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The Cliff, the most elegant restaurant in Barbados, lives up to its name. It's cliffside views are so spectacular, you feel like you are in a fairyland. Chef Paul Owens, an Englishman who's lived in Barbados for 15 years, uses culinary influences from all over the world with a Bajan sway. I loved his Thai-influenced curry, which uses lots of Barbadian peppers for colour and zest. Serve this rich curry in small portions over steamed rice.

Servings: 4

Thai green curry shrimp with fried basil

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon Thai green curry paste

1 400-millilitre can coconut milk

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons fish sauce

12 large shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup shredded basil


1 Asian eggplant, sliced on the bias ¼-inch (5 millimetres) thick

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup whole basil leaves

1/2 cup very thinly sliced red pepper

1/2 cup very thinly sliced yellow pepper

1/2 cup very thinly sliced green pepper


Heat oil in a saucepan over high heat and add curry paste and half cup coconut milk. Cook for 2 minutes or until oil begins to separate from sauce. Add sugar, fish sauce and remaining coconut milk, and bring to boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 8 minutes or until thickened. Add shrimp, turn heat to medium-low and cook for 3 minutes or until pink and cooked through. Add basil and season with salt to taste.

Toss eggplant with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over high heat and cook eggplant for 2 minutes a side or until grill-marked and cooked through. Cut cooked slices in half or in thirds if large. Reserve.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small pot. Add basil leaves to oil a few at a time and fry for 30 seconds or until crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Spoon shrimp and sauce over individual portions of rice, top with grilled eggplant and a small handful of sliced peppers, and sprinkle fried basil over top.

Serves 4.

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