Creamy Keralan seafood curry

Creamy Keralan seafood curry

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

This lovely, harmonious coconut sauce goes perfectly with seafood. I use an assortment here as I like the different textures and flavours that a good variety of seafood offers. Or you can also use the same amount of firm white-fleshed fish instead. This is a wonderful dish; serve it with rice.


Quantity Ingredient
5 tablespoons coconut or vegetable oil
1 rounded teaspoon mustard seeds
10 black peppercorns
15 fresh curry leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
2-4 green chillies, whole but pierced
20g fresh root ginger, peeled weight, grated into a paste
5 fat garlic cloves, grated into a paste
2 tomatoes, blended to a paste or chopped
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 good tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt, to taste
400ml creamy coconut milk, (reserve 2 tbsp of the cream that accumulates on top)
3/4-1 teaspoon tamarind paste, or to taste
500g assorted raw seafood (prawns, mussels, squid rings, crab claws), or white fish


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan. Add the mustard seeds and peppercorns and, once they have popped, the curry leaves, onion and chillies. Cook until the onions are just soft and turning golden. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes on a gentle heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes, spices and salt and cook for seven or eight minutes until the paste releases oil. Add the coconut milk and 250ml water. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.
  3. The sauce should have a consistency just thicker than single cream (if necessary reduce it a little more to thicken, or add a splash of water to loosen). Add the tamarind and follow with the seafood. Cook gently until done, around three minutes (if using crab claws, they may need to be added first to cook a little longer), then stir in the reserved coconut cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning, chilli heat and tamarind, to taste, then serve.
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