This easy prawn masala curry recipe goes to show the versatility, and ease of use of spices to create something exotic using your culinary gut and flavour instinct.
Cooked in fresh spice blend this prawn masala can be made dry or with a little gravy base and goes well with any Indian flat bread such as roti, paratha, naan or rice.
Prawns or fish are proteins that cook fast, is healthy and one of best proteins to eat if on a diet.
Ingredients Needed To Make Masala Prawns
This is a hot and spicy prawn dish which means there are a few spices you will need. You will also require a blender to make a smooth paste.
Non of the spices are difficult to find and if you struggle I recommend buying them online from this fabulous one stop shop for all your spices need.
Here is what you need:
FRESH OR PANTRY INGREDIENTS
- 500 gms, prawns
- 1, onion diced into small pieces
- 3 tbsp, yogurt
- 1, chopped tomato
- 15 curry leaves
- 6 pods garlic
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 to 4 whole red chillies. fresh or dry – (Why are Kashmiri chillies all rounder chillies, click here to find out )
- 1 tsp pepper corns – (Click here for the uses and benefits of black pepper)
- 2 tsp coriander seeds – (Understand the difference between coriander seeds and ground coriander)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds – (How to cook with cumin seeds)
- 1 tsp fenugreek seeds – (Cooking with fenugreek seeds- uses and benefits)
- 1 tsp mustard seeds – (Why should you cook with mustard seeds)
- Substitute prawns with shrimps or chicken and make an spicy shrimp/chicken dish.
- Substitute for fresh curry leaves – Use any of these listed curry leaves substitute.
- Substitute for fenugreek seeds – Use celery seeds or choose from the 10 best fenugreek substitute.
- Substitute for black mustard seeds – You can use either yellow or black mustard seeds for this recipe or select the best alternative here.
- Substitute for coriander seeds – Use ground coriander instead or choose from any of these coriander seeds substitute.
How To Make Prawn Masala – Method With Images
Follow this really simple step to step cooking process to make this dish at home.
MAKE MASALA PASTE
In a pan dry roast garlic pods, whole red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and pepper corns until it changes in colour and is fragrant.
Grind into a thick paste with some water and set aside.
MAKE THE BASE
Heat oil in another pan, saute onions tomato and curry leaves for 5 minutes.
Add the prawns and the ground spice blend made earlier and continue to cook for another 3 minutes.
Add water for making gravy, if needed and cover and cook until the prawns look done. Serve with plain boiled rice or roti.
Cooking Tips and FAQ’s
- Do not roast the whole spices for too long, turn it off as soon as you see the colour of the seeds change to a darker shade.
- You can use shrimp to make spicy shrimp dish instead of prawns.
- Cook the tomatoes till it becomes pulpy, it gives the dish a lovely tangy taste.
- Adjust the chillies according to your spice threshold. This is a hot spicy Indian prawn recipe so you do need a fair about of spices but you can easily reduce the amount.
Can you make spicy prawns masala with frozen prawns
Yes, you can make this prawn dish with frozen prawns.
All you need to do is thaw the prawns and pat them dry before cooking.
How to prevent the prawns from becoming too dry?
Prawns tend to become tough if cooked for long. Read this Mediterranean Prawn recipe where I share tips to make perfectly cooked prawns.
What does masala mean?
Masala is the Indian (Hindi) word for spices.
Whenever you see the word ‘Masala’ on a menu or a recipe you know if refers to spices.
Masala, as a reference to a cooking term as well. This means the process when you saute any Indian base sauce with spices along with onions, ginger, garlic and tomatoes.
This post shares the little known secret process of cooking a basic Indian sauce base that can be used for making many Indian recipes.
I do not like prawns can I make this same dish with anything else?
Since the spice base is made separately you have the choice of using any protein or vegetables. I have made this same prawn masala gravy base with thinly cut chicken pieces and also with chickpeas. It tasted delicious. You just need to be aware of the time required to cook the main ingredient.
I do not have whole cumin seeds or coriander seeds, what can I use instead?
If you do not have the whole seeds then use the ground version. But in this case only add the powdered spices after you roast the chillies, garlic, peppercorn and mustard seeds. Roast the ground spices only for a minute max or else they may get burned.