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Sri Lankan Prawn Curry

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Make this Sri Lankan prawn curry as spicy as you like…

This Sri Lanka prawn curry recipes was taught to me as a dried sardine curry.

The chefs at the hotel I was staying at showed me several recipes that are traditionally made with dried fish. Knowing that dried fish curry may not be everyone’s cup of tea, they were sure to explain that the sauce could be served with many other main ingredients.

So for this recipe, I decided to use baby prawns and it turned out to be a Sri Lankan prawn curry to remember. 

Sri Lankan prawn curry

If you like a good prawn curry, you’re going to love this!

How is this recipe different to the recipe I learned?

Apart from the obvious, this isn’t a dried sardine curry after all, I used some haberano chilli sauce to spice it up some.

The original was made with about 4 tablespoons of dried chilli flakes and it was super spicy and delicious. I didn’t have enough chilli flakes on hand so used some Dr Burnorium habanero hot sauce and it worked a treat.

In fact, I preferred it with the hot sauce as it added a whole new and delicious layer of habanero flavour to my Sri Lankan prawn curry. 

Using the hot sauce is by no means an authentic touch but sometimes substituting ingredients turns out to be a good move. 

Step by steps photos…

Ingredients for prawn curry

Always get your ingredients together before cooking. It’s a lot easier.

Heating the base ingredients for the curry

Heat the oil in the pan/pot and add the onion. Fry for a couple of minutes and then add the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and green chillies.

Adding fresh ingredients to pot

Add the ground spices and stir well. Then add the fresh curry leaves.

Adding diced tomato

Almost done. Add the diced tomato and stir well to combine.

Adding prawns to pot

In go the prawns.

Adding coconut milk.

Stir the prawns until they are coated with the base mixture and then fry until almost cooked through. Then pour in the coconut milk.

Finished Sri Lankan prawn curry

This curry can be quite saucy or you can cook it down. Season with salt and pepper to taste to serve.


If you like this Sri Lankan prawn curry recipe, you might like to try some of these Sri Lankan favourites…

Butternut Squash Curry
Black pork curry
Black chicken curry
Crab curry
3 Meat Curry
Eggplant (Aubergine) curry
Green Bean Curry

I love Dr Burnorium hot sauces. You can use them to spice up any curry.

Want to try some more curries using Dr Burnorium hot sauces?…

Hot as Hell Chicken Wing Phall (The milder version)
Ridiculously Spicy Chicken Wings
Mild Afghan Chicken with Psycho Juice side
Pakistani Chickpea Biryani
Duck Vindaloo
Spicy Carolina Reaper Chicken Phall

Sri Lankan prawn curry

Dig in!

Yield: 4

Sri Lankan Prawn Curry

Sri Lankan prawn curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced lemongrass
  • 2 green bird's eye chillies, thinly sliced
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 x 5cm (2 inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 - 2 tbsp Habanero chilli sauce or more chilli flakes to taste
  • 450g (1 lb) raw prawns
  • 250ml (1 cup) coconut milk
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the coconut oil over medium high heat and then add the sliced onion. Fry for a couple of minutes and then stir in the chopped garlic, ginger, lemongrass and green chillies.
  2. Stir this all around in the oil and then toss in the curry leaves and cinnamon stick. If using real cinnamon, you can break it up into the sauce. Really good! Fry for another 30 seconds.
  3. Add the curry powder, ground turmeric, chilli sauce and chopped tomatoes and give this all a good stir.
  4. Stir in the prawns and cook, while stirring regularly until the prawns are just cooked through. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your prawns but it took about 3 minutes for me.
  5. Add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 702mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 10gProtein: 13g

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Prawn curry

Ready to serve in less than 30 minutes.

I hope you enjoy this Sri Lankan prawn curry recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

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