Bengali prawn curry
- April 2015
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 45 minutes
The prawns in this recipe add sweetness to the curry that’s balanced by the spices, tomatoes and black mustard seeds, giving it a beguiling depth of flavour. It’s a curry to savour.
For something a little simpler, try our speedy prawn and spinach curry recipe.
- Dairy-free recipes
- 14g (4.5g saturated)
- 4.7g (3.3g sugars)
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra
- 600g sustainable raw king prawns, peeled and deveined but with tails still intact (see introduction and food team’s tip)
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp chopped tomatoes from a tin
- 200ml boiling water
- 25g desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp garam masala (optional)
- Steamed basmati rice or Indian flatbreads
- Heat the oil in a karahi or large frying pan (see Knowhow) over a low-medium heat. When hot, add the prawns and cook for a minute or so on each side until they turn pink. Remove and set aside.
- Drizzle a little more oil into the pan, if needed, then add the mustard seeds. Take care as the oil can spit as the seeds burst. Stir in the bay leaves.
- Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pan and gently cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they begin to turn golden.
- Stir in the turmeric, chilli, cumin and coriander, then season with the salt and sugar. Stir in the chopped tomatoes.
- Add the boiling water and desiccated coconut to the curry, then bring to the boil, gently stirring. Add the cooked prawns, gently spooning over the sauce to cover, then simmer for a few minutes to warm through. Taste and season if necessary.
- Sprinkle over the garam masala, if using, give the curry a quick stir, then serve immediately with steamed basmati rice or Indian flatbreads.
If you can, buy king prawns with their tails on as the prawns hold together better and make the dish look more attractive and substantial. They also add extra favour to the sauce.
You could try making this curry with chunks of firm white fish in place of the prawns. Start the recipe from step 2. Add the fish to the curry sauce in step 5 and cook for 8-10 minutes until the fish is cooked and flakes easily.
A karahi is a deep, circular cast-iron pot used in South Asian cooking. You can buy one from a specialist cook shop or online. Or use a large, deep, heavy-based frying pan or wok.
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