Kerala prawn curry

Prep: 15 mins - 20 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 2
Warm up the coldest day with a creamy coconut milk curry - it's got quite a kick!

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal294
  • fat16g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs8g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre0g
  • protein31g
  • salt2.76g
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  • 2 red chilli split, cut into quarters lengthways and seeded
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2½ cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • 1 tsp black mustard seed
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
    Fenugreek seed

    Fenugreek seed

    fenn-you-greek seed

    A popular seed in Indian cookery, in which it's termed methi, this small, hard, mustard…

  • 14 curry leaf, fresh or dried
  • ½ tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • ½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 250g jumbo prawns, leave some with their tails on if you like



    There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…

  • 150ml reduced-fat coconut milk

To serve

  • a squeeze of lime



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • chopped fresh coriander, plus a sprig or two
  • freshly boiled basmati rice


  1. In a food processor, blitz the chillies, onion and ginger with 3 tbsp water into a smoothish paste – you may need to scrape it down the sides.

  2. Heat the oil in a heavy pan or wok. When hot, toss in the mustard and fenugreek seeds, and curry leaves – they’ll crackle and pop – and fry for 10 seconds. Add the onion paste, turn the heat down a tad and cook without colouring for about 5 minutes. Splash in some water if it starts to catch.

  3. Add the turmeric and cracked peppercorns and stir the spices around for a few seconds before tipping in the prawns. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer, stirring all the time. The milk will take on a yellow colour from the turmeric. Cook for 1 minute until everything’s heated through. Squeeze over some lime, sprinkle with fresh coriander and serve with rice.

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Comments (106)

haedir's picture

Hmm, not as good as I'd hoped and I followed the recipe exactly. Chilli heat was good but zesty/lemony aspect was too harsh. Suggest more coconut milk, less lime and fenugreek for next time. Definitely bash the black peppercorns to bits as those which survived intact railroaded the whole balance of flavour. Will make again with adjustments.

warvik's picture

Oh my word, this was delicious. I read the other comments before cooking and added a nice dollop of tomato puree and seasoned it well with both salt and pepper before serving. I also didn't bother de-seeding the chillies as we prefer our meals on the spicy side.

Annie Sabu's picture

It was a nice dish !!!! I added pinch of salt ....yummy

Experienced curry cook's picture

This is a fairly authentic recipe. I'd add a couple of sliced green chillies when frying the mustard and fenugreek seeds. I'd also add a chopped tomato for sourness to balance the sweetness of the coconut milk. At least one teaspoon of salt needs to be stirred in. The sauce must be fully cooked before the prawns are added. This is the case for all south Indian fish curries. First cook the sauce, then add the prepared fish, and bring it to the boil. Turn off the heat. The fish will cook in the hot sauce perfectly, if you use a cast iron pot.

KaylasCakes's picture

Good basic recipe, but found it a little bland. Added some fish stock (I think chicken or veg would help too) just to give it more flavour and depth.

jul34es's picture

Had this for tea tonight and it was very tasty and warmed us up

mouly's picture

Hi ,you post is easy and I think tasty & healthy ,I must try it .Recipes.

heliotropic1's picture

This is the most repulsive curry I have ever made, watery, tasteless. My daughter opted for a pot noodle having taste tested it. I half expected to see the curry again later. I shan't be making this again, yuck!

annadunphy's picture

I made this last night and it's delicious! Couple of points - I added chopped cherry tomatoes and spinach and it was amazing. Also a pinch of sugar and it's nicer with full fat coconut milk. I couldn't find fenugreek seeds so I used ground fenugreek and it was fine.

bloomers72's picture

A delicious and easy recipe which has become one of my standbys with frozen prawns and powdered coconut milk. Be sure to go easy on the mustard seeds as a little too many can make it bitter. If I can't be bothered to wash the food processor I often do it with hand chopped ingredients and the result is slightly different but just as good.

vani's picture

The prawn curry is very tasty. I have a comment to make about the recent trend in British media calling South Indian dishes as Kerala dishes. The curry you described here doesn't just belong to Kerala, many dishes which are called with the adjective' Kerala', whether it is soup, chicken curry, fish curry or many other dishes are also indigenous to other South Indian states . Recently I watched a cooking programme on the TV about making 'Kerala fish sauce', I must say, people in Tamil Nadu ,Andhra Pradhesh and Srilanka also make the sauce same way. It is only fair, these dishes should be called 'SouthIndian' rather than just 'Kerala''.

sanjala's picture

This was really disappointing. The result was a bland, watery curry. I would not attempt this again.

cshobbs's picture

Great! I found this very spicy but it tasted good.
As usual I substituted the red onion with a small red sweet pepper, as we don't like onion. I didn't need to add as much water to the paste (only about 1tbsp). I also used brown mustard seeds, dried curry leaves, fresh prawns (no juice!) and 160ml coconut milk - not reduced fat.
And my kitchen didn't stink the day after!

rumblingtum's picture

tasty to the max! plenty of ginger, garlic, chillies. be sure to use fish sauce for depth of flavour. mushrooms and peppers provided an extra boost of deliciousness.

jessicaferguson1988's picture

This recipe needs sugar & salt! I would recommend 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar in the onion mix and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, to give it depth of flavour. Also I would recommend adding the coconut milk BEFORE the prawns, cooking it out for 20 mins and then adding the prawns right at the end for a few mins (otherwise they will go hard).

spaceburger's picture

This recipe is a big favorite in our home. Never ceases to amuse my friends that I - an Indian who loves cooking homestyle dishes- use a BBC Good Food recipe. I don't care though. I love it - it is great!

vikki1912's picture

Gonna cook this 1 tonite (wish me luck!)

vikki1912's picture

You can buy mustard seeds in tesco, adsa and all other supermarkets

dorothyd's picture

Something missing, but not sure what. Have had better curries, do not think I would use this again, even though it was tasty.

cbridgeman's picture

This is hot but absolutely delicious! I would recommend it highly - 4 stars!


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