This is probably the easiest prawn coconut curry you will make which has very few ingredients and needs only 15 minutes to prepare. We call it ‘prawn lonvas’ and it is made with shrimps or prawns and East Indian bottle masala this one is perfect for busy weekday meals.
Growing up weekday meals were mostly fish for lunch. Mom would often make this prawn curry over white steamed rice and serve it with a pickle and papad on the side.
The best part is that this curry is so simple and easy to make it gets done in minutes. It is one of the first few recipes I made when I was away from home. In fact, I’d make this with prawns, fish, and other seafood too.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Prawns – you can use both shrimps or prawns for this recipe. And, you can also use white fish such as pomfret or seabass.
- Bottle masala – there is no substitute for bottle masala because it is a unique spice mix made with about 18 other spices. But, you can also use 1 tsp chili or cayenne pepper, 1/2 tbsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp cumin powder, and 1/4 tsp garam masala, instead of bottle masala for this recipe to make a lovely prawn coconut curry.
- Tamarind – has a unique flavor that is not similar to lemon, lime, or vinegar. But, if you must substitute you can use kokum, dry mango instead.
- Chilies – I usually omit the extra chilies because my kids can’t handle any spicier than the bottle masala. But, mom always used green chilies.
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- 1 lb (450 g) Prawns or shrimps Shells, veined, and shells removed
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Bottle masala
- 4 large Garlic cloves grated or paste
- 2 medium Green chilies Slit into two or julienne
- ½ cup Coconut milk
- 1 tsp Rice flour
- 2 inch Fresh tamarind or 1/4 tsp tamarind paste
- 2 tbsp Chopped cilantro fresh
- Tamarind – In a small bowl, soak the tamarind with 1/4 cup of water and set aside for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes squeeze as much pulp as you can from the tamarind and discard the fibers. Add rice flour to the tamarind water and set aside until ready to use. Pro tip – this is how you use fresh tamarind pulp. Alternatively, you can also use tamarind paste which can be used directly from the jar and does not need any soaking.2 inch Fresh tamarind
- Curry – In a cooking pot or saute pan, combine all the oil, bottle masala, garlic, chilies, and coconut milk. Add an additional 1/2 cup of water, turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and let boil for just 2 minutes.1 tbsp Vegetable oil, 2 tbsp Bottle masala, 4 large Garlic cloves, 2 medium Green chilies, ½ cup Coconut milk
- Cook – Add the prawns or shrimps and cook for 4 minutes on medium-low heat.1 lb Prawns or shrimps
- Finish – Add the tamarind/rice flour water. Season with salt and pepper. Add the chopped cilantro and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes or until the prawns/shrimps are cooked.1 tsp Rice flour, 2 inch Fresh tamarind, 2 tbsp Chopped cilantro
- Garnish – Taste and adjust seasoning and consistency. Add water if more gravy is required. Garnish with more chopped cilantro and sliced chilies before serving.
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