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simple kerala prawn curry

An Indian lunch recipe for a quick, spicy curry with the delicious flavours of Kerala spices and coconut oil


  • 250g / about 30 pieces medium prawns, cleaned deveined (without shell)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1” piece of ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion (about 2” diameter) roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 green chilies, halved
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
An Indian lunch recipe for a quick, spicy curry with the delicious flavours of Kerala spices and coconut oil


  • 1. Apply salt, turmeric, and chili powder to cleaned prawns and allow to marinate while preparing other ingredients.
  • 2. Grind ginger, garlic and onion in a chopper/grinder to make a coarse paste.
  • 3. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add mustard seeds, green chilies and curry leaves, and stir for a minute. Add onion paste, and stir paste until the bits start changing color to a golden brown (2-3 minutes). Add prawns and sauté until they cook through and change colour (about 3-4 minutes).
  • 4. Add the coconut milk and lower heat to simmer. Simmer for about 3 minutes to let flavors blend. Serve hot with rice or chapattis.

    Serves: 2-4 people as part of a meal
    Ingredients: 11

Critical Ingredients

If you do not have whole green chilies, you can substitute dry red chilies. 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.

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2 responses to “Simple Kerala Prawn Curry”

    • Thanks Ritu! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Coconut oil adds a nice subtle coconut flavour to Kerala food. There is another recipe for prawn curry with kokum in my last blog “Cochin Cooking Class with Chef Benny” – it is also really easy, and has the addition of raw mangoes.

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Anuja Kohli Mariwala

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

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