Kerala prawn curry

Kerala prawn curry

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(66 ratings)

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 chillies 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 leaves, 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
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

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, questions and tips

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10th Jan, 2012
I live in India and we get red chillies that are really spicy here. 2 was definitely too many, I should have just added 1. Lime juice helped to reduce the hotness a bit. But the end all I could taste was fiery chilli and coconut milk, to me the curry lacked depth. Maybe because I'm used to the Indian way of cooking now where you add more spices and the taste is always seems more complex, richer. I thought I fried the spices enough but maybe I didn't hence it tasted flat to me. Any advice here? Also, 1 tbsp of oil is not enough I feel, if I look at the uploaded photo I am positive that the amount of oil used to prepare that dish was more. In short, it came out edible but I won't be making it again. I'll try some other recipes from here. Thanks!
2nd Jan, 2012
Great recipe and very easy! Would work well with coconut rice, and would leave the prawns after the coconut milk. They just need 3 minutes to cook, otherwise they shrink and you end up with dwarf prawns!
12th Dec, 2011
I also found that the spice was right but it did taste very bland. Not sure if I did something wrong?
28th Nov, 2011
I loved this curry! The only tweeking I did was to add a little sugar and I also left the seeds in the chilli as we like some heat. I couldn't get black mustard seeds either so just used ordinary mustard seeds. Will definately make again and again delicious!!
30th Oct, 2011
very tasty
14th Oct, 2011
Made this for the girlfriend and I and followed the recipe religiously. After reading so many positive reviews, as curry lovers, we expected this to be a tasty dish but it was simply awful. Complete waste of ingredients. Perfect amount of spice but, the dish was completely lacking in flavour to the point where we both gave up after a few mouthfuls. Entirely disappointed :(
30th Aug, 2011
So easy and tasty. Will make this one a regular!
12th Jul, 2011
really easy and restaurant class dish!
18th Jun, 2011
This was OK. It was hot but felt the flavour lacked depth, maybe something I didn't get quite right. I do like Keralan food, but this didn't quite do it for me. I followed the recipe to the letter and did not change or substitute items.
4th Jun, 2011
i've been keen to try this recipe for a while thinking it would be a dish that i would love. but me and my husband both agreed that it was really spicy (which we loved), but very bland. Which i thought was funny as it smelt great whilst cooking! And the kitchen stank for a week. Not a recipe I'll be doing again.


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