Mangalorean Prawn Curry Recipe (Coconut-Based Prawn Ghassi)

A pile of ground tumeric on a granite surface
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  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (18)

In this popular Malvani (from the western coast of India) curry, the delicate flavors of coconut are a perfect complement to the taste of the prawns. It is a dish that overlaps Goan and Mangalorean-style dishes, all coastal Indian communities famous for their cuisine. In this curry recipe, prawns are cooked in coconut oil with a spicy tamarind gravy. Make the most of this dish by serving it over a bed of rice alongside garlic naan. 

What You'll Need

  • 5 red chilies (dry)
  • 3 large onions (chopped fine)
  • 2 cups coconut (fresh grated)
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste
  • 2 pounds/1 kilogram shrimp (or prawns, medium-sized, shelled and deveined)
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind (walnut-sized ball, soaked in hot water and pulp removed)
  • Garnish: chopped fresh coriander

How to Make It

  1. Roast the dry red chilies on a hot pan till they begin to release their aroma.
  2. Grind all the spices, coconut, 2 of the onions, garlic and tamarind pulp into a smooth, thick paste. Do not add any water while grinding the masala.
  3. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium flame. Add the remaining onion and fry till golden.
  4. Add the wet masala paste and fry, frequently stirring, till the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  1. Add 1 1/2 cups of hot water to this masala and stir to mix well.
  2. Bring to a boil, simmer and add the prawns. Cook for 3 minutes and turn off heat.
  3. Garnish with chopped fresh coriander and serve with plain boiled rice.

Cooking Tips and Ingredient Options

Authentic, delicious fish recipes are also known as machli. Various regions of India offer different takes on seafood, particularly fish and prawn dishes. True to its seaside orientation, Mangalorean cuisine is almost primarily made up of seafood, and the people there eat seafood multiple times a day and live off of the foods that the tropical climate provides, such as coconut.

Garnishing Indian food is easy with almonds, grooved lemon slices with finely chopped fresh herbs such as fresh coriander as well as julienned orange peels all serve as creative ways to make the presentation of your dish appealing. 

An excellent way to stretch the dish for larger parties or family get-togethers is to double the gravy in this recipe and add fish to the second half of the sauce. It will give you two distinct dinners that more people can enjoy.  

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 634
Total Fat 31 g
Saturated Fat 14 g
Unsaturated Fat 11 g
Cholesterol 500 mg
Sodium 1,651 mg
Carbohydrates 29 g
Dietary Fiber 9 g
Protein 64 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)