How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

One more recipe from mom and me is this classy Prawns Curry in Coconut Milk! We have tried a lot of prawn recipes with different variations. So we decided to make something light yet tasty. Hence we came out with this mouthwatering Prawns Curry in Coconut Milk. To be honest it was so yum that I could have just drank it like a stew Or soup. This tastes great with pav, bread and steamed rice. Just accompany with fried prawns Or any fried fish. I bet you will be on seventh heaven.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

I am glad and very delighted to share this recipe with all my readers. This dish is quite simple to make. This entire week was prawns week for us. As practically every day we have eaten prawns. Prawns fry, Prawns fried rice, Prawns curry, Prawns pulao lol. Guess next week we will take a break on eating prawns.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Prawns is such kind of coastal food the more you eat the more you want. Plus when prawns is clubbed with coconut milk its divine and creates a different impact to the dish. The Indian spices, subtle flavors, coconut milk just gives the perfect taste to this curry.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

I have used thick and thin coconut milk. Now let me explain you there are two kinds of coconut milk Thick coconut milk and Thin coconut milk. Next question would be how would you differentiate between them. Let me answer you first grate fresh coconut. Take the fresh grated coconut grind into a processor with little water. Take a mesh strainer and extract the milk Or squeeze with your hand and strain the coconut on strainer. This is your thick coconut milk.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Now take the leftover coconut pulp and grind into the processor with /2 cup water. Again squeeze on the strainer and extract the milk. This would be your. If you don’t have fresh grated coconut available just use the ready coconut milk Or cream available in stores. However the fresh coconut milk gives a great fresh flavor to the curry.

Total Time: 20 mins (5 mins preparation+ rest for cooking)

Serves: 4 people


  1. 150 gms fresh prawns
  2. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  3. 1/2 fresh grated coconut Or 2 cups milk
  4. 1 chopped tomato
  5. 7 to 8 small red onion Or sambar onion
  6. 2 inch ginger julienne
  7. 3 to 4 green chilies slit in between
  8. 20 curry leaves
  9. 1 t/s fenugreek seeds
  10. 1 tbsp turmeric
  11. 1 t/s asofoetida (hing)
  12. 1 t/s black pepper powder
  13. 1 tbsp coriander seed powder (dhaniya)
  14. 1 tbsp fennel seed powder (saunf)
  15. 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  16. 2 to 3 red kashmiri chilies
  17. salt as per taste


Firstly grind the fresh grated coconut and extract thick and thin coconut milk as described above.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Clean prawns and keep aside. Chop onion, ginger, tomatoes, chilies and keep aside.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Take a vessel add oil. Keep heat on low mode. Once oil is hot saute mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, kashmiri chilies for a minute.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Now add small onion, green chilies and asofoetida. Saute for a minute.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Add ginger juliennes and saute for another minute.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

It’s time to add all spices (turmeric, coriander seed powder, fennel seed powder, cumin seed powder and black pepper powder). Stir all nicely.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Now leave some space for prawns. Add prawns in empty space and saute for 3 to 4 mins. Once they are slightly brown.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Mix prawns into the masala. Add chopped tomatoes

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Cover with a lid for 2 mins.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Pour the thin coconut milk first. Stir all nicely. Allow to cook until it starts bubbling.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Finally add thick coconut milk along with salt for seasoning.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Let this cook for another 2 to 3 mins more on medium heat.

Your Prawns Curry in Coconut Milk is ready. Serve hot with pav Or steamed rice. Don’t forget to garnish with coriander leaves.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

This is a delicious curry recipe which is great for a weekend treat when you’ve got your friends coming over. Serve the curry with steamed rice, noodles or pasta such as tagliatelle and Naan bread or Poppadoms. This recipe is quick and very easy to make. The king prawns make it really special. The curry only takes 30 mins to make and is packed full of flavour, spice and plenty of veggies. The coconut milk adds a great, creamy texture to the curry which is perfect.


  • 400ml can coconut milk
  • 200ml hot vegetable stock
  • 30ml yellow curry paste
  • Grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 450g raw king prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 225g cherry tomatoes
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
  • Juice of 1 lime


Pour 200ml of the coconut milk into a wok or deep sided sauté pan and bring to the boil.

Add the curry paste and lime zest and stir well. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, salt, sugar and remaining 200ml of the coconut milk and the stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the prawns and tomatoes and simmer for a further 8 – 10 minutes until the prawns are pink and cooked through and the tomatoes are softened. Add the coriander.

Sprinkle with the lime juice and serve with rice, noodles or pasta, Naan bread or poppadoms.

Top tip for making Prawn coconut curry

You can buy yellow curry paste from the supermarket. You could use cooked king prawns instead of raw – simply add them to the sauce right at the end and heat through.

Jumbo shrimp in a lightly spiced coconut curry sauce. Serve over hot cooked brown rice.


Recipe Summary test


  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • ½ cup minced onion
  • ½ cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • Step 1

Heat oil in large, nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion, red pepper, and garlic until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.

Season with cumin, coriander, and curry powder. Cook for 1 more minute. Stir in coconut milk, sugar, and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered for 2 minutes.

Stir in shrimp, and increase heat to medium-high. Cook and stir until shrimp is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Stir into shrimp mixture, and cook until sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in cilantro, and remove from heat.

Kerala Prawn Curry or Chemmeen Curry is a spicy shrimp curry made in traditional Kerala style. Here is how to make it.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

The first ever place visited in South India was Kerala and it was this place where my love for South Indian food started.

Since then, I have relished on almost all the other South Indian cuisines, but Kerala food remains to top the list.

May be, because I really like the flavour of local spices used in their cooking and also because it is spicy.

Yes, I am the one who’s guilty pleasure is extra spicy food!

During my stay in Kerala, the first non veg curry which I had, was this Prawn Curry or Shrimp Curry.

Flavoured with simple spices but yet so different, I was really bowled over the delicious curry and enjoyed it with Kerala Parotas and Rice.

After coming back home, my family was really missing this delectable curry and I thought why not give it a shot in my own kitchen.

I made a call to one of my close friends, who belongs to Kerala and noted down the recipe!

The outcome was just amazing. I served it with simple steamed rice and some rice papads on the side, it proved to be the best lazy weekend lunch ever!

So, now whenever we are in mood for some Prawns Curry, this one is always the first choice!

If you want to try it too, bookmark this recipe and make it on a lazy weekend, because its super easy to make and takes less than 30 minutes to get ready.

Here is the recipe of traditional Kerala Prawn Curry.

Want to try some more Prawn Recipes? Then here are some of them from my blog – Traditional Goan Prawn Curry, Prawn Curry In Coconut Milk, Grilled Sambal Prawns, Chemmeen Roast and Prawn Pulao.

What is Kerala Prawn Curry?

Also called as Chemmeen Curry, it is a delicious curry from the state of Kerala where prawns are cooked in a tomato onion curry which is spiced with everyday spice powders such as turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder and garam masala powder.

It is a simple curry, that can be made for your everyday meals.

It just takes 30 minutes to make this one and you will get this delicious curry which your family will just love.


How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Serving Suggestions

You can serve this Kerala Shrimp Curry along with Steamed Rice or Kerala Parota.

I also like to serve it with Appam, Dosa or even along with Neer Dosa.

Kerala Style Prawn Curry with Coconut Milk

To make this curry with coconut milk, instead of adding water in the below mentioned steps, add 2 cups of thin coconut milk and cook the prawns in it.

Step By Step Recipe

Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, fennel seeds and let them crackle for a few seconds.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Add onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook until onion turns slightly born in colour.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Add tomato, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and cook for 3-4 minutes until tomatoes are mushy.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Now add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, black pepper powder and garam masala powder and cook for a minute.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

You can’t beat a good curry. This prawn and coconut cream curry with chilli and ginger is flavourful and really simple to make. I’ve included a make from scratch curry paste. It’s good with chicken, fish and vegetables. Having a ready-made curry paste on hand makes midweek suppers a cinch.

The paste is simple and easy, better than most store-bought versions. I must admit, as a food blogger and recipe developer I sometimes feel just the tiniest bit guilty using a ready made paste. Although nowadays there are so many good brands to choose from. So, if you’re looking for a short cut, by all means, use a ready made paste. Midweek suppers need to be uncomplicated so do what works for you.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

The heat level here is mild, not hot at all. You can of course add as much red heat as you like. I’ve used three different types of chillis in the paste, each of which contributes a different kind of heat. Made with red chillies, dried chilli flakes and chilli powder.

Good curries are about building flavour. Dry toasting the whole spices release their natural oils and provide intense flavour. Caramelising the onions slowly over a gentle heat lends a gentle sweetness. Once the paste is done, you’re on the home stretch to the quickest curry ever! Prawns require minimal cooking time, so make sure you have the rice ready.

Prawn and coconut cream curry

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 x quantity curry paste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup (125ml) tomato passata or tinned, chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon sugar
400g tinned coconut milk
500 – 600g deveined prawns, tails on
juice of half a lime
salt, to taste

For the paste

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cm ginger, grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon dried red chilli flakes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lime juice

Start with the paste. In a dry frying pan (no oil added), toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds over a medium heat until fragrant and the mustard seeds start to pop. Transfer to a grinder or place in a mortar and pestle and crush until fine and powdery. In the same pan, heat the vegetable oil and sauté the onion until soft and caramelised. This should take about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for 2 minutes. Now add in the masala, turmeric, chilli powder, chilli flakes, salt and sugar. Stir through for several minutes. Lastly add the finely ground spices, water and lime juice. Mix to combine.

Transfer the paste to a processor and blitz until smooth. If you’ve made double, store half in a sterilised jar and cover the top of the paste with a tablespoon of vegetable oil to retain it’s flavour and freshness. Store in the refrigerator.

To make the prawn curry, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan. Add 1 x quantity curry paste, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and sugar. Bring up to a gentle boil and then add the coconut milk. Simmer uncovered on a medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Add the prawns to the sauce and cook for 3-5 minutes, until cooked through. Add the juice of half a lime and check the seasoning. Serve immediately with your choice of sides.

This easy Bengali prawn curry, chingri malai, has a spicy coconut sauce and is served with smoky basmati rice.

less than 30 mins


For the boiled basmati rice

  • 350g/12oz basmati rice
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • pinch smoked salt

For the prawns

  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 400g/14oz prawns, peeled and de-veined (the largest size you can find)
  • 90ml/3fl oz vegetable oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 medium red onions, blended to a fine paste
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthways
  • 75ml/2½fl oz coconut milk
  • shellfish stock or water, if needed
  • ½ tsp sugar (optional)
  • ½ tsp ground green cardamom
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • ½ lime, juice only


For the boiled basmati rice, add 600ml20fl oz of water to the saucepan, then add the rice and salt. Cook on a low heat until all the water has disappeared. Place a lid on top and set aside for 20 minutes.

For the prawns, marinate the prawns with the turmeric and salt in a shallow dish in a cool place for 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat 60ml/2fl oz of the oil in a pan and add the bay leaves and onion paste. Fry gently for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, or until very light brown.

Meanwhile heat the remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the prawns briefly for a minute or two. Set aside.

Mix the ground cumin, turmeric and ginger-garlic paste in 75ml/2½fl oz of water and add to the onions, reduce the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring regularly.

Add salt, green chillies and the prawns and stir for one minute. Mix in the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes, or just until the prawns are cooked, adding a little shellfish stock if necessary.

Season to taste with sugar. Sprinkle over the cardamom powder and coriander and a squeeze of lime. Stir the ghee and smoked salt into the rice and serve immediately.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

There are busy days and then there are ultra busy days. And when it comes to food, what is our go to for most of us during the latter case? Takeaway, frozen or restaurant food! Do you agree? What to do, such is Life! But I have a quick-fix recipe for you – Prawns in Coconut Cream Sauce.

Meal Planning Tips to Eat More Homemade Meals

I recently came across an interesting video on Goalcast that spoke about the increasing obesity rates in America and the primary reasons behind it. And the crux of the 3-minute video was – eat everything, just cook it yourself! Now, I know, that’s easier said than done. At least it’s almost impossible to manage 100% of the times what with social gatherings and last-minute commitments. However, with a little discipline and a certain amount of planning, it is not hard to do it at least 80% of the time. Here are some things that work for me.

  1. Stocking up your refrigerator and pantry with only healthy and easy to cook ingredients
  2. Planning your menu a week (or two) in advance so the groceries are not left to the last moment
  3. Filling or bookmarking easy to whip up healthy recipes
  4. Categorizing them based on your busy and light days

Cutting a long story short, if you really commit to eating healthy, it is very much doable and achievable with a wee bit of planning!

A Quick Fix Recipe for a Busy Day

This prawns in coconut cream sauce is one such recipe that I go to rather often on uber-busy days. It requires minimal prep (even less if you get pre-cleaned prawns from your local fishmonger) and is cooked in less than 15 minutes. No kidding! Simple and readily available ingredients and yet this curry is full of flavours. Also, it is especially liked by children because of its minimal spice levels and mildly sweet flavour thanks to the coconut milk. However, if you do like your curry on the spicier side, you can up the red chili powder in the marinade and add a few extra green chilies to the actual curry.

Try it and rest assured, it would soon become a favourite and make regular appearances during your day to day meals or even when you are entertaining.

Step By Step Prawns in Coconut Cream Sauce Recipe

1. Heat coconut oil and add curry leaves, black mustard, chopped garlic, and green chilies (if using). Once the garlic is brown, add finely chopped onions and sauté till nice and brown.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milkHow to make prawn curry in coconut milk

2. The prawns previously marinated in red chili powder, turmeric, salt, and coriander powder are added now. Cook on a low flame for another 2 minutes. Once the prawns are 50% cooked add coconut cream and coconut milk. If you like your curry runny, you could skip the coconut cream. Swapping cream with milk would have no effect on taste.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milkHow to make prawn curry in coconut milk

3. Let the mixture come to boil on a high flame. Then reduce heat, taste for salt, and simmer covered for another 5 minutes or till the prawns are cooked thoroughly. Turn off the heat and serve with steamed rice. Please be careful not to overcook the prawns or they turn chewy. It doesn’t take more than 3-5 minutes for them to cook.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

A fine balance of spice, tamarind, tomatoes and coconut makes this prawn curry absolutely a delight to make and eat. If you happen to like Indian food but can not eat spice, this curry is for you.If you like it hot, just increase the chilies.

The prawns should be fresh, frozen prawns do not taste good with this curry.

Prawns vs Shrimps

Shrimp and prawn are common names without the formal definition that scientific terms provide. They are terms of convenience with little circumscriptional significance, and do not represent actual taxa.

According to the crustacean taxonomist Tin-Yam Chan, “The terms shrimp and prawn have no definite reference to any known taxonomic groups. Although the term shrimp is sometimes applied to smaller species, while prawn is more often used for larger forms, there is no clear distinction between both terms and their usage is often confused or even reverse in different countries or regions.”

A lot of confusion surrounds the scope of the term shrimp. Part of the confusion originates with the association of smallness. That creates problems with shrimp-like species that are not small. The expression “jumbo shrimp” can be viewed as an oxymoron, a problem that does not exist with the commercial designation “jumbo prawns”.

The term shrimp originated around the 14th century with the Middle English shrimpe, akin to the Middle Low German schrempen, and meaning to contract or wrinkle; and the Old Norse skorpna, meaning to shrivel up. It is not clear where the term prawn originated, but early forms of the word surfaced in England in the early 15th century as prayne, praine and prane. According to the linguist Anatoly Liberman it is unclear how shrimp, in English, came to be associated with small. “No Germanic language associates the shrimp with its size… it remains unclear in what circumstances the name was applied to the crustacean.

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

How to make prawn curry in coconut milk

Prawn curry in coconut milk


  • Ghee 2 -4 Tbsp
  • Prawns 700 grams
  • Onions 3 medium sized finely chopped.
  • Garlic 1 Tbsp -paste
  • Coconut milk – 400 ml
  • Curry leaf 2 sprigs
  • Tomatoes 300 grams boiled and pureed
  • Green Chilies 3( chopped finely)
  • Red chili powder 1 tsp
  • Ginger 1 Tbsp grated
  • Chicken stock 2 cups
  • Fennel seeds 1/2 Tbsp
  • Tamarind paste 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Black Mustard seeds 1 Tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 Tbsp
  • Turmeric 1 Tsp


Step 1

Heat oil in a pan and temper it with curry leaves, fennel, mustard seeds. Add tamarind paste, green chilies, ginger, and garlic. Fry for a few seconds and tip in the finely chopped onions and fry them till they are golden.

Step 2

Add coriander powder and turmeric and fry for a second or so, and add to it tomatoes and chicken stock. Add salt.

Step 3

Tip in the cleaned raw Prawns and cook till done. Prawns cook very fast and are considered done when they appear pink. This takes about 3-4 minutes.

Step 4

Add coconut milk and taste for salt and add pepper

Step 5

Finally, just before serving, temper the curry with mustard seeds, a pinch of chili powder, and curry leaves.