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Prawn Curry

Prawn curry in a terracotta bowl on rice.

This prawn curry is super quick and easy (as are most of my recipes). Any recipe with spices looks like it has a massive list of ingredients, like this one. But seriously, if you have your spices in one spot, it only takes minutes to get them out.

I’ve done a few posts recently on Thai-style curries, so I thought it was time to do one with more of an Indian flavour profile. Oh, and if you don’t like prawns, you could use chicken thighs cut into bite-sized portions. Just make sure you increase the cooking time; you want to make sure that the chicken is cooked through.

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂
Prawn curry being cooked in a Thermomix bowl.
Prawn Curry in the Thermomix


  • Non-flavoured oil – of your choice. Sunflower oil is excellent as a non-flavoured oil. I keep a few oil varieties on hand, depending on the dish I’m making. Don’t buy oil in huge quantities unless you’re going to use it up fast. Rancid oil smells and tastes awful. From teaching over the years, I found that many people aren’t sure what rancid oil smells like. I used to keep a small bottle in the cooking school so my students could smell it. Sunflower oil shouldn’t smell like much at all, if it’s fresh.
  • Fresh or dried curry leaves. I’m so lucky I have a bush/tree in my garden. You can get these from good fresh produce stores, but if you have an Indian grocery store nearby, you might find them. Fresh, frozen or dried. The dried won’t splutter as much, of course.
  • Garlic cloves. What Indian dish wouldn’t ask for garlic? I put 10g in this dish, but more or less as you wish.
  • Fresh root ginger. Fresh is best, but use crushed from a jar rather than dried if you can’t get it. I like the tubes you get in the vegetable fridge at the supermarket.
  • Red onion, peeled and quartered. I’ve chosen to use red to add a little sweetness to this dish. I think it works well with this dish as the rawness of brown can be overpowering.
  • Red chilli deseeded (optional). I like to add a little heat here (you know – spicy), but it’s up to you. If I don’t have fresh chilli, I’ll use a touch of cayenne, or Kashmiri is nice Kashmiri isn’t as hot, but it will give you flavour and colour.
  • The spices. Turmeric powder, ground cumin, and ground coriander – all the usual suspects found in an Indian-style curry. I love spice, but it doesn’t always have to be hot. I make loads of blends and keep them in my spice drawer for quick inspiration and meals.
  • Tomatoes. If you can’t get lovely sun-ripened tomatoes, you could go for tinned, but make sure you’ve got a good brand and only use the whole tomato without too much juice. We don’t want to add too much liquid to the dish unless you’re going to reduce it before you add the prawns. If you have too much liquid after adding the prawns and spinach (in the conventional method), you’ll overcook them whilst trying to reduce the liquid.
  • Caster sugar. This is optional; I like to add a touch, but it does help bring up the curry flavours.
  • Flaked salt. I only used flaked in my kitchen. I like it much better than table salt; it has a nicer flavour, more minerals, and less salt. I hope that makes sense.
  • Baby spinach leaves. If you can’t get fresh, you could use frozen, but I really like to add the fresh at the end and allow the dish’s heat to wilt them.
  • Coconut Cream. Use coconut cream rather than coconut milk for this one. We’re not adding a lot, so we want the flavour and fat to shine through.
  • Raw prawns shelled and deveined. I used frozen prawns from Woolies; some brands are better than others. You’ll find some frozen prawns with no flavour whatsoever, so buy small quantities until you find a brand you like. I keep a 500g or 1kg bag in the freezer because they are handy. I use them on pizza, fried rice, Thai curries, Indian curries, and stir-fries. You can throw them in so many dishes. Of course, if you have a good fishmonger nearby, then go for fresh.
white bowl with prawn curry

Prawn Curry

5 from 5 votes

5 stars tells us you love the recipe

This is a lovely curry that you can make any night of the week, but it's tasty enough to serve at a dinner party. This recipe makes a decent amount of sauce, so I prefer to serve it with rice.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Course Dinner
Cuisine Indian style
Servings 4 with rice
Method Thermomix and Conventional


  • 1 Thermomix (optional)


  • 20 g non-flavoured oil of your choice.
  • 10 fresh or dried curry leaves
  • 10 g garlic cloves
  • 10 g fresh root ginger
  • 230 g red onion peeled and quartered
  • 1 red chilli deseeded optional
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 tomatoes sun-ripened for best results
  • 1/2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp flaked salt
  • 120 g baby spinach leaves bag
  • 100 g coconut cream
  • 300 g – 400g raw prawns Shelled and deveined. *see my ingredient tips in the post.
  • Serve with basmati rice or Naan or both


Thermomix Method:

  • Always read the whole recipe before you start, it only takes a minute.
  • Add the garlic and ginger to the TM bowl and set for 5 seconds/speed 5.5
  • Add curry leaves and oil to the TM bowl, set the lid, and with the splatter guard in place. Set for 5 mins/120°C/reverse speed + 1
  • Add the red onion and a deseeded red chilli if using and set with the MC in place for 6 seconds/speed 6
  • Scrape down and add the spices, salt, sugar and ripe tomatoes.
  • Place the simmering basket on top of the lid, then cook for 10 minutes/120°C/speed 1.5
  • While that is cooking, add your washed baby spinach to a Themoserver bowl and set aside.
  • Add the prawns and coconut cream to the TM bowl, place the simmering basket on top of the lid, then set for 5 mins/100°C/reverse speed + 1
  • Check to see if the prawns are cooked through; if they are, pour the curry over the spinach in the TM bowl, stir, and pop on the lid.
  • *NOTE: If you need to cook your prawns a little more, set them for a further 2 minutes. Remember they’re going to continue to cook in the Thermoserver, so as soon as they turn pink stop cooking. It will depend on the size of your prawns and how cold they are. I took mine out of the freezer the night before but they were still semi-frozen when I added them to the TM.

Conventional Method:

  • Always read the whole recipe before you start, it only takes a minute.
  • Prep the ingredients as follows. Chop the garlic and ginger and place them in a bowl along with the curry leaves.
  • Chop the red onion, chilli and tomatoes keeping them separate, and set them aside.
  • Heat a large pan or wok on the stove. When hot add the oil, garlic, ginger and curry leaves, and cook until the curry leaves start to splutter. (Be careful when the curry leaves get hot, they splutter the hot oil.)
  • Add the red onion and deseeded red chilli (if using) stir while simmering.
  • Add the spices, salt and sugar to the pot, stir to combine. After a couple of minutes add the chopped ripe tomatoes.
  • Allow the tomatoes to simmer until they start to break up. Use a spatula to help break them as they soften.
  • While that is cooking, wash the baby spinach and set aside.
  • Add the prawns and coconut cream and allow it to return to a simmer.
  • Once the prawns are cooked through add in the spinach and fold through allowing it to wilt. Once wilted, serve over warm basmati rice.
  • NOTE: If your dish needs any more liquid at any stage just use a touch of water. This recipe should have plenty of sauce.

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