Lemak Cili Padi Udang

Prawn and Pineapple Curry

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My Rendang isn't Crispy

My Rendang isn't Crispy

By Zaleha Kadir Olpin

Published 2019

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This is a traditional Malay recipe from my sister-in-law, Molly. You can substitute the prawns for fish or chicken. Note that if using chicken, it will take a longer time to cook.


  • 300 g (11 oz) large tiger prawns
  • 250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) boiling water
  • 375 ml (12 fl oz / cups) thick coconut milk
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, white part only, bruised
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 slice asam gelugor
  • 150 g (5⅓ oz) pineapple, cut into cubes (optional)
  • 1 turmeric leaf
  • Salt, to taste

Spice Paste

  • 6 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped
  • 6 bird’s eye chillies, or to taste
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz / ½ cup) water


  • Peel and devein the prawns. Reserve the heads and shells. Rinse the prawns and set aside.
  • Place the prawn heads and shells in a pot. Add the boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. This will be the stock for the dish. Strain the stock and discard the heads and shells (see Note).
  • Place all the ingredients for the spice paste in a blender and process into a coarse paste.
  • Transfer the spice paste to a medium saucepan. Add the stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, turmeric powder and asam gelugor. Bring to a boil while stirring continuously to prevent the coconut milk from curdling.
  • Add the pineapple and turmeric leaf. Season with salt.
  • Add the prawns and stir gently. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 2 minutes until the prawns are done. Remove from heat.
  • Dish out and serve with rice and other dishes.

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