Recipe: Prawn and Coconut Curry

Recipe: Prawn and Coconut Curry

Having a quick curry recipe in your repertoire is ideal for when you fancy a spicier midweek meal or when you want to entertain with minimum fuss. The speedy cooking of prawns (shrimps) lends itself to quicker meals; they really do cook in just a few minutes, so don’t be tempted to give them any longer. If you want to make an evening that little bit special, serve with rice or naan breads, poppadoms, raita, and your favourite chutneys.


  • 1 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • Thumb-sized piece (about 25g/ 3/4oz) of fresh root ginger, finely chopped or grated (shredded)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated (shredded)
  • 1 red chilli, sliced (omit if you prefer a mild curry)
  • 4 tablespoons balti spice paste (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • 1 × 400-g (14-oz) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 × 400-ml (14-fl oz) tin coconut milk
  • 300g (10 1/2oz) raw prawns (shrimp), cleaned and deveined


  • Handful of torn coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Plain cooked rice or naan bread (optional)
  • Poppadoms (optional)
  • Your choice of raita or chutneys

Drizzle the oil into a large frying pan (skillet) or saucepan and heat over a medium-low heat. Add the onion with a pinch of salt and fry for 6–8 minutes until soft. Stir in the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for 1–2 minutes to soften slightly, ensuring the garlic doesn’t burn.

Mix in the balti spice paste with a splash of water (I usually find 1 tablespoon is enough) and cook for 2–3 minutes to unleash the flavour.

Pour in the tinned tomatoes and coconut milk and simmer gently for 8–10 minutes to thicken slightly. (Meanwhile, this is a good moment to start cooking your rice.)


Scatter in the prawns and gently stir them into the sauce. Cook the prawns for 3–4 minutes only until pink and just cooked. You really don’t want to overcook them because the joy of prawns is in their firm but bouncy texture.

Scatter over the torn coriander and a bright squeeze of lime. Serve the curry with your choice of plain rice or naan bread, poppadoms and any raita or chutneys on the side.

Lovely additions This is a great simple curry, but if you’d like to add some extra veg then spinach and green beans both work well. Spinach leaves can be stirred into the curry with the prawns and allowed to wilt and green beans can be added a couple of minutes before the prawns are added.

Recipe from Samuel Goldsmith’s The Tinned Tomatoes Cookbook

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