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King Prawns in Coconut Curry


  • 5cm fresh ginger, roughly chopped

  • 10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • 6 onions, roughly chopped

  • 225ml vegetable oil

  • 800g large prawns, peeled and deveined

  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 3 cinnamon leaves or bay leaves

  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin

  • 4 green chillies, slit lengthways

  • 200ml thick coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 5 green cardamom pods

  • 2 tablespoon clarified butter


  • 1.

    Blend the ginger and garlic together in a food processor to make a fine paste.  Remove and set aside.  Blend the onions to a fine paste with 100ml (3 ½ fl oz) of the oil.

  • 2.

    Season the prawns with ½ tsp each of the turmeric and salt.  Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a non-stick frying pan and sear the prawns briefly, then remove and set aside.

  • 3.

    Heat the remaining oil in a heavy frying pan and add the onion paste with the cinnamon leaves. Sauté over a moderate heat for 10 minutes or until light brown, stirring occasionally. Mix together the cumin, remaining tumeric,

  • 4.

    Ginger-garlic paste and 150ml (5fl oz) water, then add to the onions. 

  • 5.

    Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 5-8 minutes, stirring regularly.  Stir in the remaining salt, the green chillies and prawns and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  • 6.

    Mix in the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the prawns are just cooked, adding a little more water if necessary. Correct the seasoning with salt and sugar, sprinkle over the cardamom powder and stir in the ghee. Serve immediately, with steamed rice.

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