Kolkata (Calcutta) prawns

Kolkata (Calcutta) prawns

The Curry Guy
4 or more as part of a multi-course meal

Kolkata-style prawn curries are making their way onto many curry-house menus. This recipe was inspired by a visit to my local curry house, Raj Bari in Yarm. I didn’t see the chefs making the dish while I was there, but they were nice enough to let me know what went into it. I returned home and decided to make the curry all over again for my family. It was that good!


Quantity Ingredient
500g raw tiger prawns, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons ghee or mustard oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
3 green cardamom pods, lightly bruised
4 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
20 fresh curry leaves
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Garlic and ginger paste
1 fresh green chilli, halved lengthways and deseeded
2 tablespoons coconut flour
400ml coconut milk
pinch saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Garam masala
1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander


  1. Sprinkle the prawns with the turmeric and mix well. Heat the ghee or oil in a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, reduce the heat to medium and add the rest of the whole spices, bay leaf and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds then add the shallots and sauté for about 5 minutes, until translucent and soft.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger paste and the fresh chilli, and stir to combine. Add the prawns and paprika and fry, stirring regularly, until the prawns begin to turn pink. Stir in the coconut flour, coconut milk and saffron and simmer for a further few minutes so that the sauce thickens slightly and the prawns cook through. To serve, stir in the garam masala, check for seasoning and add salt to taste. Top with the fresh coriander.
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