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Quick King Prawn Curry


Generally prawns have already been shelled and deveined. However, if you need to devein them, you can do this with a thin, sharp knife. Make a cut along the back of one of the prawns, without cutting all the way through.

bar Quick King Prawn Curry
Lift out the dark digestive tract, using the tip of the knife, then remove any remnants of the vein under cold running water. Repeat until all the prawns are deveined.

Picture by Werner Van Peppen

Serves 3-4

400g king prawns, shelled and deveined
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp groundnut or sunflower oil
1/2 tsp brown or black mustard seeds
6-8 curry leaves
2 onions, finely chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped or 1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp peeled and grated root ginger
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tsp fish masala or 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp ground coriander and 1/4 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp chilli powder
a few coriander leaves, washed and chopped


Place the prawns on a plate and sprinkle over the turmeric and salt.
Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan or a wok and add 2 tbsp of the oil. Sprinkle a few mustard seeds to check that the oil is hot enough. If they begin to pop and splutter, the oil is ready.

Add the remaining mustard seeds and the curry leaves. Tip in the prawns and fry for 3-4 minutes until they change colour or turn pink. Remove the prawns from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining oil into the pan and tip in the onions, garlic and ginger. Fry them for 7-8 minutes until golden brown. Mix in the tomatoes and cook for a further 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Add the fish masala or the other ground spices with the chilli powder and cook for a further minute. Return the prawns to the pan of sauce and mix well. Let the curry simmer for a couple of minutes. If you'd like more sauce, add 6 tbsp of just boiled water and cook for a further minute.

Sprinkle over the coriander leaves and serve with plain Basmati rice or toasted wholemeal pitta breads.

(c) 2012

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