Quick and Easy Indian Prawn Curry

A super quick, simple and delicious hot and sour Indian prawn curry that can be on your plate in less than 20 minutes!

Portrait close up image of an Indian prawn curry served with white rise and garnished with coriander

Insanely Quick Curry!

All cooks have one of those quick meals that they can rustle up with their eyes closed. A recipe that tastes great and can be rustled up quickly.

I have many, but this one is one of my favourites and one of the quickest recipes that I cook.

It is the meal I fall back on when I am out late and need to grab something at the supermarket for dinner.

Flavour-wise we go sour with the help of a little tamarind. I keep the heat fairly low key but you can increase this if you wish.

I say in the recipe that this prawn curry recipe takes 20 minutes, but to be honest, I can knock this out in 15 without any trouble.

Most of the ingredients are store cupboard staples for me.

Portrait image of an Indian prawn curry served with white rice and garnished with coriander

How to Defrost Frozen Prawns.

It does not matter what I am cooking I always use frozen prawns or shrimp as my US readers call them.

It does not matter if it is for this recipe, my harissa prawns or indeed the prawns for my special fried rice!

They are convenient, can be great quality and really easy to use.

As you can see I use cooked frozen prawns in the video for this recipe, but the process of defrosting them is identical whether they are cooked or raw.

You can, of course, go long and slow and leave them in the fridge overnight. But this recipe is my go-to “quick I need dinner now” recipe!

Simply place the shrimp on a colander in the sink and run cold water over them

I typically set that going whilst I am preparing the vegetables and spices.

Portrait overhead image of an Indian prawn curry served with white rise and garnished with coriander

Hints and Serving Suggestions

I mention using cooked frozen prawns in this curry recipe, this is because they are usually what I can find without a hunt.

You can, of course, use raw frozen prawns or indeed fresh.

Each add a little more time to the recipe, raw frozen prawns take a little more time to defrost and cook. Add a couple of minutes to the cooking time for raw prawns.

Prawns in their shells take a little more time to prepare.

But let’s face it, you really are not talking about spending a lot of time.

I also use tamarind concentrate in this recipe rather than soaking tamarind pulp.

It is super convenient but it is pokey, typically 5-10 times more powerful than pulp. As a result, you should use it sparingly!

If I am cooking in a rush would serve this with plain basmati rice.

If I have a little more time then I would add some chapatis to the mix.

Quick Indian Prawn Curry Recipe

Quick Indian Prawn Curry Recipe

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Calling this prawn curry recipe quick is an understatement, but that does not mean that we have skimped on flavour!


  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Black Onion Seeds
  • 125 g Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 15 g Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 75 g Tomato Passata
  • 5 g Tamarind Concentrate
  • 400 g Frozen Cooked Prawns (Defrosted)
  • 50 ml Water
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. Peel and thinly slice the onion into half moon shapes and finely slice the garlic.
  2. Grate the ginger.
  3. Heat a wok over a high heat.
  4. When hot add in the oil followed by the mustard, black onion and fenugreek seeds.
  5. When the mustard seeds begin to pop add in the onion and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a further minute until fragrant
  7. Add the Kashmiri chilli, ground coriander and turmeric and stir to incorporate with the onions.
  8. Pour in the water, passata and tamarind and bring to a boil.
  9. Check for seasoning and add salt to taste along with a pinch of sugar.
  10. Finally, add the prawns stir and warm through.
  11. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander.


Adapted from a recipe in Rik Stein in India

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 638 Total Fat: 34g Saturated Fat: 12g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 16g Cholesterol: 314mg Sodium: 2232mg Carbohydrates: 36g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 11g Protein: 49g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

9 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. Oh my! This looks incredible! I love that gorgeous color in the sauce. This looks like a perfect dinner.

  2. I agree, many of my favorite dishes take a little time but there’s definitely a place for quicker meals, particularly tasty curries like this. Definitely my kind of meal!

  3. oh this looks great Brian. I’ve got a hankering for prawns at the mo and fancied something a bit Greek but I always favour Indian above all else… Beautiful as always!

    • Thanks Jo… Really is so easy to knock up a quick prawn ruby murry, shame about the frozen prawns… But if you choose to live in a landlocked country where the favourite fish is Carp *yuck* then you have to live by your decisions ๐Ÿ˜€


Leave a comment