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Prawn Masala Curry – South Indian Style

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Hope you all had very good Diwali. Mine went well and fired few crackers. Due to Diwali sweets/snacks preparation, I was not able to update few of the Diwali recipes in my blog yet.

Also, I noticed I have not posted any non-veg recipes in my blog for some period of time. so, I decided to post few non-veg recipes first which were in my draft for some period of time, then I will post the remaining Diwali recipes.

This is the recipe from my MIL which is prepared in south Indian method, goes well with steamed rice. However, you can also use as a side dish for roti/chapathi too.

Basic Information:

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Serves: 4 people


Prawns / Iraal – 500 grams, peeled and deveined

Small Onion / Sambar Onion / Shallots – 1/2 cup, finely chopped or minced

Tomato – 3 nos in medium size or 1 cup, sliced

Ginger garlic paste – 1 and 1/2 teaspoons

Salt – to taste

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Oil – 3 tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Curry leaves – 2 strings

Coriander leaves – for garnishing

Water – 3/4 cup

To Roast and Grind:

Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon

Cumin seeds – 3/4 teaspoon

Rice grains – 1 tablespoon

Coriander seeds  / Dhania – 1 and 1/2 tablespoons

Curry leaves – 1 string

Oil – 1 teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 1 teaspoon or to taste


1) Wash prawns well in water for 2 to 3 times. Add salt, turmeric and a big pinch of red chilli powder. Mix well. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, in a heavy bottom pan, heat a teaspoon of oil. Add the ingredients except red chilli powder given under roasting and roast it till they releases nice aroma.

3) Turn the flame off and add the red chilli powder. The heat in the pan is sufficient for red chilli powder. At the same time, make sure not to burn it.

4) Allow it to cool and grind to a fine powder. If required add water to make a smooth paste.

5) Grind tomato and make a puree of it. keep aside.

6) Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the same kadai / pan which we used for roasting. Add mustard seeds when it is hot. Add onion along with curry leaves. Fry till onion becomes very soft and translucent.

7) Add ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes off.

8) Add tomato puree and cook till it reduces and releases oil from the sides of the pan.

9) Now, add prawns, ground masala powder,salt, turmeric and water one by one. Mix gently. Adjust the salt and spicy as per your taste. When the gravy starts boiling, cover the pan and lower the flame to medium. Let it cook for few minutes.

10) Cook the gravy till the oil oozes out from the top of the pan and the prawns are well cooked.

11) Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with steamed rice.


1) Instead of red chilli powder, you can also use dry red chillies for roasting for this gravy.

2) Increase or decrease the water quantity as per your personal preference. If you like gravy consistency, then add a cup of water instead of 3/4 cup of water.

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Priya Suresh

Wat a super flavourful curry, i do this prawn masala very rarely with all these spices,definitely a fingerlicking food.


Uma,am bookmarking this recipe ..Looking extremely delicious n inviting fab pics


Hi Uma, this is my first time here and love your inviting prawn recipe ๐Ÿ™‚ being a non veg lover how can i not follow you ๐Ÿ˜€ your clicks are amazing.


wow fabulous and mouthwatering curry…

Hi Uma, this is simply mouthwatering.. I want some with the rice in the background!

Divya A

Lovely clicks dear ๐Ÿ™‚ Feel like grabbing that kadai ๐Ÿ™‚ Very well presented and very well explained too!!
Egg Rasam

Suja Manoj

Tempting drool worthy curry,love the roasted masala.


That looks delicious!! Will surely give it a try..


highly tempting pictures..i dont eat non-veg but drooling here

Grand Giveaway at exciting prizes

Sangeetha Nambi

Hi Uma, First time to ur space… Loved all ur recipes… Glad to follow u as well…


Tempting and delicious prawn masala curry..
Shabbu's Tasty Kitchen

Vidya Chandrahas

I am a prawn fan…love your recipe..very tempting and flavorful


Awesome post
Seems finger licking good!!
Saving this page, Thank you so much:-)


Awesome post
Seems finger licking good!!
Saving this page, Thank you so much:-)

MAry Brown

I'm not familiar with fennel seeds but this is good to know the benefits of this fennel seeds
sesame seeds
fennel seeds


What is rice grains?


What is rice grains? I plan to try it tomorrow. Tq


Rice which we use for cooking. It is added to get thick gravy.

Jayabal Natarajan

Hey – today i planned to cook Prawn and searched in google and I found yours. Let me try today and post the comments. Looks so yummy. Anyway thanks for your great Job. – Jayabal.


I tried d recipe and it came out very well.Thnx Uma
Gr8 going ๐Ÿ™‚

Ezhilraj Dhanasekaran

Awesome awesome awesome! tried it today..loved the dish. Thanks for sharing. keep doing.

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well explained and good photo shots.


Yes I'm also bookmark this recipe.very nice,mouthwatering….


Hi Uma…I was looking for something easy n yummy for prawn curry …and came across yrs…m trying it now for a dinner party…m sure everyone would lick not only fingers but plates as well??


Very nice receipe

Elveera Abraham

Tried t recipe now… awesome… I love trying new recipes so this was just what I needed.. thanks ๐Ÿ™‚


I made this at home today ๐Ÿ™‚
1 word – yuuuummmyyyyy!!!! thanx !!!


I really enjoy prawns so I hope to try this recipe out. Thank you penji, nice clear explanation and great pictures!

Bindu Rachna

I am making this today for lunch!


really delicious. thanks alot!


Very nice recipe.. I tried this one and it was delicious.. !!! ๐Ÿ™‚

Salome raja

Looks good and easy, will surely try it.

Salome raja

Looks good and easy, will surely try it.


Going to give this a try today. How much is two strings of curry leaves for the uninformed?? Thanks.


@shaun, it is about 10-15 leaves.


Awesome receipe . Very easy and delicious dish


Tried & tasted this recipe. Very different from our normal prawn chutney. Thanks Uma Romans jam for this tasty recipe.


Thanks Veni for trying it and sending me the feedback.


I'm making this tomorrow for my family! I made your palak paneer last week and it was lovely ๐Ÿ™‚

– Sarah


Thanks Sarah for the feedback


Can you be more specific about "rice grains"? Is that just rice that is cooked and then ground? What kind of rice?

These instructions are incredibly confusing.


Hi Anonymous, it is just rice.(without cooking) roast it till it is opaque and powder it. you can refer it the stepwise pictures.


I can't find curry leaves, what can I use as a substitute!


I can't make the powder as I don't have a grinder. What can I substitute? Are any of the powders available ready-made? Thanks.


excellent recipe thank you so much,kids loved it


Hi… The gravy turned out yummy. Thank you for the recipe.


Tried your recipe. The dish was really very delicious