Coconut Prawn Curry
Coconut Prawn Curry
5 from 14 votes
Immerse yourself in the tropical notes of our coconut prawn curry, a cuisine that magically intertwines the flavours of the ocean and coconut. This culinary delight, not for the faint-hearted, will surely get your tastebuds doing the tango!
Coconut Prawn Curry

Coconut Prawn Curry, is a dish that sings the vibrant ballad of coastal cuisines. It’s a melody that started in the tropical kitchens of South Asia, where the locals knew how to make the best out of the abundant resources surrounding them. 

A recipe that dances on the line between savoury and sweet, with a tangy punch of spices thrown in for good measure. This dish has journeyed far and wide, garnering fans in every corner of the world with its symphony of flavours. 

With an array of simple ingredients, one might wonder, “Can I make this heavenly dish?” The answer, my friend, is a resounding “Yes!” The beauty of this recipe is in its deceptive simplicity.  

It’s not a climb up a steep hill, but a delightful walk in the park! Though it may seem like a gourmet dish exclusive to restaurant menus, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find how easily this dish fits right into your home kitchen. 

The magic of the Coconut Prawn Curry lies in its perfect balance of contrasting flavours. The sweetness of the coconut milk beautifully complements the savoury prawns while a sprinkle of aromatic spices adds that much-needed heat.  

It’s like a symphony playing in your mouth, every ingredient working in harmony to create a melody of flavours. 

And the beauty of this dish doesn’t stop at its taste. There’s a versatility to the Coconut Prawn Curry that allows it to adopt various forms. Perhaps you like it spicier?  

Throw in an extra chilli. Maybe you’re not a fan of prawns? Substitute them with chicken or tofu. This recipe welcomes your personal touch, morphing into a new variation each time, yet always holding onto that essential charm. 

Cooking the Coconut Prawn Curry can feel like an artist at work. There’s an exhilarating rush as you blend the spices and watch the prawns simmer in the coconut milk. The vibrant colours swirling in the pan, the aromatic scent wafting through the air – it’s a sight, smell, and taste to behold! 

The Coconut Prawn Curry is not just a dish. It’s a flavourful journey, an adventure for your taste buds. It’s a testament to the culinary prowess of South Asia and a celebration of the world’s love for this delightful cuisine.  

So, strap on your apron, wield your spatula, and let’s dive headfirst into this culinary wonder! 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Creating a delectable Coconut Prawn Curry involves a lot more than just tossing ingredients into a pan. The dish is a beautiful tapestry woven with a myriad of ingredients, each adding its unique thread to the colourful design.  

From the star players like prawns and coconut milk to the symphony of spices that bring warmth and depth, each ingredient tells its own story in this gastronomic saga. 

Olive Oil: Not just a medium to cook our food, olive oil adds a subtle hint of its own unique flavour to the dish. Its slightly fruity taste plays well with the sweetness of the coconut milk. Can’t get your hands on olive oil? Fear not! Any good quality vegetable oil can serve as a worthy substitute. 

Prawns: Prawns lend their distinct seafood flavour to the curry. Each bite into a succulent piece is like a burst of the ocean in your mouth. If prawns are not your thing, feel free to replace them with any firm-fleshed fish or even tofu for a vegetarian version. 

Onions: They may make you cry, but they form the flavourful base of the curry. Onions, when sautéed, release a sweetness that balances out the heat from the spices. No onions? Try shallots instead! 

Tomatoes: Tomatoes bring acidity and sweetness to our curry, helping to cut through the richness of the coconut milk. Freshly chopped or pureed, they are a must-have. In a pinch, canned tomatoes could do the trick too. 

Green Chillies: These fiery little beasts are the source of heat in our curry. The kick they provide elevates the curry from good to unforgettable. Can’t handle the heat? Bell peppers provide a mild alternative. 

Ginger and Garlic Paste: This potent duo lends a pungent depth of flavour to the curry. A staple in many cuisines, ginger’s zing and garlic’s intense flavour are invaluable. Out of fresh ginger or garlic? Powders can be used in a pinch. 

Spices: The heart of any curry, the combination of turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, and garam masala breathes life into the Coconut Prawn Curry. Each spice carries its own flavour profile and health benefits, and together they create a mouth-watering melody. Spice blends like curry powder can serve as an easy substitute. 

Coriander: Fresh coriander or cilantro, with its bright and lemony flavour, adds a touch of freshness to the rich curry. If you belong to the group who find it soapy, feel free to use parsley or even basil! 

Coconut Milk: Last but certainly not least, the coconut milk. Its creamy, sweet richness brings the whole dish together, providing a perfect balance to the spices and creating a luscious, thick sauce for our prawns. Dairy milk or cream is an alternative but expect a different, less tropical flavour profile. 

In the grand theatre of our Coconut Prawn Curry, each ingredient plays its part perfectly. Whether they’re hitting high notes of flavour, or working behind the scenes to balance and enhance, they come together in a magnificent performance that is sure to draw applause from your taste buds.  

As the curtains close, it’s clear that the real magic of this dish lies in the harmony of its ingredients. Now that we’ve dissected the cast list, it’s time to see them in action in the following steps! 

Mastering the Art of Cooking Prawns for Curry 

The star of our Coconut Prawn Curry is undoubtedly the prawn. It brings a unique depth and richness to the dish that is hard to match. So, it’s crucial to cook them right. Let me share a few tips to help you do just that. 

First off, prawns cook quickly, and overcooking can lead them to become tough and chewy. That’s why I add them last in the cooking process. I cook them just until they become opaque and form a ‘C’ shape. Remember, if your prawns curl up into a tight ‘O’, they’re overcooked. 

But before you toss them into the pan, there’s another important step – deveining. Prawns have a vein running along their back which can have a gritty texture. Some prefer to leave it in for the flavour it adds, but I personally recommend removing it for a cleaner taste. 

And then comes the question of whether to use fresh or frozen prawns. I’ve found that both can work wonderfully. Fresh prawns can offer a slightly better texture, but frozen ones are a more practical and equally tasty option. Just remember to defrost them properly to avoid any watery curry. 

Another critical aspect is marination. Marinating prawns, even for a few minutes, can significantly enhance their flavour. In our curry, they get a nice soak in the spices and coconut milk, which helps them absorb all those delicious flavours. 

So there you have it, the secrets to cooking prawns that steal the show in our Coconut Prawn Curry. Just remember to treat them with care, give them a good marinade, and they’ll reward you with a curry that’s truly out of this world! 

Finding the Perfect Balance of Spices in Coconut Prawn Curry 

Spices are the lifeblood of our Coconut Prawn Curry. They bring warmth, depth, and that distinctive curry flavour we all love. But getting that perfect balance can be a bit tricky. Let’s see how I go about it. 

To begin with, I use a quartet of spices – turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, and garam masala. Each brings something different to the table. Turmeric offers an earthy base note and a beautiful golden colour.  

Chilli powder provides the heat. Cumin adds a savoury, slightly bitter flavour, and garam masala, a blend of spices itself, gives the dish its warm and aromatic character. 

Getting the ratios right is crucial. I generally use equal amounts of turmeric, chilli powder, and cumin, but only a pinch of garam masala, as its strong flavours can quickly overpower the dish. 

Another thing to remember is to cook the spices properly. Raw spices can taste gritty and unpleasant, which is why I fry them in oil until they release their aromas. This process, called blooming, makes all the difference between a good curry and a great one. 

And if you’re wondering about heat levels, it’s easily adjustable. You can add more or less chilli powder depending on your tolerance. Even within the chilli powder category, there are several varieties offering different heat levels. I love using Kashmiri chilli powder, which provides a vibrant colour without too much heat. 

But, the real secret to mastering the spice balance is tasting as you go. Your palate is the best judge of what the dish needs. So, don’t be afraid to adjust the spices as you cook, until you find your perfect balance. And voila! You’re on your way to creating a perfectly spiced Coconut Prawn Curry. 

The Science of Sauteing Onions in Curry 

The humble onion is an unassuming star in our Coconut Prawn Curry. It forms the base of the dish, adding a sweetness and body that binds all the other ingredients together. But the trick lies in sauteing it right. Let’s dig into the why and how of sauteing onions for our curry. 

In this recipe, I start by sauteing the onions in hot oil. The heat catalyses the sugars in the onion, leading to caramelization. This imparts a natural sweetness and a depth of flavour to the curry that raw onions simply can’t provide. Not to mention the delightful aroma that fills the kitchen. 

However, this step requires patience. I take my time, cooking the onions slowly until they are soft and golden. Rush this step, and you might end up with burnt or undercooked onions, both of which can ruin the taste of your curry. 

If you’re in a hurry, you could use a pinch of salt to speed up the process. Salt draws out the moisture from the onions, helping them cook faster. But remember, it’s a delicate balance; too much salt can make your curry overly salty. 

In case you don’t have onions on hand, shallots can serve as a good alternative. They have a similar flavour profile and can be sauteed in the same way. The result is a Coconut Prawn Curry that’s packed full of flavour, with a subtle sweetness that makes it uniquely delectable. 

Exploring the Versatility of Tomatoes in Curry 

Tomatoes play a dual role in our Coconut Prawn Curry: they lend a beautiful colour and add a tangy twist that counterbalances the richness of the dish. But how do you choose the right tomato and when should you add it? Let’s unravel these mysteries. 

For this recipe, I prefer ripe, juicy tomatoes. They have a sweetness that complements the coconut milk and a tartness that cuts through the richness. Plus, they break down well during cooking, thickening the sauce naturally. 

I add the tomatoes after sauteing the onions and aromatics. This allows them to soften and release their juices, creating a flavourful base for the rest of the ingredients. Be patient at this stage. Let the tomatoes cook down until they’ve lost their raw flavour. 

If fresh tomatoes aren’t available, canned tomatoes can be a great alternative. They’re already cooked, so they save you time and effort. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

As for the type of tomato to use, it’s really up to your personal preference. Beefsteak tomatoes offer a lot of flesh and are easy to work with. Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, can add a nice visual touch with their small size and vibrant colour. 

Regardless of the type you choose, remember that tomatoes are more than just a pretty colour in our Coconut Prawn Curry. They’re a flavour powerhouse that adds depth, complexity and that perfect balance of sweetness and acidity. So, don’t overlook their importance and choose wisely! 

Unpacking the Heat: The Role of Chilies in Curry 

Chillies are the fiery backbone of our Coconut Prawn Curry. They bring a hit of heat that elevates the entire dish. But how much should you use, and when should you add them? Let’s explore the fiery world of chillies in curries. 

I love using green chillies in this recipe. They have a fresh, sharp heat that works wonderfully with the creamy coconut milk and the sweetness of the prawns. I add them after sauteing the onions, giving them time to release their heat and flavour into the oil. 

But remember, not all chillies are created equal. Some are hotter than others. And the heat isn’t just in the seeds, as commonly believed. It’s actually in the white membranes inside the chilli. So, if you want less heat, remove these before adding the chillies to your curry. 

If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you could use bell peppers instead. They won’t give you the heat of chillies, but they’ll add a nice crunch and a pop of colour. Alternatively, you could use a smaller quantity of chillies or choose a milder variety. 

So, while chillies do add a kick to our Coconut Prawn Curry, it’s important to adjust the quantity according to your taste. After all, good food is all about balance, and our aim here is to create a curry that’s flavourful, balanced, and spicy enough. 

Demystifying the Role of Spices in Curry 

Spices are the heart and soul of our Coconut Prawn Curry. They add depth, aroma, and a burst of flavour that defines the dish. But with so many spices to choose from, how do you know which ones to use and when to add them? Let’s delve into the fascinating world of spices. 

I use a combination of turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, and garam masala in this recipe.  

Turmeric brings a beautiful golden colour and a subtle earthiness. Chilli powder adds heat, while cumin imparts a warm, aromatic flavour. Garam masala, a blend of various spices, rounds everything off with its complex flavours. 

When it comes to spices, timing is everything. Add them too early, and they might burn. Too late, and they won’t have time to release their full flavour. I add them after the tomatoes have softened. This allows the spices to cook in the juicy tomato mixture, bringing out their best flavours. 

If you don’t have all these spices on hand, don’t worry. Curry powder can be a great substitute. It’s a blend of various spices, so it gives you a similar complexity of flavours. Just remember to adjust the quantity according to taste. 

The world of spices is vast and diverse. But once you understand their flavours and how to use them, you’ll see that they’re not as daunting as they seem. So, experiment, and play around, and you’ll soon be creating a Coconut Prawn Curry that’s aromatic, flavourful, and uniquely yours. 

Coconut Milk: The Secret to Creamy Curries 

Coconut milk is the key to the luscious, creamy texture of our Coconut Prawn Curry. It adds a touch of luxury to the dish, making it feel indulgent even on a regular weeknight. But how does it work, and are all coconut milk created equal? Let’s delve into the creamy world of coconut milk. 

In this recipe, I add coconut milk towards the end, allowing it to simmer gently with the prawns and spices. As it cooks, the coconut milk thickens, lending the curry a rich, creamy consistency.  

Plus, its natural sweetness balances the heat from the chillies, resulting in a curry that’s not just delicious but also beautifully balanced. 

However, not all coconut milk are the same. Some are thicker and creamier than others, while some are lighter. For this recipe, I prefer full-fat coconut milk. It provides the rich, luxurious texture that makes this curry so special. 

If coconut milk is not available, you could use yoghurt or heavy cream as a substitute. They won’t give the same flavour as coconut milk, but they’ll provide a similar creamy texture. 

So, while coconut milk might seem like a simple ingredient, it plays a vital role in our Coconut Prawn Curry. It’s what transforms the dish from a regular curry into something creamy, indulgent, and utterly delicious. 

The Art and Science of Frying Prawns 

The prawns are undoubtedly the star of our Coconut Prawn Curry. But how do you ensure they’re cooked just right and not overdone? Let’s uncover the secrets to perfectly fried prawns. 

I start this recipe by frying the prawns in hot oil. This does two things: it gives the prawns a nice, golden colour and seals in their juices, ensuring they stay succulent. I then remove them from the pan and add them back towards the end, allowing them to soak up the flavours of the curry without overcooking. 

The key to perfectly fried prawns is not to overcrowd the pan. If there are too many prawns, they’ll steam rather than fry, resulting in a rubbery texture. Also, be sure to remove them from the pan as soon as they’re done. Prawns cook quickly, and even a minute too long can make them tough. 

If prawns aren’t available, you could use chicken, tofu, or even a firm fish like cod or haddock. Just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly. 

It’s all about getting that perfect balance – prawns that are golden and crisp on the outside, succulent and juicy on the inside, and perfectly infused with the flavours of our Coconut Prawn Curry. Achieve that, and you’ve got a dish that’s sure to impress. 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

You know, there’s something comforting about cooking a hearty dish like my Coconut Prawn Curry, it really satisfies my cravings. It’s a joy to share these recipes, especially when they’re also seafood-inspired.  

Now, I want you to imagine stirring a simmering pot of Fish Curry, rich with spices, and the tantalizing aroma filling up your kitchen. It’s a dish that can warm your soul and awaken your senses just like our Coconut Prawn Curry. 

If you are someone like me who enjoys the combination of seafood and spices, then Masala Fish is another delicious adventure to embark upon. This recipe blends the earthiness of traditional spices with the subtle flavour of fish. Trust me, the taste is simply heavenly! 

Next up, I have a fondness for Tuna Curry. The rich flavours meld together in the most satisfying way, it’s like having a warm blanket of deliciousness. The taste of this curry will transport you to the coast, and I can’t help but relish the harmonious blend of spices and tender tuna. 

Our Fish Tikka is a spectacular addition to any feast. It’s a unique twist on traditional tikka dishes, with succulent chunks of fish marinated in a blend of spices and yoghurt, then grilled to perfection. The result? A dish that is tender, flavourful, and utterly irresistible! 

Last but certainly not least, Tuna Chickpea Curry is a nutrient-packed dish that doesn’t compromise on taste. Just like our Coconut Prawn Curry, the combination of spices and hearty ingredients makes this one a winner for me. 

I can’t wait for you to try these delicious seafood recipes that can add some exciting flavours to your culinary repertoire, much like my Coconut Prawn Curry. And when you do, make sure to drop a comment to let me know how your cooking adventure went! 

Coconut Prawn Curry

Coconut Prawn Curry

by Nabeela Kauser
Immerse yourself in the tropical notes of our coconut prawn curry, a cuisine that magically intertwines the flavours of the ocean and coconut.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 338 kcal


  • 75 ml Olive Oil
  • 250 g Prawns
  • 1 Onions
  • 2 Tomatoes
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder Haldi
  • 1 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • Coriander
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 200 ml Coconut Milk


  • In a pan heat up the oil on medium heat until hot
  • Add the deveined prawns then fry for a few minutes before removing the prawns from the pan
  • In the same pan and add the chopped onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened – if there is any too much oil then remove it
  • Add the green chillies, ginger paste and garlic paste then cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant
  • Add the chopped tomatoes then cook for 3-4 minutes until softened
  • Add the salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, and cumin powder before cooking the spices for a few more minutes – add the water to help release the colours from the spices and prevent any burning
  • Add the fried prawns and cook for a few minutes to incorporate the spices
  • Add the coconut milk then stir before covering and cook for 10 minutes until the oil separates – the oil has separated when there is a thin layer of oil on the top
  • Add the garam masala and chopped coriander then cook for a few minutes
  • Serve with fresh homemade naan and enjoy!



Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 338kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 15gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0.003gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 752mgPotassium: 498mgFibre: 3gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 735IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Coconut Prawn Curry, Curry, Food, Prawns, Recipe, Seafood, Shrimp, Spicy
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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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