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Easy Prawn Curry Recipe From Kerala

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This easy prawn curry recipe can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.

This has to be one of the easiest curries I’ve ever made! Funny thing is, it’s simplicity is what makes this easy prawn curry so good. This is a recipe from my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy Light’ and it’s one of my all time favourite prawn curries.

Easy Prawn curry from Kerala

What is unique about this easy prawn curry?

In Kerala in southern India, kokum is often used as a souring agent with seafood curries instead of tamarind which is also popular. In this recipe I use kokum which has a unique can delicious flavour. 

If you have trouble finding it, just add the suggested amount of shop bought tamarind concentrate.

The prawn curry will taste different with tamarind. Kokum gives off an amazing smoky and sour flavour all its own. I love the stuff so be sure to source it if you can.

Should you cook this easy prawn curry in a clay pot?

If you have one, please use that. The clay actually adds flavour to the curry. This is clay pot cooking at its best.

That said, you can prepare this curry in any saucepan. So don’t worry too much about the clay pot, but as you can see, I do like cooking in mine.

How light is this curry?

You might wonder why I featured this easy prawn curry in my light cookbook. This is light though it sure doesn’t taste like diet food.

What do you serve this easy prawn curry with?

This curry will go great with lots of different side dishes. Try it with Basmati rice or matta rice. In Kerala, this easy prawn curry is often served with homemade poppadoms. Once you’ve tried homemade poppadoms, you’ll never go back to those you find at the supermarket.

You might also like to dip a homemade naan or chapati into this delicious sauce. Give one or all of these naan recipes a try,  instant naans, Peshwari naans, stove top naans, keema naans, garlic naans, tandoor naans (if you have a tandoor oven), or if you’re cooking outdoors, karahi naans. If you want to make things even easier, try these homemade chapatis.

You might also like to serve this with a good and easy tarka dal or slowly simmered dal makhani.

Step by step photos…

Making Keralan prawn curry

Mix the water with the kokum, chilli powder, coriander powder, green chillies and ginger and simmer for 15 minutes.

Making Keralan prawn curry

Add the raw prawns and stir well. Cover and simmer for about 8 minutes or until cooked through.

Making Keralan prawn curry

Remove the lid half way through cooking and add the chopped garlic.

Making Keralan Prawn curry

Meanwhile, infuse those whole spices and curry leaves in the oil in a separate pan.

Keralan prawn curry

Pour the flavoured oil over the cooked prawns. The end result is absolutely delicious! Give this a try.

Looking for other seafood curry ideas? Try some of these…

Hake Curry
Keralan Fish Curry
Sri Lankan Halibut Curry
Pan Seared Salmon in Saffron Sauce
Salmon Curry with Broccoli and Coconut


Yield: 4

Easy Keralan Prawn Curry

Keralan prawn curry
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 500g medium raw prawns – shelled and cleaned
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 3 kokums or 2 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) ginger – finely minced
  • 5 green chillies – sliced down the middle
  • 3 cloves garlic – minced
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1- 1 ½ tbsp rapeseed (canola) or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 20 curry leaves – fresh or frozen
  • Salt - to taste


  1. Pour 400ml (1 1/3 cups) water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the chilli powder, turmeric, coriander powder, black pepper, garlic and ginger paste and the kokum (or tamarind concentrate) and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the prawns and cover the pan to simmer for about five minutes. Stir well to combine.
  2. Now take a small frying pan and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add the cumin seeds and curry leaves. and green chillies. Allow these ingredients to infuse into the oil for about 30 seconds and then pour it over the cooked prawns.
  3. Season with salt to taste and serve hot.

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I hope you enjoy this easy prawn curry recipe! If you do give it a try, please let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Neil B

Friday 14th of January 2022

This was just perfect! Added a couple of white fish fillets too. Loved it

Dan Toombs

Friday 21st of January 2022

Great to hear. Thanks very much. Dan


Thursday 4th of February 2021

The recipe mentions garlic and pepper twice. Assume it’s not needed on step 1?

Dan Toombs

Friday 5th of February 2021

Hi Thanks for noticing, I have amended the recipe. They are added in step 1. Dan


Friday 25th of September 2020

When do you add the 5 green chillis to the Easy prawn curry from Kerala? Thanks

Dan Toombs

Friday 25th of September 2020

Hi Lucy Thanks for noticing that mistake, I have just changed the recipe instructions. Please add the green chillies with the curry leaves. Thanks Dan


Monday 18th of March 2019

Dan, can we use dried Kokum ?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 19th of March 2019

Hi Arse

Yes! That's what I use. :-)

Thanks, Dan

Sid Haynes

Thursday 14th of March 2019

Dan, have your first two books and will pre-order your third book. Your recipes are and have transformed my awareness of curry preparation. I cooked the lamb Achari for family and friends and they were "blown away" with the curry. I am planning to cook a large batch of masala chicken at the weekend butt the Keralan prawn curry was amazing. Keep up the good work. Sid

Dan Toombs

Saturday 16th of March 2019

Hi Sid

Thank you very much. I'm really happy you are enjoying the books and recipes.

Much appreciated, Dan

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