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5 from 1 vote

Malabar Shrimp Curry

Malabar Shrimp (or prawn) curry is a spicy seafood curry from the coastal regions of south india. Succulent shrimp in a coconut laced sauce which is aromatic from fenugreek seeds and tangy from tamarind. Perfect with steamed rice.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 3


Marinate the Shrimp

  • 18-20 jumbo or extra large shrimp, shelled, deveined and thawed
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Make the Coconut Paste

  • cup desiccated coconut
  • 4 birds eye green chili, adjust to tolerance
  • 4 garlic cloves,peeled
  • 1 inch fresh ginger shoot, peeled
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3 tablespoon hot water, or as needed

Make the Curry

  • 3-4 tablespoon mustard oil or cooking oil
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 3 whole dried chilies
  • ¾ cup finely chopped onion
  • 8-10 fresh curry leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2 medium tomatoes, pureed in blender
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish


  • Pat the shrimp dry using a paper towel. Place in a bowl, sprinkle turmeric kashmiri chili powder and salt.Marinate for 15-20 minutes.
  • Add the ingredients listed under coconut paste into a blender jar. Blend to make a smooth paste. Keep ready.
  • In a shallow pan, warm up 2 tablespoon of oil. Add the shrimp in a single layer. Sear for a minute on each side and remove in a plate. Dont cook the shrimp all the way.
  • Add another 2 tablespoon of oil to the same pan. Once warm, temper with mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add the fenugreek seeds and dried chilies. Let cook for 30 seconds. Then add the chopped onions and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Next, add the curry leaves along with the kashmiri chili powder. Also add the coconut paste. Saute on low heat for 3-4 minutes until you see the masala glistening.
  • Add the pureed tomatoes and cook again for 3 minutes or so until you see oil separating on the sides. At this point add the coconut milk and ⅓ to ½ cup warm water. Let the coconut milk simmer for 3 minutes, don't let boil.
  • Add the seared shrimp to the simmering oconumt milk, add salt and on low medium heat cook for maximum 5-6 minutes until the shrimp are cooked through. If you feel that the sauce is thickish, add ¼ to ⅓ cup additional water.
  • Finish with tamarind and don't cook a lot after adding tamarind. Take off the stove and garnish with cilantro and serve warm.