Prawns in coconut cream curry is famously known as "Chingri Macher Malai Curry" in the state of West Bengal, situated in the eastern region of India. This recipe is easy to cook and can be served at any occasion. It tastes best when accompanied by steamed basmati rice. It's my family's favourite!





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2 tbsp ghee
8 prawns, peeled and deveined
1 tbsp whole cumin seeds
2 green cardamoms
1 large cardamom
5-6 cloves
2 sticks cinnamon (inch in length)
1 bay leaf
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 tsp green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
Pinch turmeric
Pinch sugar
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 cups coconut cream
2 green chillies, slit
1 tbsp cashew paste
½ tbsp raisin paste
Milk as required
Fresh cream and chopped pistachios, to garnish (optional)

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.


Add half the ghee to a kadai (frying pan) and saute the prawns until lightly golden. Remove the prawns from heat and set aside.

Add the remaining ghee to the kadai and heat. Temper the whole cumin seeds until they start crackling.

Add the green and large cardomom, cloves, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf, and saute for 30 seconds. Add the onion and green chillies, and saute until the onion is lightly golden.

Add the ginger and garlic pastes. Stir the mixture over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric, sugar, cumin powder and coriander powder, stirring continuously, for 2-3 minutes.

Add the coconut cream, 1 cup water, salt and the green chillies, and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, make a paste of the cashews and raisins by adding milk.

Once the sauce comes to the boil, add the prawns, cover, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the cashew and raisin paste, and simmer for further 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to set for 5 minutes.

Garnish with fresh cream and chopped pistachios (optional).