I am a huge fan of light curries. Curries that are not super rich in texture, but are full of flavor and taste. This prawn curry with lemongrass and coconut is one of my absolute favorites.
The fragrance of lemongrass is known to all, and this curry is so fresh and refreshing that it will make your heart skip a beat.
I got the inspiration for this recipe when I visited Bali in 2018. I had one of the best dinners in Ubud – a lemongrass prawn curry and rice. One bite into it and I knew I was in love. Such distinct and fresh flavours, and simple style of cooking. It appealed to me immediately and I have told everyone I know about that particular prawn curry. So I noted it down and have been making it ever since at home.
The broth of this curry has been reduced after putting together a lot of delightful ingredients, and the lemongrass is the hero. The coconut gives a lot of creaminess, flavor, and texture to the gravy. The broth is silky smooth as I have strained it completely, extracting all the flavor and juices out of the ingredients. Every drop of it is heaven, along with the juicy prawns. Pure bliss and one of my personal favorites. I hope you try it and love it as much as I do.
Preparation time – 30 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 3-4 people
- 400 g prawns, cleaned and deveined
- 80 g fresh lemongrass stalks, cut into chunks
- 2 medium onions
- 40 g ginger
- 1 dried red chili, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp pepper powder
- 50 g fresh coconut
- 1 tsp sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 400 ml hot water
- Chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- Clean and devein the prawns. I have kept the tail on but you can remove it if you like. Pat the prawns dry with paper towel.
- Add the prawns to a mixing bowl. Marinate with salt and 1.5 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper powder. Mix well with a spoon till every prawn is coated with the salt and pepper.
- Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan. Fry the prawns in the hot oil, one minute each side. Set them aside.
- Get fresh lemongrass. Look for stalks that are fragrant, tightly formed and lemony green in color in the lower stalk (near the bulb). Chop off the lower stalk as that is the most fragrant part. Chop it into chunks.
- Add the lemongrass chunks, ginger, onions, soaked red chili and lemon juice. Add a little water and grind it all to form a thick paste.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan. Once hot, add the lemongrass paste to it. Fry this till the raw aroma of the onions and ginger completely disappear. Keep the flame at medium so that it does not burn.
- Add sugar to the paste. Mix well.
- Once the paste releases all its water and the raw aroma disappears completely, add 400 ml of hot water. Mix well till the gravy starts to bubble.
- Now turn off the heat for a minute and strain the gravy (see video) onto a bowl. Make sure you extract every drop out of the base so that all you are left with are the shreds of the lemongrass and ginger.
- Put this strained and silky smooth gravy back into the pan and let it boil.
- Once the gravy starts to bubble, add the fried prawns. Give it a good mix and let it bubble away aggressively for about two minutes. Check salt and add more if required.
- Do not overcook. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with boiled rice.
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