Tag Archives: prawn recipes

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry

Curry for change!

The ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign is back, and I am very honoured to be collaborating again with Opportunity International Australia for their annual fundraising project. In its third year (you can view details of the previous years here and here); the campaign aims to raise funds to help families in developing countries build income-generating businesses.

A bit of background info for those who are hearing about Opportunity International Australia and the Great Australian Curry campaign for the first time…

Opportunity International Australia provides small loans to families in developing countries to steer them towards a path of financial independence and thereby a better quality of life. Founded in the 1970s by David Bussau, Opportunity has come a long way since offering innumerable families a new lease of life.

Opportunity works through a unique system of microfinance, community development, training, local presence, technology and rural outreach programmes. And the ‘Great Australian Curry’ campaign is a great way by which food lovers like us can contribute in a meaningful manner towards poverty and diminishing its impact.

Opportunity International Australia

But why curry?

Most of Opportunity International Australia’s work is concentrated in the Asian countries and a curry is perhaps the most iconic dish to have come from the region. And Australia loves curry – Vindaloo, Rogan Josh, Massaman, Thai green curry…the list is endless.

This year’s campaign was launched last week with a Curry Cook-off between veteran Chef (and MasterChef judge) Ian Curley and MasterChef 2017 winner, Diana Chan.

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry-

Chef Ian Curley said that he is looking forward to cooking up a curry with Diana. “It’s one way we can give a hand up to families less fortunate than ours. It’s important for us to not lose focus of how lucky we are, just the simple fact of where we live. I’m very blessed to have a healthy family and to live In Australia with the opportunity to do the work I love.”

Diana agrees too and she says that it will be an honour to share space and cook alongside Chef Curley. “I am so impressed with the work that Opportunity does to help families end poverty. “I also love that I can contribute towards the same through my cooking skills.”

Oppoyle Prawn Curry

There are so many different ways through which you can participate in this year’s Great Australian Curry Campaign;

Plan a Curry Night – Time to dig out your favourite recipes and invite your friends and family for a curry feast at home. Be generous and plan the entire dinner yourself or make it a curry potluck (so much fun!); even better would be a curry cook-off. If cooking is not your forte, head out for a curry night to your favourite restaurant and let the professionals feed you.

Create a Fundraiser – Once you have planned out the night, set up a fundraiser page and encourage everyone to make a donation. The fundraiser page can also be set up without hosting any curry event. All the details for setting up the page can be found here.

Spread the Word – Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to show support by making a donation or host their own curry fundraising event.

And this year, the Great Australian Curry campaign has another proud supporter – Herbie’s Spices, the artisan Australian spice business.

Since all of you get my fascination for good quality spices, I was thrilled when Herbie’s Spices gifted all the spices that I needed to create this lipsmacking delicious Kerala style Prawn Curry. This is not the first time I am using Herbie’s Spices; it has been one of my go to brands whenever I need to stock up my spice pantry.

The first 20 people to sign up to host a Great Australian Curry fundraiser will win a ‘Flavours of India Spice Kit’. Also Ian and Liz Hemphill, who established Herbie’s Spices 21 years ago, will also give out ‘Pantry Spice Kits’ and their ‘Herb and Spice Bible—Third Edition’ as prizes for an upcoming Facebook competition promoting the campaign,” Learn more and participate in the competition here.

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry-

Ian Hemphill is enthusiastic to be giving a boost to the Great Australian Curry. “As most spices originate from developing countries, we’re keen to support a campaign that strives to improve the lives of people in these spice-producing communities.

Speaking of spices, here is a deliciously creamy and coconuty Kerala style Prawn Curry that you can make for your fundraising curry night.

This year, I wanted to make a seafood curry. Seafood, especially prawns is hugely popular during the spring-summer months in Australia leading up to Christmas and New Year. And I also wanted to make a curry that is light yet packed with flavour that’s perfect for our warm days.

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry-

The title ‘Kerala style Prawn Curry’ is rather generic because there are so many different styles of making seafood curries in Kerala. This particular one is more popular in central Kerala, as coconut milk is used liberally in curries making it light yet so creamy, coconuty and packed with flavour. As for spices, I have kept is simple again and used spices that are familiar to most people.

I used tiger prawns for making this curry and if you can source it fresh, then I highly suggest you do so because then this dish is nothing short of an indulgence. And pair it with steaming hot long grained rice; that’s all you need. Maybe some pappadoms on the side….

So let’s get cooking this fingerlickin’ good Kerala style Prawn Curry….

Kerala style Prawn Curry

But before that, here are a few curry recipes for hosting your Great Australian Curry fundraising campaign….

  1. Cambodian (Khmer) Chicken Samlá Curry
  2. Massaman Curry
  3. Duck Kurma
  4. Jaffna style Goat Curry
  5. Hyderabadi Shahi Macchi Kurma (Fish in a Creamy, Saffron induced Yoghurt Curry)

Kerala style Prawn Curry


  1. 800 gms tiger prawns; deveined and deshelled (but retain shell at the tail end)
  2. 3 tbsp coconut oil + 1 tbsp for tempering
  3. ½ tsp mustard seeds
  4. ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  5. 2 small red onions; finely sliced
  6. 1 tsp ginger paste
  7. 5 green chillies (whole)
  8. ½ tsp turmeric powder
  9. 1 tbsp red chilli powder (adjust to heat preferences)
  10. 1 ½ tsp coriander powder
  11. ½ tsp garam masala
  12. Salt, to season
  13. ½ tsp Freshly milled black pepper
  14. 2 dried Kashmiri red chillies
  15. 4-5 sprigs curry leaves
  16. 400ml coconut milk


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a deep pan (use an earthenware pot, if you have one).
  2. When the oil gets warm, add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
  3. Then add the fenugreek seeds, half of the curry leaves and green chillies.
  4. Next add the ginger paste and sliced onions; sauté till the onions are softened and translucent.
  5. Then add the turmeric, chilli, black pepper and coriander powder; mix well to combine and reduce heat to avoid the spices from burning.
  6. Add the cleaned prawns and 300ml coconut milk (reserve the remaining). Season with salt and mix well. Bring to boil and then simmer gently on low heat till the prawns are cooked.
  7. Once the prawns are cooked, add the remaining coconut milk and mix well. Adjust seasoning and remove from heat.
  8. In another small pan, heat coconut oil and add the remaining curry leaves and dry red chillies. Fry for a few seconds and add this to the prepared prawn curry. Keep covered for at least 30 minutes before serving.
  9. Enjoy over steamed long grain rice.

And let’s not forget to join hands and support Opportunity International Australia’s commitment to help fight poverty. Start your own Great Australian Curry fundraising campaign today!

Opportunity ‘Great Australian Curry’ Campaign + a Recipe for Kerala style Prawn Curry-


Disclaimer – This post has been bought to you in association with Opportunity International Australia and all the spices were kindly gifted by Herbie’s Spices.



Sweet and Spicy Prawns

The past week started off hectic, but very exciting. A new project came into fruition (spoiler alert!); of course you would soon get to hear about it. And this meant a lot of planning, cooking and shooting amidst other writing assignments.

But I loved this hectic pace; I was in my best creative space which made me happy, truly happy. Everything was going great guns and then Thursday struck. I woke up feeling the laziest that I have felt in a long time. Mindlessly moving from room to room, not focusing on anything and feeling guilty every time I took a look at my planner; desperately trying to get back into my working element.

But a few hours into the day, I gave it up and let the laziness engulf me. I reveled in doing nothing, took the time out to do the small things that I usually do not have time for. Put on my favourite songs from yesteryears, spoke to my plants in the balcony, cuddled my son longer than usual and dreamt!

It made me happy; this slowing down actually helped me recharge and rejuvenate myself.

We talk a lot about slowing down; and in the recent times, there has been a lot of conscious effort to get people to slow down in their lives. Yet, this has become one of the most difficult things to do. The word ‘stress’ looms large above us….we talk and fret a lot about it but yet, we actually do not want to do anything about it.

Slowing down spells failure for many of us. We are scared that if we slow down, the world will rush by past and we would have lost our time. The competitiveness, the rivalry, the rat race…….

Just as I promised myself yesterday, I encourage all of you to pledge moments of silence in your day, your week, your month…..moments where you are truly in harmony with your inner self. Do not think, just be….in the moment!

And for me, these silent moments are intertwined always with thoughts of food. I crave savoury deep flavours, fingerlickin deliciousness that somehow comforts my soul like none other….

Sweet and spicy prawns is just that….fingerlickin deliciousness!

Sweet and Spicy Prawns - a quick and delicious stir fry in under 30 minutes -


It’s easy and simple; just a handful of ingredients working its magic together inside a wok. And make sure you get the juiciest, plump prawns you can lay your hands on.

A dash of heat, a pinch of sweet, a handful of crunch all deliciously coating the succulent prawns!


1. 1kg Australian raw prawns; peeled and deveined, leaving shells intact
2. 1 semi-ripe tomato, deseeded and sliced
3. 1 medium zucchini, sliced
4. 1 bell pepper, sliced
5. ½ lime; rind grated and juiced
6. 1 tsp five spice powder
7. 2 tbsp sriracha
8. 1 tbsp ginger, grated
9. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10. 1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
11. 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
12. 2 tbsp fish sauce
13. ¼ cup pine nuts
14. Salt, to season
15. 3 tbsp vegetable oil


1. In a bowl, mix the lime zest, five spice blend and 1 tbsp vegetable oil; marinate the prawns in this for at least 1 hour.
2. Combine the sweet chilli sauce, sriracha, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar in a bowl; taste and adjust to preferences.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok to just smoking, add the prawns and cook on high for 2-3 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
4. Heat the remaining oil; sauté ginger and garlic on high and add the prawns back. Add the zucchini and bell peppers.
5. Add the mixed sauces to the prawns and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
6. Then add the tomatoes, taste and add salt if necessary.
7. Continue cooking till the sauce has coated the prawns well.
8. Add the pine nuts, mix and remove from heat.
9. Serve hot with steamed white rice.

Sweet and Spicy Prawns - a quick and delicious stir fry in under 30 minutes -

Sweet and Spicy Prawns - a quick and delicious stir fry in under 30 minutes -



Chemeen Theeyal (Spicy Prawn Coconut Curry)

I have made some amazing friendships and relationships over the years but none has been as profound an experience as getting to know Seems Nair. We are good friends ‘virtually’ sharing our passion and love for food and I definitely look forward to a future where both of us can sit down over a cuppa coffee and chat for endless hours. She is probably the ‘most positive’ person that I have encountered in a long time – living life to the fullest, enjoying every second and doing things that keeps her happiest. Every time I have a chat with you Seems, I become more aware of what life and happiness is all about – thanks dear, beyond measure.


Though our paths had crossed multiple times through the various food groups, the first time I interacted with her personally was over this recipe. She had posted this as a response to a vegetarian theeyal recipe I had posted. Being the kind-hearted soul she is, inboxed me the recipe to be tried out long back. So Seems, my tribute to your Chemeen theeyal recipe which is just as awesome as you are!

Now coming to the dish, theeyal is a popular South Indian curry which is usually best eaten with white rice. The star ingredients of a theeyal are coconut, shallots and fennel which give it an earthy, robust and rustic flavour. You can either make a vegetarian version by adding tomatoes or ladysfinger/okra or a non vegetarian one using prawns like this dish.


Chemeen theeyal – spicy, fragrant and earthy!


1. Prawns – 500gm, shelled and de-veined
2. Shallots/small onion – 10-15 (depending on size), sliced finely
3. Garlic – 3 cloves – finely chopped
4. Shredded coconut – 1 cup
5. Curry leaves – 3 sprigs (use only the leaves)
6. Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
7. Coriander powder – 3 tsp
8. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
9. Tamarind – a small ball, soaked in water (should give about 2 tbsp of thick extract)
10. Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
11. Fenugreek powder – ¼ tsp
12. Salt – to season




• In a non stick pan, dry roast (on low flame) the shredded/grated coconut along with half of the curry leaves, half of the sliced onions and garlic till light brown. Take care not to burn the coconut as this will lend a bitter taste to the dish. When almost done, add turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder.
• Cool this well and grind to a smooth paste with just enough water.
• In another kadai or earthenware pot (if you have, use it), add this ground paste, tamarind extract and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and bring to boil.
• Add the prawns and cook till done. Add more water if necessary to get the semi-thick consistency.
• Make a tempering with the remaining sliced onions and curry leaves. Add this as a garnish to the dish and stir through just before serving.
• Serve hot with steamed white rice.




This dish is a true representation of the flavours of Kerala and hence sending it to be a part of the South Indian cooking event being hosted by and (two amazing Indian food blogs)


Achari Jhinga (Spicy Pickled Prawns)

I have had this recipe for ages in my recipe diary (which is currently overflowing!) and has always been my go to prawn dish especially when I have guests over.


Loosely translated, achari jhinga means spicy pickled prawns. The pickling effect is due to the use of vinegar as base for mixing the spices and aromatics. This dish is meant to be spicy but you can of course control the amount of chilli powder to suit your taste buds.

A delish lip-smacking starter or the perfect accompaniment on a thali – prawn achari is a winner all the way!



1. Prawns (large, juicy ones preferable) – 500 gm, cleaned, deveined and washed
2. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
3. Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 tsp
4. Ginger – 1 inch
5. Garlic – 4 cloves
6. Peppercorns – ½ tsp
7. Vinegar – 2 -3 tbsp
8. Vegetable oil – 3 tbsp
9. Red onion – 1 medium, finely chopped
10. Tomato – 1 medium, finely chopped
11. Green chilli – 2, slit
12. Salt – to taste
13. Sugar – ½ tsp
14. Coriander leaves – ½ cup, chopped


• Grind the chilli powders, peppercorns, ginger and garlic into a paste with vinegar. Do not add water.
• Heat oil in a large pan; add the onions and sauté till light brown.

• Add the tomatoes; sauté on high heat for a minute and then add the ground spice paste. Saute on low flame till oil clears.

• Add the prawns, season with salt and cook till done. This is a dry dish and hence addition of extra water is not required.

• Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Note – The quantity of spices is optional and can be changed according to spice preference.




Chemeen Roast (Spicy Prawn Coconut Roast)

Some of the best Indian seafood dishes are from Kerala, owing to the abundant supply of the same coming in from the rich coastal regions lining the state. And some of my personal favourites are the dishes with prawns.

This chemeen /prawn roast recipe is from the KFG ( files put up by Ragesh. Droolworthy….the sweet, juicy chunkiness of the king prawns coated with the spicy coconut mixture lands your taste buds in culinary heaven. And do not feel guilty spending a few extra bucks getting the jumbo prawns for this one – totally worth it!

chemeen roast


1. Prawns (preferably king size) – 500 gms, deveined and cleaned
2. Shallots/small onion – 6, sliced finely
3. Green chillies ~ 3, slit
4. Ginger – 1 tsp, chopped
5. Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped
6. Kashmiri chilli powder – 2 tsp
7. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
8. Homemade garam masala – 1 tsp

 Cardamom – 2
 Cloves – 2
 Cinnamon bark – ½
 Peppercorns – ½ tsp
 Fennel/perinjeera seeds – ¼ tsp

9. Kodampuli/black tamarind – 2 small pieces
10. Grated coconut – ¾ cup
11. Curry leaves – a big handful
12. Salt – to season
13. Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
14. Coconut oil – 3-4 tbsp.


• Prepare the garam masala by dry roasting the whole spices and grinding to a fine powder.
• Soak the tamarind in warm water for 10-15 minutes.
• Marinate the prawns with turmeric powder, lemon juice, salt and keep for 10 minutes. Marinating with salt and lemon for long periods tends to cook the prawns and make it rubbery.
• Heat oil in a pan (great, if you have an earthen pot), crackle mustard seeds. Saute sliced shallots, chillies, ginger, garlic and half of the curry leaves till the onions turn translucent.
• Lower flame and add chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and sauté till the raw smell disappears.
• Add prawns and tamarind. Add ½ cup water and cook on low flame till the prawns are just done. (Cook uncovered so that the water evaporates and the prawns get dry).
• Add grated coconut and remaining curry leaves and cook till the prawns get coated well.

chemeen roast 1

Happy eating!

Goan prawn curry

There are a few Indian dishes that have gained global popularity and the Goan prawn curry is one of these. The creamy velvety texture of the mildly spiced coconut gravy with the succulent and juicy prawns appeals to international taste buds unlike some of the traditional Indian dishes which the Western world finds either too spicy or too oily (though for us, it’s a perfectly normal dish).

The popularity of this dish has only increased with the enormous growth of Goa as a tourist destination. Paired with steamed white rice (and a glass of beer, if you are on the Goan shores!) this dish is truly yummylicious.



1. Prawns- ½ kg, cleaned and deveined
2. Salt – to taste
3. green chilli – 2, finely chopped
4. onion – 1, finely chopped
5. coconut milk – freshly extracted
6. coriander – ½ tsp
7. cumin seeds – ½ tsp
8. garlic – 2 cloves
9. dry red chilli – 2
10. peppercorns – ½ tsp
11. ginger – 1 tsp, grated
12. turmeric powder – ½ tsp
13. tamarind pulp – 1-2 tbsp.


• Marinate the prawns with salt, chopped green chillies and onion for half an hour.

• Grind coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, dry red chilli, peppercorns, garlic and turmeric powder into a fine paste. Keep aside.

• Cook the prawns along with the marinade.

• Mix the ground masala with water and add to above, bring to boil. When the mixture reduces to half, add the tamarind pulp.

• Reduce heat and finally add thick coconut milk to make enough gravy. Add salt to taste and cook till done. Ensure that the heat is not too high or the milk will split.

• Serve on a bed of steamed white rice.

Tip – Cooking the dish in an earthenware pot enhances the taste and aroma.


Prawn and Brussels Sprouts Fried Rice

Recently, I went to a Chinese restaurant where we ordered prawn and cabbage fried rice. We loved it and so I tried to re-create the dish at home using simple ingredients. Didn’t want to use the different Asian sauces and so used just soy sauce and chilli sauce to give it the typical Chinese flavour. And also used brussels sprouts which gave a slightly different texture to the dish.

An easy meal to satiate your Chinese taste buds. And also a great lunch/tiffin box idea for the busy mornings or weekday dinners.

Prawn and Brussels Sprouts Fried Rice -


  1. Medium grain rice – 2 cups, washed and soak for at least 30 minutes to reduce cooking time
  2. Prawns – 200 gm, cut into bite-sized pieces
  3. Brussels sprouts – 1 cup, shredded
  4. Red onion – 1 small, chopped
  5. Soy sauce – 1-2 tbsp
  6. Chilli sauce – 1 tbsp
  7. Salt – to taste
  8. Black pepper – to taste
  9. Spring onion – chopped, for garnish
  10. Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
  11. Sesame oil – 1 tsp

Note – Any kind of rice can be used for this dish. And if you have leftover rice, works perfectly too.


  • Cook the rice in salted boiling water, drain and keep aside.
  • In a wok or large kadai, heat the vegetable and sesame oil.
  • Add chopped onions and sauté on high heat for a minute.
  • Then add prawns and cook till the prawns are almost done.
  • Add the shredded sprouts and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the soy, chilli sauce and pepper; mix well.
  • Add the rice and mix well to combine. Taste and season with salt if necessary.
  • Serve warm garnished with chopped spring onions.

Prawn and Brussels Sprouts Fried Rice -


Pasta Fantastico (Prawn, snow peas and chilli penne)

Pasta is a family favourite and all of us love to devour it in any shape, style and sauce. Back in India, my knowledge of cooking pasta dishes was minimal and it was typically called ‘white sauce pasta’ and ‘red sauce pasta’ – the Italian culinary terms were beyond me!

After coming down to Australia, I started preparing more styles of pasta dishes especially recipes which hardly uses any sauce at all. This recipe was such a find in a popular magazine out here. And like its name, the dish was simply fantastic, easy to prepare, light and delicious….…..the fresh crispness of the snow peas works wonderfully with the slightly spicy warm prawn flavour. A perfect winter-warmer!

Prawn Fantastico -


Recipe adapted from Woman’s Day Magazine


  1. Penne– 500 gm
  2. olive oil – 4-5 tbsp
  3. garlic – 2 cloves, crushed and chopped
  4. Prawns – 500 gm, deveined and cleaned well
  5. snow peas – 100 gm, trimmed
  6. sweet chilli sauce – 1 tbsp
  7. Italian dried mixed herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano) – 1 tsp
  8. chilli flakes – 1 tsp (more for serving)
  9. salt; to season


1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to packet instructions, drain (reserve half a cup of pasta water) and keep aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan on medium. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add prawns and cook, tossing, for 2-3 minutes, until they change colour. Then add the dried herbs, chilli flakes and sweet chilli sauce; continue to cook till the prawns are almost done.
3. Add the snow peas and cook for another minute (dont overcook the snow peas)
4. Add the pasta to the pan, season with salt and toss to combine. Add some of the reserved pasta water if it feels too dry.
5. Serve warm with a pinch of chilli flakes and a drizzle of olive oil on top.