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Simplified International Flavours

prawn curry with kokum and raw mango

A delicious but easy Kerala prawn curry creamy with coconut yet balanced by the tartness of tomatoes, raw mango and kokum.


  • 350g-400g / about 20 pieces medium-large prawns, cleaned deveined (without shell)
  • 1” piece of ginger, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion (about 3” diameter), sliced thinly
  • 3 tomatoes, pureed (about 1 cup puree)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 pieces dried kokum (garcinia fruit)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 small raw mango, roughly peeled, stoned, and cut into 1” pieces (about 100g)
  • 2 cups thin coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
A delicious but easy Kerala prawn curry creamy with coconut yet balanced by the tartness of tomatoes, raw mango and kokum.


  • 1. Soak kokum in ½ cup water. Keep aside while preparing vegetables/mango for cooking.
  • 2. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat, add onion and fry for one minute. Add ginger and garlic, and fry until the bits start changing color to a golden brown (2-3 minutes).
  • 3. Add half the pureed tomatoes, the salt, turmeric, chili powder and Kashmiri chili powder. Raise heat to high and bring the curry to a boil.
  • 4. Add ½ the coconut milk (1 cup), and boil the curry for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. After two minutes, add the remaining tomato puree, coconut milk and the curry leaves, again bring to a boil and thicken for 2 minutes, stirring until you have a nicely emulsified curry.
  • 5. Add prawns, raw mango, and kokum water (discard the kokum). Lower heat to medium, keeping curry on a low boil and stirring occasionally. Allow to cook for 15-18 minutes until you get a thickened smooth curry.
  • 6. Serve hot with rice or chapattis.

    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cooking Time: 25- 30 minutes
    Serves: 2-4 people as part of a meal
    Ingredients: 14

    Credits: This recipe is adapted from Chef Benny's Prawn Curry. See relevant blog.

Critical Ingredients

If you do not Kashmiri chili powder, substitute the 1 teaspoon with ¼th teaspoon chili powder and 1½ teaspoons paprika. The curry leaves are a critical flavor, but the curry will taste good even without them. Coconut oil also gives the dish flavor, but if you don’t have it substitute any vegetable oil. If you don’t have both ginger and garlic, use at least one of the two. If kokum is not available, leave it out, as it is more for flavor than acidity.

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Anuja Kohli Mariwala

An engineer, home cook, Pilates instructor, Education Consultant and mother of four.

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