Peter Kuruvita's prawn curry is a creamy, velvety dish with delicious depth of flavour. This is achieved by including prawn pieces in the curry sauce (to be strained out with the aromatics later) and pureeing and straining a few heads just like in a French bisque. The recipe includes Peter's impressive serving suggestion of nestling pairs of prawns into each other to create a seafood version of the yin–yang symbol, all stacked up and served in a moat of sauce. It’s a perfect dinner party dish as you can make the sauce in advance then cook the prawns in it very quickly just before serving.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (117 votes)


Curry sauce

  • 10 green prawns 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or clarified butter (ghee)
  • 30 curry leaves 
  • 10 shallots, sliced 
  • 12 garlic cloves, sliced 
  • 3 cm piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds 
  • 5 cardamom pods 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks 
  • 5 cloves 
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin 
  • 4 tbsp ground coriander 
  • 3 tsp chilli powder 
  • 1 tbsp turmeric 
  • 2 tbsp sweet paprika 
  • 2 tsp fish curry powder 
  • 2 long green chillies, sliced 
  • 1 piece goraka 
  • 1 pandan leaf, cut in a few pieces 
  • 1 litre coconut milk
  • salt

To serve

  • 24 large shelled green prawns 
  • ½ lemon, juiced 
  • coriander leaves

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Remove the heads from the prawns, reserving half of them. Cut the bodies into pieces through the shells.

Heat some oil or ghee in a saucepan and add the curry leaves, shallots, garlic and ginger. Fry until the shallots are translucent. Add the prawn pieces, spices, green chilli, goraka and pandan leaf. Stir briefly to coat the prawns, then add half the coconut milk and salt to taste. Simmer for 8–10 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree the reserved prawn heads in a food processor. Strain through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. Mix the strained puree with the remaining coconut milk. Add to the curry and bring back to a simmer without boiling. Remove from the heat.

To serve, fit pairs of shelled prawns into each other by laying them flat, facing them towards each other and sliding them together to form circle shapes. Arrange the pairs in the base of a frying pan (as they cook, they stick together a little). Strain the curry sauce over the prawns until just covered. Cover the pan with a lid and bring to a simmer, cooking until the prawns turn opaque. Add the lemon juice.

Stack the prawn circles up on serving plates, spoon over the sauce and garnish with coriander. Serve with rice and pickles.