Kerala prawn curry

Kerala prawn curry

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(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
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 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.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
21st Mar, 2012
Quick Question. Im looking at cooking this next week, It may sound stupid but would using Full Fat Coconut Milk make it taste as nice/nicer or is it low fat for a reason? I'm my experience the low fat options may be better on the waist line but don't usually taste as good. Thanks.
18th Feb, 2012
19th Jan, 2012
This received top marks from the fussy hubby! I only used one red chilli. I marinated the prawns in salt, pepper, paprika, sweet chilli sauce and a tea spoon of vinegar for ten min. I added small amount of cumin powder, sweet chilli sauce and brown sugar when cooking as it was too sour for me. I did add the prawns and toss them for a bit but then removed them as the sauce had not thickened in time. I thickened the sauce on high then reduced to simmer and added the prawns in at the end with some chilli flakes and again adjusted with salt and sugar to taste. I did not add the lime or coriander. I left lid on for a few min and the prawns were just lovely and the sauce delicious!
poisonivy73's picture
11th Jan, 2012
Easy, fast and delicious. I didn't have fenugreek seeds but substituted a couple of pinches of ground fenugreek and it worked perfectly well. Very nice with yoghurt drizzled over the top if you find it's a bit too spicy.
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 :(


Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?