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Quick and Easy Indian Prawn Curry

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 is the perfect midweek quick and easy dinner that feels special and uses ingredients that I usually have in the freezer and store cupboard.

Close-up quick and easy Indian inspired prawn curry.

Spicy Shrimp 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 easy prawn curry is one of my favourites and one of the quickest recipes that I cook. It sits right alongside my Thai Red Prawn Curry and Prawn Panang Curry as “brothers from another mother” as well as glorious Indian-influenced recipes like my king prawn bhuna and prawn and mango curry!

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.

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

Quick and easy Indian inspired prawn curry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use frozen prawns?

Yes, absolutely! I always use frozen prawns.

Can I cook the prawns from frozen?

In theory yes, but I do not like doing that because it reduces the temperature of the pan too much.

I place the prawns in a colander and run them under cold water, they will defrost in 5 minutes or so. This should give you time to prep the vegetables for this recipe.

Can I use “blanched” prawns?

I used blanched frozen prawns in the video for this recipe to test them for a reader.

They work perfectly well, but they do need the shortest of cooking times. A couple of minutes should suffice so long as they are properly defrosted.

What size prawns do you use?

I use size 20-25 head-off shell-off (apart from the tail) prawns in this curry. That number represents how many prawns you get per pound.

Can I use tamarind pulp?

Yes, over the years I have migrated to using tamarind pulp for all of my tamarind recipes.

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.

Overhead quick and easy Indian inspired prawn curry.

Serving Suggestions

If I am cooking in a rush I serve this prawn curry with plain basmati rice but it is awesome with a nice pilau rice.

I’ve not hidden my love of Indian flatbread under a bushel on my site and of course, I’d serve this recipe with some. Chapatis would be my first choice but a tandoori-style naan bread works really well too.

Potatoes are also superb with this dish, both my roasted Bombay potatoes and aloo methi recipes are ideal.

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

Quick hot and sour Indian prawn curry with tamarind.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • Wok.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Grater.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
Quick hot and sour Indian prawn curry with tamarind.
Yield: 2 Servings

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!


  • 400g (14oz) Prawns
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • ½ Tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
  • ½ Tsp Fenugreek Seeds
  • ½ tsp Black Onion Seeds
  • 100g (2/3 Cup) Onion
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Ginger
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
  • ¼ tsp Ground Coriander
  • ½ tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 75g (⅓ - ½ Cup) Tomato Passata
  • 5g (1 Tsp) Tamarind Concentrate
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp + 1 Tsp) Water
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt


  1. Peel and thinly slice the onion into half moon shapes.
  2. Peel and finely slice the garlic.
  3. Grate the ginger.
  4. Heat a wok over a high heat and when it is 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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