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30 Minute Quick Prawn Curry

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This quick prawn curry could also be made with cooked prawns

Quick prawn balti

30 minute quick prawn balti

This is a fresh tasting curry that I really love. It’s been cooked in a BIR (British Indian Restaurant) style though most restaurant chefs would use a pre-prepared curry sauce base – often referred to as a curry gravy. This is done to help cook the curries quickly so that they can be served to the customers in a timely manner.

Assuming you aren’t planning on opening an Indian restaurant any time soon, I’ve decided to show you how this prawn balti recipe would be made if the chef made it at home.

Just like most British Indian restaurant style base sauces, this recipe starts with an onion tarka. This forms the base for the sauce. Other ingredients are then added to complete the curry.

Balti curries are usually quite dry making them easier to scoop up with pieces of fresh naan or chapatti. You could add more tomatoes if you prefer more sauce.

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Yield: 4

My 30 Minute QUICK Prawn Balti

My 30 Minute QUICK Prawn Balti
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 800g fresh uncooked prawns – peeled and black vein removed
  • 100ml vegetable oil or rapeseed oil
  • 2 large onions – finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes – finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 green chilli peppers – finely chopped
  • 2 capsiums (bell peppers) – thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 bunch chopped coriander
  • Juice of one or two limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil over medium high heat until bubbling.
  2. Pour in the chopped onions and fry for about five minutes until translucent and soft but not browned.
  3. Add a pinch of salt and fry for a further minute before adding the garlic, ginger and green chillies.
  4. Stir to combine and add half of the sliced capsicums, the tomatoes, the tomato paste, garam masala, chilli powder and the ground coriander.
  5. Continue stirring while the capsicums cook through.
  6. At this point, add about 200m water and the uncooked prawns.
  7. Toss in the chopped coriander and watch carefully while the prawn cook.
  8. Once the prawns are cooked through, add the rest of the sliced capsicum and the lime juice. You want the capsicums to be about 50% cooked through so that they are still a bit crunchy.
  9. Check for seasoning and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

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Serve with fresh naans or chapattis.


Friday 19th of June 2020

Concerned about adding prawns early on as toughen the longer cooked?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

Hi Amie Yes, that't right so add the prawns towards the end. Thanks Dan

Peter Strømberg

Monday 21st of August 2017

Reduced coconut milk it also an option :)


Wednesday 5th of October 2016

Can I ask when I should add the chopped tomatoes as it seems to be missing from the method. Thanks

Dan Toombs

Thursday 6th of October 2016

Hi Ruth

Thanks for noticing. All fixed now. :-)


Steve S

Tuesday 16th of August 2016

HI Dan

I made this tonight but didnt have prawns so dig out some pork shoulder from the freezer, then cooked it in the new pressure cooker following your recipe.

30mins later out came a very good curry with melt in the mouh pork.



Dan Toombs

Wednesday 17th of August 2016

Excellent! Good to hear Steve.


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