North Indian-spiced prawn curry

North Indian-spiced prawn curry

I Love Curry
Jonathan Gregson

This is one of my favourite ways to eat prawns. The tomato - and garlic - based sauce is lightly spiced and there is a lot of flavour, but not so much that it dominates the sweet prawns. This is lovely with rice or Indian breads, or even a piece of buttered, crusty bread to dip into the sauce. Mustard oil adds a further layer of flavour; if you use it, bring it to smoking point then take off the heat for 30 seconds to cool before continuing.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tomatoes
5 fat garlic cloves
12g ginger, peeled weight
5 tablespoons mustard or vegetable oil
1 rounded teaspoon panch phoran
1 small onion, finely chopped
1-3 green chillies, whole but pierced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt, to taste
400g large raw prawns, shelled, deveined and rinsed
1 tablespoon double cream
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, or to taste
handful chopped fresh coriander leaves, to serve


  1. Blend the tomatoes, garlic and 5g of the ginger to a fine puree. Finely slice the remaining ginger into julienne.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick saucepan, add the panch phoran and let it sizzle for 10–15 seconds, or until the lighter seeds have become a warm brown colour. Add the onion, chillies and ginger julienne and cook until the onions are lightly golden.
  3. Add the tomato paste, remaining spices and salt. Cook over a moderate heat for around 15 minutes until the spice paste releases oil, stirring often as it thickens. Taste, it should be well-balanced and harmonious. Add the prawns and enough water to cover them by half. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently for three or four minutes, until the prawns are done. The sauce should be light but not watery. Stir in the cream, taste and adjust the seasoning, adding lemon juice if you like, and serve with the chopped coriander.
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