Kerala prawn curry

Kerala prawn curry

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(78 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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Annie Sabu
22nd Mar, 2016
It was a nice dish !!!! I added pinch of salt ....yummy
Experienced cur...
20th Dec, 2015
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.
5th Apr, 2015
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
4th Mar, 2015
Had this for tea tonight and it was very tasty and warmed us up
8th Jul, 2014
Hi ,you post is easy and I think tasty & healthy ,I must try it .Recipes.
30th Mar, 2014
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!
20th Feb, 2014
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.
26th Jan, 2014
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.
6th Nov, 2013
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''.
27th Oct, 2013
This was really disappointing. The result was a bland, watery curry. I would not attempt this again.


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