Prawn and Coconut Curry


  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp ghee or groundnut (peanut) oil
  • 4 oz / 110 g desiccated coconut or 2 oz / 60 g grated creamed coconut (from a block)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ pt / 140 ml water
  • 2 tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 1 lb / 455 g peeled and deveined prawns
  • juice of ½ lemon or 1 tbsp tamarind liquid


Fry the onion until golden in the ghee or groundnut (peanut) oil. Add the coconut, garlic and spices, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the water and yoghurt, and cook until the onion is soft. Add the prawns and lemon juice or tamarind liquid, and continue cooking for a further 5–8 minutes. Serve immediately on a bed of steamed or boiled rice.


Instead of the spices used above, use a small stick of cinnamon, a few whole cloves, a few teaspoons of grated fresh root ginger and, if you have it, a few pieces of lemon grass stalk. Omit the yoghurt, and add 3 oz / 85 g each of mangetout, oyster mushrooms and bean sprouts with the water, and cook until the vegetables are just soft. Then, instead of lemon juice or tamarind liquid, stir in a teaspoon of soy sauce and a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil with the prawns. If you like spicy food, you can also add a little chopped chilli with the spices.

Use small queen scallops or chunks of monkfish instead of the prawns.