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How To Make A British Indian Restaurant (BIR) Style Prawn Bhuna

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Prawn bhuna is a thick curry that is great served on its own

prawn bhuna

This prawn bhuna is delicious!


Although I have tried a lot of restaurant style prawn dishes over the past years, I have to say this is one of my favourites. It’s funny as I’ve never really been all that crazy about buhna curries.

Buhnas are quite dry and I prefer my curries with a bit more sauce.

This prawn bhuna is different because prawns just don’t need a lot of sauce.

I guess I just like the flavour of the prawns which all too often are over-powered by a strong curry gravy.

Not here!

This prawn bhuna just gets it!

I have left the prawns whole so that you get a nice mouthful with each bite. The sauce is also not overpowering though it is a bit spicy.

I serve this hot curry with a simple lettuce salad that is mixed with mint leaves. Personally I think it’s the perfect accompaniment. I hope you agree.



3 Tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
25 prawns in their shells
500ml curry gravy
1 Tablespoon ginger paste
1 Tablespoon garlic paste
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
1 Tablespoon red chilli powder
1 Tablespoon Coriander powder
1 Tablespoon tomatoe paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 four inch cinnamon stick
Juice of one lemon
1 small bunch coriander leaves – chopped
Salt and pepper


Heat the ghee or oil in a large pan or wok over a medium to medium high heat. If the oil begins to smoke, turn down the heat.

When the oil/ghee is quite hot, throw in the cinnamon stick and move it around in the oil for about 15 seconds before adding the prawns.

Fry the prawns until they are almost cooked through. This should only take a couple of minutes.

When the prawns are pink and almost about 90% cooked, remove them from the oil and set aside to cool.

Now add the ginger paste, garlic paste, cumin powder, coriander powder and chilli powder. Adjust the heat so that the garlic doesn’t burn.

Stir continuously for about a minute and then add the turmeric, tomato paste and curry gravy.

As you cook the gravy, the turmeric will make it slightly darker. This is what you want.

Allow to simmer for about two minutes while you peel and devein the prawns.

Add the prawns to the gravy and stir to combine.

Throw in the coriander leaves and squeeze the lemon juice into the sauce.

When the gravy is quite thick and coats the prawns nicely, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy this prawn bhuna as my as my family and I do.

David Jones

Saturday 23rd of September 2017

This is the 3rd curry of yours i've tried after the Jalfrezi and Sri Lankan Pork curry. They both turned out well but this was something else, a real delight to eat. i tip my hat at you Sir

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 17th of October 2017

Hi David

Thanks very much for that. I'm really happy you are enjoying the recipes.

Cheers, Dan

Darren & Nanette Jameson

Tuesday 6th of December 2016

Tried your King Prawn Bhuna recipe, using your large batch curry gravy and have to say, its as close to the best restaurant curry we've ever tasted. We tweaked it only slightly (added a little less gravy and some fresh toms - but that's what you do, tweak it to suite your own taste. Will definitely try some of your other recipes. Thanks for the recipe.

Dan Toombs

Friday 9th of December 2016

Thank you very much Darren and Nanette! Really glad you liked the recipe and that you were able to tailor it to your own tastes! Great to hear.

Cheers, Dan

Wednesday 14th of October 2015

A big thank you for your blog.Really thank you! Fantastic.

Dan Toombs

Wednesday 28th of October 2015

Thank you for trying my recipes. Much appreciated.

Cheers Dan

Sue Bedford

Tuesday 19th of May 2015

Hi Dan, how many does this recipe cater for? I can't see it on the recipe page? Thanks heaps. Sue

Dan Toombs

Monday 20th of July 2015

Hi Sue

About 3 to 4 people. Or one hungry person. :-)


Peter convy

Sunday 23rd of March 2014

I've made this two weeks in a row. Now I've got the hang of it. I add a dash of single cream for the kids, just so it doesn't blow their heads off. This is an amazing curry and easily adaptable. Yesterday I split the quantities and did prawn and chicken. Plenty of coriander and lemon juice. Until now I've been using Gordon Ramsey's tika massala, but this beats all of them. Cheers mr curry guy

Dan Toombs

Thursday 27th of March 2014

Thank you Peter! Dan

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