Malabar Prawn Curry

Malabar Prawn Curry is an Indian curry dish prepared with large prawns cooked in a sauce made out of tamarind, coconut and jaggery,

The last time I ate at iVillage we ordered this Malabar Prawn Curry and I am glad we did, it was one of the best seafood curries I ever tried, mildly spicy, creamy, a bit sweet and full of complex flavours, it’s certainly a dish to look after.

Malabar is a geographic location in India’s southwest coast, lying between the two states of Karnataka and Kerala, this coastal region starts from the famous place of Goa down to Kanyakumari. A region with vast open ocean hence curries here are usually prepared with seafood, in fact one of the regions popular dish is a fish curry called Malabar matthi curry, consisting of sardines with assorted vegetables, such as okra or onions.

Today we are making another Malabari classic, another seafood dish, the Malabar Prawn Curry where large prawns are prepared in tamarind, coconut and jaggery, I tried to make it as close as possible to what I tried in iVillage and I think I nailed it.

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Malabar Prawn Curry

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 40 mins
  • Yield: 3-4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian


Malabar Prawn Curry is an Indian curry dish prepared with large prawns cooked in a sauce made out of tamarind, coconut and jaggery,


  • 500 g large prawns, shelled and deveined
  • 400 ml coconut cream
  • 1 green capsicum, sliced lengthwise
  • 2 pcs tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 12 pcs curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp tamarind pulp, soaked in 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 pcs shallots, thinly sliced
  • ghee
  • salt
  • coriander, to garnish


  1. In a pan add some ghee and heat the mustard seeds until it starts to pop
  2. Add the fenugreek seeds and shallots, stir fry for a minute then add the green capsicums and 6 pcs of curry leaves. Continue to stir fry for 8 minutes or until shallots turn light brown.
  3. Add the garlic, chilli powder and turmeric powder then sauté for 15 more seconds.
  4. Add the tomatoes, continue to cook for 5 minutes while mashing the tomatoes with the back of the spoon.
  5. Mix the tamarind paste in the boiling water, pour it into the pan together with the coconut cream and brown sugar. Season with salt then simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
  6. Add the prawns and cook for 5 more minutes. Turn heat off then garnish with the remaining curry leaves and coriander.


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