Cooking, Curry
comments 58

Prawn Curry (again)


So, round about the time I started this blog, just under a year ago, I blogged one of my favourite dishes – Prawn Curry. We were eating it about once a week, it’s tasty, healthy and quick, and fit in perfectly on those evenings where you’ve had a long day in the office and all you want is something quick and tasty with a glass of wine. On some of these evenings, the wine may even be the most important part ;)

Now, when I like something, I tend to talk about it, and friends of mine were hearing alot about this prawn curry. Then they started to think that perhaps I was making it up! How can she be making a curry from scratch after work when she only leaves the office at 7pm? How?! So, to salvage my reputation I had to gather some of them together and cook it for them. Then they would see!

The recipe is based on a Goan recipe I found online some years ago. It requires using masses of fresh tomatoes and a fresh coconut. I urbanised it by using a tin of tomatoes and a tin of coconut milk, which makes it quick and convenient – almost a storecupboard dish. It really is super quick once you’ve ground the spices, I would estimate no more than half an hour, although try to buy peeled prawns to save your self time. I vary the amount of coconut milk depending on whether I want the fruity flavour of the tomatoes or the creaminess of the coconut milk to dominate. This time I went with the tomato so used one tin of tomatoes and half a tin of coconut milk. It works well 50/50 though if you prefer that.

The recipe serves 2 hungry people.


250g raw grey prawns, shells removed & deveined
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
1 green chilli (or more if you like it spicier)
1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped/grated
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
Spices: 2 tsp ground turmeric, 12 black peppercorns, 3 cloves, 1 tsp cumin seeds
1 fresh lemon (or 1 tbsp lemon juice – but do use fresh)


Fry the onion, ginger, chillies until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.

Grind the spices in a pestle & mortar and add to the pan. Cook for a minute or so, stirring all the time to temper the spices.

Add the tomatoes and the sugar.

Cook for 5 minutes.

Open the tin of coconut milk. If it has split into thin mlik and coconut cream, pour off the thin milk and add the thick coconut cream to the pan. If your milk is well mixed then add half the tin to the pan. It will still be very good but I prefer to add the thick coconut cream over the thinner milk.

Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the prawns and cook until pink. It will only take a few minutes. Take care not to over cook them.

Add the coriander and 1tbsp fresh lemon juice to lift the flavour. Season. Serve immediately.

I serve this curry with brown basmati rice that’s been rinsed and cooked with twice the volume of salted water to rice. I frequently add a few cardamom pods, cinnamon cloves and some cinnamon bark to the rice as it cooks to lightly flavour it. It complements the cloves in the sauce.




  1. Just thought I’d leave a comment to say I enjoy reading your blog. The curry looks great and ideal for a weeknight.

  2. Thanks Scotchcart!

    Sylvie – thanks so much! Positive feedback is always lovely. Enjoy.

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  4. I have a sri lankan curry like this – less than half an hour to whip up! Going to add this one to my list – I always have those ingredients to hand (prawns in the freezer!)

    Thanks for posting!

  5. Mike A says

    My partner cooked this dish this evening using your recipe, and I’ve just raced upstairs to tell you that…


    A nice combination of aromatics and sweetness, with a great texture (the prawns work very well in this respect) and a lovely long finish (which I can still taste as I type this). Thank you for posting!

  6. Mike A – I apologise for taking so long to respond to you! I think your comment is comment of 2008 for me so far. I smiled the broadest smile when I read it. So glad you liked it, I really enjoy it and make it frequently.

    KitchenGoddess83 – thanks!

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  8. sarah says


    I made this last night (your post in praise of the tomato was just the reminder i needed!) and it really is excellent curry! My standard seafood&coconut curry was Jamie Oliver’s mustard seed, fenugreek and turmeric one, but I think that this has just outdone it.

    Many thanks for posting it!


  9. Thanks Sarah! I am delighted you like it. I hope it becomes a regular in your kitchen as it is in mine. Thanks for coming back to let me know!

  10. Andrew G says

    This is good. No that’s wrong. This is VERY good.

    Am happily eating it away as I type – it’s the perfect balance of spicy and sweet. I don’t usually go in for coconut curries but this is pure perfection!

    Seconds are in order!


  11. Wonderful! Thanks for coming back to let me know Andrew :-)

    It used to be a weekly favourite for me but I’ve slipped! I must make it soon.

  12. Cate says

    Hi Niamh. Fantastic recipe, a wonderfully fresh and summery dinner. I cooked this curry for the first time last night for a friend. We ate it outside on the balcony and it was absolutely delicious. I really wish I could eat outside every evening in the summer, it is such a treat.

    I accidentally tipped the entire tin of coconut in the curry, I reduced it as much as possible but there was more sauce than required which I left in the pan. But it didn’t go to waste…I caught my friend (honest it wasn’t me!) toasting a pitta bread in the kitchen at 11pm before filling it with the left over sauce! Not a drop was left.

    By the way, I found a fantastic little tapas bar the other day which I’m sure you’d like. It is called Mar i Terra and is hidden away in a back street close to Southwark tube station. I recommend the pulpo, catalan spinach and sardines a la plancha…

  13. Thanks Cate! So glad you like it. It’s lovely to share something like this and get such positive feedback. The recipe is quite robust I think and can take accidents like that, which is good, as I have them all the time!

    Thanks for the tip on the tapas bar. I will definitely check it out :-)

  14. Matthew says

    Hi Niamh – I cooked this last night – it was absolutely gorgeous! Thanks o much for posting it! I normally do my prawn curry with tamarind paste and cocnut, but I think this has much more character. Yummo!

  15. Hi Matthew, great!! A pleasure, I am just delighted you enjoyed it. Care to share your other recipe? :-)

  16. Dheva72 says

    HI, Just made the curry but did add salt, it helps to set the chilli flavours going and I’m a salt head!

  17. Hi Maryam – sorry, yes! I should have that in there. And sorry it took me so long to reply :(

    Dheva72, yes, it does need it, I’ll edit the post.

    Thanks for spotting this guys!

  18. Claire says

    Just wondering is it possible / advisable to freeze the leftovers? Going to try this this evening.

  19. I honestly don’t know! There’s never been any leftovers. If the prawns were fresh and not frozen before might be ok. I would suggest freezing the sauce without the prawns (so before you add the prawns remove the amount you want to freeze).

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  21. Hi from California,

    I made your Prawn Curry last night for my hubby and it was yummy delicious. The only changes and addition I did was to add a bit more garlic & ginger and to add some fenugreek seeds to the spices to grind.

    Thanks so much for the recipe :-D

  22. Thanks Vinni – hope you enjoyed it!

    Agua – thanks for coming back to share! I must try with fenugreek. Glad you enjoyed it :-)

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  24. Andrew G says

    Yep this is still a firm favourite in my household – six months on since I commented on it! I make it almost every other week. Like you say it’s great for a quick and easy meal after a hard day at the office and, more importantly, it gets the enthusiastic thumbs up from the OH (who always has seconds).

    I’ve evolved the recipe a little though by adding half a teaspoon of fenugreek (as suggested above) to the spice mix – it really adds something to the flavours.

    • Oh, I am so pleased to hear that, Andrew. I will add fenugreek next time too. Sounds like a great addition!

      I *always* have seconds too :-)

  25. Radhika says

    Thanks for the recipe. I made it little while back and my 5yr old son has never had eaten so much at any meal as much he ate today. He loved it!! I am waiting for my husband and 4yr old daughter to try it too.
    It was so simple and quick to make, I was really surprised.
    The only complaint I have is that its too little. If I eat any, they wont have enough. I wish I had made larger quantity. :(
    But its absolutely SIMPLE, QUICK and DELICIOUS.

    Thanks a lot. Will browse for your other recipes.

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  28. Petra Claussen says

    Just a quick thank you for this lovely recipe. I cooked it tonight and it went down a treat. It was my first cook-from-scratch curry ever (was I flapping…!? yeah…) and it just went swimmingly and was delicious. Thanks ever so much for the inspiration. Next time I will daringly use two green chilies!

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  30. Saw this yesterday and thought “hmm… prawns, good summer curry”… so I made one with courgettes, in yoghurt and put it up on my blog.
    thanks for inspiration.
    By the way, I’m putting you on my blogroll…. would be nice to swap links, although you probably have too many already :)

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  34. Mixtapesandmash says

    Wow this looks amazing and so easy! Definitely would love to try making this!

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  36. Stumbled upon this recipe whilst salivating over the rest of your blog, making it this evening for Him Indoors and my curry-loving toddler – I’ll be sure to let you know how it goes down! :)

  37. Pingback: goan nostalgic for shrimp curry | The Hippie Triathlete

  38. just discovered your amazing blog and am going to cook this version of prawn curry later on today
    I will let you know how it goes :-)

  39. sjoukes says

    it was unanimous! everyone loved it, I just have to tone down the heat lol, I put in 1 green chilli + about 3/4 tsp of chilli powder…

    • Great to hear. Chilli powder gives a very two dimensional raw burn, so best to use a fruity mild chilli pepper instead.

  40. Mariam says

    I made this last night and my husband absolutely loved it! He couldn’t stop thanking me for making him a lovely dinner. Thank you so much for this recipe. Keep up the good work x

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  42. Stevee says

    Thank you – this recipe is divine with Chicken thigh too (need to cook them a bit longer than prawns though). :-)

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  44. Andrew Milne says

    Damn fine recipie! Thank you Thank you Thank you!
    Cooked it for my girl tonight for the third time, and again — Ahhhh delicious!
    I found it via Kat the climber’s fb post “Niamh’s prawn curry”- No.1 google result! so easy to remember.
    Done it a few times now, you are so right about the coconut milk – clever! If I can only get the reduced fat tins, I sieve out the liquid and boil it down for 10 mins to thicken it.
    I love spice, so I generally add about 20% more cloves chilli black pepper & ginger and also 3 cardamon pods
    Brilliant fast food

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