Madhur Jaffrey's Prawn (Shrimp) Curry

Total Time
15 mins
25 mins

A simple prawn curry, not too hot. Lovely served atop steamed basmati rice with a side of cucumber raita. May use scallops or other seafood in place of the prawns. Recipe adapted from Madhur Joffrey.

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  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon bright red paprika (noble-sweet)
  • 12 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (or 2 tablespoons coriander seeds)
  • 12 teaspoon ground cumin (or 1 teaspoon cumin seeds)
  • 14 12 ounces coconut milk, well stirred (may use a smaller 6.5 ounce can)
  • 3 pieces kokum (or 1 tablespoon tamarind paste)
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined medium-sized uncooked prawns (shrimp)
  • salt and pepper


  1. In a large saucepan, combine 1-1/4 cups water with the cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, garlic and ginger. Mix well. Grind the coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a clean coffee grinder and add to mixture.
  2. Bring the spice mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and is reduced somewhat.
  3. Add the coconut milk, salt, kokum or tamarind paste, and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the prawns (shrimp) and simmer, stirring occasionally, until they turn opaque and are just cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve while hot.