Guide to making Dum Nariyali Prawns

Guide to making Dum Nariyali Prawns

Spicy seafood curry with prawns cooked in coconut milk

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4


12 to 14 tiger prawns (500 gms)

6 green chillies

55ml (about ¼ cup) vegetable oil or coconut oil

2 tsp mustard seeds

30 fresh curry leaves

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tbsp ginger paste

2 tsp fine sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1¼ tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp ginger juliennes

1 tsp coriander powder

400ml (about 2 cups) coconut milk (canned – you can use fresh)

2 tsp Madras curry powder (store bought, for a recipe to make at home check below)

1 tsp Kokum

250ml (about 1 cup) coconut cream (canned)

Lemon wedges, to serve


1. Remove and discard the stalks from the chillies, then slice each one into three or four long strips. Set aside.

2. Place a large pan over medium heat. Add 40ml of the oil, let it warm for a few seconds, and then add the mustard seeds and 20 curry leaves. Let them crackle for a few seconds.

3. Add the onions and sauté lightly for 12 to 14 minutes, until they wilt.

4. Add the garlic and ginger pastes, salt, black pepper, turmeric, and sauté for a further 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the sliced chillies and julienned ginger, cook for 3 minutes.

5. Pour in the coconut milk and cream and simmer for 20 minutes, over a low flame, stirring occasionally.

6. While the curry is simmering, place a small frying pan over a medium-high flame and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil. Toss in the rest of the curry leaves and fry for a minute, until crisp. Drain on a kitchen paper and set aside.

7. Add the prawns and tomatoes to the sauce and simmer gently for a further 5 to 6 minutes, until the prawns are cooked; do not overcook or they will become chewy and tough.

8. Serve garnished with the fried curry leaves and lemon wedges on the side.

Editor’s Note: Here is a quick recipe for homemade Madras curry powder. The chef or the restaurant did not supply this.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 to 7 minutes


2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tbsp cumin seed

1/3 tbsp fenugreek seeds

1/3 tbsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

1 2-inch piece of cinnamon or Cassia bark

1 or 2 bay leaves

1 star anise

5 green cardamoms

8 to 10 dried Kashmiri chillies

1 tbsp black peppercorn

1 tbsp turmeric powder

10 dried curry leaves


1. Dry roast each spice separately until it releases a mild aroma, with the exception of the turmeric powder. Then powder each and combine to make curry powder. Store in an airtight jar.

2. You can always tweak the ratio of whole spices used based on taste preference. For a non-spicy version, eliminate the peppercorn and red chillies.

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