• Prawn and coconut curry (Bloomsbury / Mike Cooper)

Here’s some almost-instant sunshine in a bowl from the Bengali coastal region.






Skill level

Average: 5 (3 votes)


  • 500 g raw peeled tiger prawns
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp Onion Paste (see recipe here)
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • sea salt

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.


Assemble all the ingredients and equipment before you begin. You need a large sauté or frying pan with a lid.

Remove and discard the prawn tails, if necessary. Lightly crush the cardamom pods to loosen the seeds. Rinse and chop enough coriander leaves to make about 1 tablespoon.

Melt the ghee over a medium-high heat in the pan. Add the cardamom pods and the seeds, the cloves, bay leaf and cinnamon stick, and stir until the spices crackle. Add the onion paste and stir it into the oil for 30 seconds. Add the chilli powder and turmeric and stir for 30 seconds to cook the spices. Watch closely so they do not burn.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the prawns and coconut milk. Season with salt and continue stirring for 30 seconds, or until the prawns turn pink on both sides. Take care not to over-cook the prawns.

Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary, and stir in the chopped coriander just before serving.


Recipe from 30 Minute Curries by Atul Kochhar (Bloomsbury, hb, $39.99). Enter to WIN your own copy here