This Spicy Prawn Curry is my hubby’s favourite dish! The more chilli the better, says he… never mind the kids! I have a cousin who lives in Perth, Australia and many years ago she gave me a little lesson on cooking prawn curry and I’ve never looked back.
She is an amazing cook and I’ve learnt a few kitchen tips and tricks from her. Everytime I cook this dish I get loads of compliments and if it is my hubby’s favourite then that says a lot as he is one of my biggest critics, you would swear he was a gourmet chef in his past life.
My Spicy Prawn Curry is an easy curry to cook and actually doesn’t require as many spices as most other curries. This dish proves that simple can also be delicious. I have yet to taste a more delicious prawn curry.
This dish is cooked in one-pot and it’s the flavour from frying the prawns that adds to the yumminess of this curry. I have made it for guests a few times and they absolutely loved it.
It goes really well with rice or roti and a definite crowd pleaser so next time you throwing a party and you want to wow your guests this is the dish to make. The trick to making a great Spicy Prawn Curry is not to overcook your prawns, you have to flash fry it, just a couple of minutes on each side or you will end up with prawns that feels like rubber.
I also learnt from my cousin that you have to squeeze every drop of excess water from the prawns before cooking them, this also helps in keeping them soft and tender. It works for me. I also wash my prawns with some coarse salt before marinating them to get all the grimy bits off, a little extra care can do no harm.
Growing up my mum only ever used fresh ingredients in all her cooking. I don’t ever remember seeing any canned tomatoes in our home. When making any Indian dish or curry I always used fresh tomatoes. However, since moving to Johannesburg we sometimes cannot find Roma tomatoes in the supermarkets. I then have to settle for canned tomatoes.
Although I love cooking with fresh ingredients it may not always be possible. If you have a family that loves to eat you have to make a plan, canned tomatoes or not. However, I do believe that fresh tomatoes is the way to go for this Spicy Prawn Curry, if you can get some then I suggest you use them.
Although in South African our curries do not use a lot of cream. You can add some coconut cream or fresh cream to this curry, if you’re feeling really indulgent. This curry is however, delicious without it.
Hope you enjoy this Spicy Prawn Curry as much as we do.
More Local Favourites to try:
Spicy Prawn Curry
- 700 grams prawns shelled and deveined
- 3 tspn ground cumin
- 1/2 tspn turmeric
- 2 tspn crushed garlic
- 4 tspn Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- juice and rind of half a lemon
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 8 roma tomatoes skin removed and blended
- 3-4 green chillies slit in half
- 1 tbsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tspn ginger/garlic paste
- 1 sprig curry leaf
- 1/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil plus extra
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- fresh coriander for garnishing (optional)
- Marinate the prawns with the chilli powder, garlic,turmeric, cumin, lemon rind and lemon juice and refrigerate for an hour
- Heat the oil and flash fry the prawns in little batches and set aside. Be careful not to let the oil burn as you are going to use it to make the sauce.
- Once all the prawns are fried add another tablespoon or 2 of oil to the remaining oil, only if needed. Fry onion until slightly brown.
- Add garlic and saute for a minute, add curry leaf and chillies. Add chilli powder and cook for a minute.
- Add tomatoes , season with salt. Add sugar if required. Cover and simmer until sauce thickens and tomatoes are fully cooked.
- Add prawns to the sauce, bring to the boil and turn off heat. Garnish with coriander.
- Although I have used Kashmiri Chilli Powder in my curry, mainly for people that don't have access to masala. If you have masala you are welcome to use that together with the Kashmiri Chilli powder. Masala without the Kashmiri Chilli Powder will work too
- You can adjust the amount of chilli powder and chillies according to the amount of heat you prefer
- If your tomatoes are too acidic you can add some sugar, not too much. I normally start with half a teaspoon and add if I need more
- This curry tastes even more delicious the next day so it is a great make ahead curry