Curry leaf shrimp

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Food and Travels: Asia

Food and Travels

By Alastair Hendy

Published 2004

  • About

Serve this dish with rice or naan breads, lime halves to squeeze over, and finger bowls to rinse fingers.


  • 20 shell-on raw tiger prawns, heads removed salt and pepper
  • 1 narrow red chilli, deseeded and chopped juice of 1 lime
  • 12 small cloves garlic, 4 crushed
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp garam masala (preferably whole seeds)
  • 2 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1 onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 5 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp red onion or shallot slivers
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • lime halves, to serve


Toss the prawns with salt and a twist of pepper, the chilli, lime juice and crushed garlic, and leave for half an hour. Heat a wide heavy frying pan until hot, and toss the prawns in 1 tbsp of oil, then sear them for about a minute on each side in the hot pan. Remove them from the pan. Add the whole garlic cloves and toss through, adding seasoning and a dash more oil if necessary. Cover and pan-roast on a low heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until fairly tender when tested with the tip of a knife. Turn the heat back up and add another tbsp of oil, the garam masala, ginger, curry leaves, onion and whole garlic cloves, turn and gently fry until you can smell the spices and the garlic has taken on a little of their colour. Return the prawns to the pan and turn so they pick up the spice. Add half the tomatoes and 2 tbsp water and cook for 5 minutes. Stir through the remaining tomatoes and the onion and chilli slivers, season again, and remove from the heat.