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Indian Prawn Curry in Just 15 Minutes!

This Indian prawn curry is hot, sour and all sorts of delicious & if that is not enough it cooks in just 15 minutes, yes you read that right!

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

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

The Perfect Spicy Prawn Recipe

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 easy prawn curry is one of my favourites and one of the quickest recipes that I cook. It sits right alongside my Thai Prawn Curry as “brothers from another mother”!

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.

This ensures that the flavour of the sweet prawns shines through, I do exactly the same thing with my pheasant curry.

Most of the ingredients are store cupboard staples for anyone who cooks Indian food regularly.

The spices in this curry are relatively “reserved” so as not to overwhelm the sweet flavour of prawn which should still sing through.

This is the same approach that I take with my sea bream curry, Macher Jhol Bengali fish curry, Keralan fish curry, salmon tikka, and my curry mussels!

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

How to Defrost Frozen Prawns.

I always use frozen prawns or shrimp as my US readers call them.

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

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

As you can see I use blanched frozen prawns in the video for this recipe. This means that they are cooked but not completely.

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 for this prawn curry.

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

Hints and Serving Suggestions

You can use raw frozen prawns, frozen cooked prawns or indeed fresh for this curry.

Each step towards fresh, head on, shell on prawns adds a little extra time to the prep for this curry. But no matter what you use this recipe is still a speed demon!

For convenience here I 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. Each brand is different so start with a little and have a taste.

If you want to use tamarind pulp take 60g of pulp (around 3-4 cm 1 1/2″ cube). Soak it in 65ml (around 1/4 cup) of boiling water, let it steep, and then pass it through a sieve.

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

With a little more time on my hands I’d prepare some chapatis because let’s face it curry and flatbread!

You can also enhance the sour vibes in this prawn curry by adding a little lime or lemon pickle on the side!

Square image of an Indian prawn curry served with white rice and garnished with coriander
Yield: 2

Quick Indian Prawn Curry Recipe

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

A super quick, simple and delicious hot and sour Indian prawn curry, this recipe is the sort of thing that all cooks need in their repertoire!


  • 400 g 14 oz Large Frozen Prawns
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 1/2 Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Black Onion Seeds
  • 100 g (2/3 Cup) Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 75 g (1/3 - 1/2 Cup) Tomato Passata
  • 5 g (1 Tsp) Tamarind Concentrate
  • 50 ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) 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:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 638Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 314mgSodium: 2232mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 4gSugar: 11gProtein: 49g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 28th of October 2018

Seafood curries are always my favourite, as they are so quick to good.

Brian Jones

Sunday 28th of October 2018

They are fantastic, prawns or shrimp really are the grandmasters of fast food :)

Brian Jones

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

Same here, good job really as fresh prawns are rarer than hens teeth here ;)

Julie @ Running in a Skirt

Monday 23rd of April 2018

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

Brian Jones

Tuesday 24th of April 2018

It is super tasty and so simple.


Sunday 22nd of April 2018

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!

Brian Jones

Monday 23rd of April 2018

We all need a quick meal once in a while no matter how laid back our lives are ;)


Sunday 17th of May 2015

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!

Brian Jones

Monday 18th of May 2015

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 :D

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