A delicious and easy Kerala prawn curry, creamy with coconut yet balanced by the tang of tomatoes, raw mango, and kokum. A favourite recipe for both for the family and guests.
- 350g-400g / about 20 pieces medium-large prawns, cleaned and deveined (without shell)
- 1 small onion (about 3” diameter), sliced thinly
- 1” piece of ginger, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 3 tomatoes, pureed (about 1 cup puree)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon chili, ground or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili, ground
- 2 cups thin coconut milk
- 8-10 curry leaves
- 1 small raw mango, roughly peeled, stoned, and cut into 1” pieces (about 100g)
- 2 pieces dried kokum (garcinia fruit)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Soak kokum in ½ cup water. Keep aside while preparing vegetables/mango for cooking.
- 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).
- Add half the pureed tomatoes, the salt, turmeric, ground chili, and ground Kashmiri chili. Raise heat to high and bring the curry to a boil.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve hot with rice or chapattis.
This recipe is adapted from Chef Benny’s Prawn Curry. See the relevant blog.
If you do not have ground Kashmiri chili, substitute the 1 teaspoon with ¼th teaspoon ground chili 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.