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Sri Lankan prawn curry

"I'm always looking around the globe for inspiration when it comes to home cooking," says Evans. "I stumbled across this recipe when I had some gorgeous Australian wild prawns and really wanted to give them some excitement. I find prawns to be one of the most bland of all seafood when compared with other more flavoursome varieties, so I like to give them a nudge to boost them up to a culinary masterpiece."

You'll need

12 large uncooked prawns (about 540gm) 45 gm (½ cup) dried shredded unsweetened coconut 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp mild curry powder ½ tsp each ground turmeric and ground chilli 2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee 1 tsp fennel seeds 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds 1 onion, finely chopped 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 long red chilli, seeded and finely chopped 14 fresh curry leaves 600 ml coconut cream 1½ tsp tamarind purée 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn Juice of 1 lime 2 tbsp coarsely chopped coriander To serve: cauliflower “rice” (see pork belly and kimchi stew recipe)


  • 01
  • Peel and devein each prawn leaving heads and tails intact. Refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • Dry-roast coconut, cumin seeds and peppercorns in a frying pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant (30 second to 1 minute). Remove from heat and set aside to cool, then coarsely grind with a mortar and pestle, add curry powder, turmeric and ground chilli, and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • 03
  • Heat ghee or oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add fennel and mustard seeds to pan, stir until mustard seeds start to pop (1 minute), then add onion, garlic, chilli, and curry leaves, and stir occasionally until onion softens (10-12 minutes). Add spice mixture and stir until fragrant (1 minute); do not burn spices. Add coconut cream, tamarind purée, kaffir lime leaves and 120ml water to pan, stir well and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened (15 minutes). Add prawns and simmer until they’re just cooked (2-4 minutes). Remove from heat, add lime juice and coriander, stir to incorporate, season to taste and serve with cauliflower “rice”.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

Aug 2014

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