), white pepper, ground cumin, turmeric and 2 1/2 cups water.
  • Crumble in the red chilies; if you like mild to medium spicy food, you might consider leaving the chilies whole instead: this is what I did for my wife, who cannot easy as spicy food as I can, and she said it was perfect for her tastes.
  • Stir and bring to a boil; boil, uncovered, on a medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the cucumber rounds, stir and bring to a simmer; cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes.
  • Then add the shrimp, salt and sugar; bring to a simmer again and simmer gently for about 1 minute, stirring the shrimps around in the sauce.
  • Give the coconut milk a good stir and pour it in.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute, stirring now and then.
  • Put the oil in a very small pan or small frying pan and set it over a medium-high heat; when the oil is hot, put in the slivered shallots and garlic.
  • Stir and fry until they turn a golden color.
  • Add the whole fennel seeds; stir once and quickly pour the contents of the pan (oil and sesasoning) into the pan containing the curry.
  • Cover the curry pan immediately to trap all the aromas.
  • Serve with rice and enjoy.
  • Serves 4-6.
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"This is the first peppery dish I made for my wife, and she really likes it."
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  1. Happy Harry 2
    Made this last nite on recommendation of Julesong. Very nice, I changed the shrimp to large cubes of chicken breast and put just a pinch of turmeric in. My only reason for giving 4 stars instead of five was due to the consistency of the cukes..they were sort of mushy. Perhaps they need to be sliced thicker next time.
  2. Julesong
    We had this last night and it was an excellent Thai curry! It seemed to take a long time to make, with a lot of small steps, so I'm thinking that I'd like to come up with a simpler recipe using similar ingredients that will taste basically the same. Also, instead of cucumber we used moqua, also known as Chinese fuzzy squash, because that's what this recipe would have originally called for. It was our first time cooking with the unusual Asian vegetable, and we were quite pleased with the results: the texture was nicer than cucumber, and the taste was quice nice as well. (Info on the moqua can be found here:
  3. Steingrim
    This is the first peppery dish I made for my wife, and she really likes it.