Life’s a Feast: Indian Prawn Curry


PREP TIME: 10 mins

COOK TIME: 20 mins

SERVES: 4 people

Curry leaves are one of the most aromatic herbs used in Indian cuisine. Traditionally, curry leaves are fried in a little oil before adding any other ingredients into the dish.

Their fragrance diffuses into the oil and gives your curry a unique depth and authentic flavour. You can also fry some leaves separately to garnish the dish. We used to have a curry tree in our backyard in Singapore, so we had the leaves on tap.

Here in NZ, they are readily available in most supermarkets (I buy mine at Pak’nSave). Just pop the remaining uncooked leaves into your freezer where they will retain their flavour for months.

Enjoy this fast and truly delicious curry!


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

40 curry leaves

2 medium onions

6 cloves garlic

5cm piece of ginger, peeled

1 teaspoon fenugreek

1 tablespoon tamarind pulp

1 tablespoon coriander

2 teaspoons turmeric

300ml passata

150ml fish or chicken stock

100ml coconut cream

600g raw prawns, tails on

1 teaspoon salt


1.In a blender, combine the garlic, ginger and onion and blend until chopped nearly into a paste.

2.Pour the oil into a large pan and heat to a medium-high heat. Add half the curry leaves and half the black mustard seeds. Once the seeds begin to pop (around 30 seconds), add the onion mix, coriander, turmeric and fenugreek and cook for 7-9 minutes.

3.Pour in the stock, passata and tamarind pulp and cook for about 12 minutes over a medium-low heat (simmering).

4.Turn the heat back up so it is bubbling and add the prawns, cook for about 3 minutes, until cooked through. Add the coconut cream and thoroughly combine. Add the salt, mix through the sauce then taste and add a little more in if required.

5.Meanwhile, fry off the remaining leaves with a little oil on a high heat and drain on some paper towels. Pour the prawn curry into a serving bowl and garnish with the fried leaves. Serve with rice and poppadums.