Jamaican Banana Curry with Shrimp and Coconut Rice | Beetlejuice

Live people ignore the strange and unusual. I myself am strange and unusual.

I’ve enjoyed the 1988 creepy comedy Beetlejuice since I was a kid, and was into the animated series too – so much so that I dressed up as Lydia one Halloween (as a spooky little kid I related to her quite a bit). It was a frightfully fun rewatch, full of snakes, ghosts, and shrimp, not to mention a Winona Ryder fix which I needed after Stranger Things.

The scene where Recently Deceased Adam and Barbara possess the Deetz’s garish dinner party with the Banana Boat song – culminating in attack of the shrimp cocktail – is pretty delightful. It inspired this Jamaican-style banana curry, with shrimp of course.

I’ve never met a curry I didn’t love. I consulted this Jamaican Curry Powder recipe for an authentic mix of spices. The result was a haunting balance of sweet, salty and spicy; with some simple coconut rice, it was to die for!

Jamaican Banana Curry with Shrimp and Coconut Rice

For the banana and shrimp curry

  • whole spices: 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon each cumin, mustard, and fennel, pinch each fenugreek and allspice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 12 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 green onions, whites and greens divided and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or you can leave out if you’re cooking for kids and add some sriracha later)
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water
  • lime wedges to serve

On a dry pan, toast the whole spices until fragrant. Grind and set aside.

In a wok or frying pan, heat the butter on medium high. Cook the shrimp until just pink (about 2 minutes) and remove to a plate.

Heat another tablespoon butter. Stirring, cook the onions until softened, add the garlic and ginger and cook another minute or so, then add the ground spices plus the turmeric and cayenne if using and cook for another minute. Add the bananas, lime zest, and salt, and cook, stirring, until the mixture is very thick and golden. Add the water and mix well. When it is back up to heat, add the shrimp and cook gently until they are just heated through.

Serve garnished with green onions, with a lime wedge and coconut rice.

For the coconut rice

  • 2 cups short-grain rice, washed and soaked for at least 30 minutes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • good pinch salt

Combine rice, coconut milk, water and salt in a pot and cover. Bring to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat but keep covered, steaming for another 20 minutes.

If you want a slightly more elaborate side, try this Hara Masala Coconut Rice.

Beetlejuice fits perfectly into our month of Tim Burton-inspired recipes (see the darkly delicious #Burtoween link-up hosted here on Witchy Kitchen) and is also the movie of the month hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for Food ‘n Flix!