Kerala prawn curry

Kerala prawn curry

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(80 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

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 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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6th May, 2020
Everyone loved it, just the right amount of spice. I didn't check how many people it serves (which is 2) so would've made more next time. Would be lovely with chicken instead of prawns also.
2nd Jan, 2020
I followed this recipe almost exactly and it was delicious! I used frozen cooked prawns (defrosted and drained well) and threw them in a few minutes before the end. I also used full-fat coconut milk and think this was probably a good choice. Our friends all loved it!
21st Aug, 2019
I thought it was very very nice. I added some red and green pepper to get some veg in. Will 100% be cooking this again soon.
17th Feb, 2019
We both love this curry I took crystal tips advice to to add some fish sauce and this definitely brought all flavours out all plates clean no leftovers this is a week end favourite so easy to make
17th Jan, 2018
It’s not often my husband seeks out a second helping of dinner but this receipe delivered. I found that the sauce needed a kick of fish sauce to bring the flavors to life hence 4 stars instead of the 5 the dish finally deserved.
25th Sep, 2017
Recipe does not appear to print out. All I got was the number and the date or some such sh*t, not a sign of the recipe.
16th Jun, 2017
This is an amazingly tasty dish. Quite why some of the posters in this thread say otherwise is a mystery to me. I can only conclude their taste buds are irreparably broken....... A doddle to make and full of flavour. It's a weekly standard in my kitchen.....
4th Feb, 2017
Made this exactly as the recipe except I added three green finger chillis as we like our food hot. It was absolutely gorgeous and I was so proud of myself cooking Indian successfully! Delicious and fairly simple for a novice to Indian cooking. It's getting printed out for my recipe binder!
10th May, 2016
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.
26th Apr, 2016
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.


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