I absolutely love this prawn curry recipe. I end up making it once a week when all I have is 30-40 minutes to whip up dinner. The best part about prawns is that they cook super fast and let you pull off a hearty meal without spending hours in the kitchen. Because they have such a strong flavour of their own, you don’t even have to add too many ingredients to make prawns shine. And this prawn curry is no different, soft, juicy prawns in a creamy, subtle and coconut gravy. This with hot steaming rice is nothing short of an astounding culinary experience.
Ingredients in this Prawn Curry
This easy prawn curry has just a handful of ingredients, and is light and flavourful. The spice blend is a mixture of coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and garam masala. The creaminess comes from the coconut milk, that also adds a beautiful texture and natural sweetness to the curry.
Prawns are the main ingredient in this curry. A couple of things need to be taken care of to get the perfect prawn flavour and texture.
- Before starting, make sure you devein the prawns and clean it thoroughly to rid it off any impurities. You can keep the tail on too.
- Second, once you wash the prawns, pat them dry with a kitchen towel. This is an important step to ensure that the prawns do not have too much water in them, otherwise they will release all the water into the gravy and get overcooked before absorbing the rest of the ingredients.
- Third, marinate the prawns with salt for atleast 15 minutes. This will ensure that the prawns are seasoned well and do not end up tasting bland in the curry.
- Lastly, prawns can be very unforgiving when it comes to cooking time. Make sure you do not leave the prawns undercooked or overcooked. Overcooking leads to prawns turning into a rubbery texture which can be disastrous. Keep an eye on them and follow the timings.
Coconut milk is used generously in this recipe. I have used a semi thick coconut milk. You can also use coconut cream or thin coconut milk. The coconut milk is what sets this prawn curry apart and makes it irresistible. The coconut milk makes this prawn curry creamy, adds to the formation of a luscious gravy and also adds a natural sweetness to this light curry.
The best way to make sure you get the perfect prawn curry is making sure your spices are freshly ground. There are four spices used in this prawn curry – coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and garam masala.
Here’s a look at the recipe:
Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 4
- 700 g prawns, cleaned and deveined
- Salt, to marinate the prawns
- 3 tbsp mustard oil
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamoms
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup onions, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 1 cup roughly chopped tomatoes
- Salt to taste (for the curry)
- 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 cup hot water (for the masala)
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 2 slit green chillies
- 1 cup hot water (for the curry)
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Fresh coriander, chopped (for garnish)
- Devein and clean the prawns. Wash and pat dry. Marinate with salt for 15 minutes. Get your vegetables ready in the meantime (onions, ginger garlic paste, tomatoes).
- Heat mustard oil in a kadhai. Once it heats up and starts to smoke, lower the heat and temper the oil with dried red chilli, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Give it a light stir.
- Add the chopped onions and cook for 3-4 minutes till the onions turn soft and translucent.
- Once the onions starts to release its flavours, add the ginger garlic paste and stir till its raw aroma disappears completely (3-4 minutes).
- Keep a check on the flame to ensure nothing burns. Keep the flame at medium.
- The ginger garlic will start to release its raw aroma and that’s when you must add the tomatoes. Stir in the tomatoes with the onions. Increase the flame for a minute while you do that.
- Lower the temperature and cover the kadhai with a lid. We want to tomatoes to cook completely and melt in with the onions. Cook this covered till the oil starts to release from the sides.
- Season with salt, turmeric powder, sugar, cumin powder and coriander powder. Add some hot water (1/4 cup) to prevent the masala from burning. Stir well.
- Add the marinated prawns and stir for 3-4 minutes till the prawns get half cooked. Keep the flame at high once you add the prawns and stir continuously.
- After 4 minutes, pour the coconut milk along with slit green chillies and let the curry come to a rolling boil.
- Let the curry come to a semi thick consistency and prawns cook completely (another 7-10 minutes). Do not over cook the prawns as it will become chewy.
- Once done, garnish with garam masala and fresh coriander leaves. Stir well.
- Serve hot with boiled rice.