Goan Style Prawn Curry

Goan Style Prawn Curry

I’m often back in late and this is another one of my go-to dishes being quick, simple yet delicious. Much like myself really. It’s a Goan style curry that uses the brilliant combination of Indian spice, coconut milk and large prawns to serve up big flavours in a relatively light dish.

Don’t hold back with the oil, it’s the secret to eking out the flavour of the spices, but make sure you dry roast the first whole spices if you use them. It doesn’t take long with a coffee grinder and it’s really worth it as ready ground spices do lose flavour fairly quickly once open.

I’d normally use green chilli in this dish, for the flavour as much as the heat, but chilli powder works if not. I’m not sure how authentic the spinach is but it adds a lovely, slightly bitter taste and some much needed vitamins and iron, so it goes in. You can add a twist of lemon at the end too if you like, it cuts through the richness a bit.

Lastly, I used frozen (but thawed) raw prawns as there’s always a bag of them in the freezer. I urge to use fresh if you can, but like me this evening, if needs must…

  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 4 garlic cloves very finely chopped
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger, very finely chopped or grated
  • 1 whole green chilli. More if you like it hot
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp whole cumin seed (1tsp ground) 
  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seed (2tsp ground)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp garam masalla
  • 300g/11oz prawns, raw. Fresh if you can
  • 4 large handfuls spinach
  • 400g/14oz can of good coconut milk
  • Salt and a little lemon juice (if using)
  • Handful of chopped coriander

Plain basmati rice to serve

Dry roast the spices (except the mustard seed) in a pan for a minute or two. Don’t burn them or they taste bitter and horrible. Place into a spice mill, or a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder.

Start the rice. I use the absorption method (twice the amount of salted boiling water to rice in a shallow pan, lid on, simmered for 15 minutes until the water is gone).

Add the oil to a deep pan and fry the onion for a minute, then the garlic, ginger and whole mustard seed for a few minutes more.

Frying onion ginger mustard seed

Stir in the powdered spices and fry to release the oils. Lastly, throw in the prawns and coat well until pink all over, using little water if needed, or if it begins to burn.

Prawns frying goan curry

Add the coconut milk and reduce to thicken slightly on a high heat for 5 minutes or so (depending on the heat). For the last couple of them, stir in the spinach and the garam masala. Turn off the heat to ‘rest’ and add the coriander. Season to taste. Add a twist of lemon if you like to add some sharpness.

Serve it in a bowl with the rice in front of the TV with your feet up…..

Goan Prawn Curry


21 thoughts on “Goan Style Prawn Curry

    • Thanks John. I think you can get a bit lost with Indian food with all the spices available unless you really know what you’re doing (people from India then…), so this is a handy ‘tried and trusted’ to keep just in case.

  1. I always have a bag of frozen prawns in the freezer. Your curry sounds wonderful…I have all the ingredients except the mustard seeds so will be making this soon.

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