King prawn masala

I was catching up on this week’s Masterchef Australia episodes when one masterclass recipe featuring king prawns caught my eye. It was an Indian recipe – prawns and okra, however it was a Sunday afternoon, and the weekly shopping was done so I had to substitute okra with potatoes. Hubby wasn’t overly impressed when I asked him to ‘smell the dish’, so he didn’t bother having any and ate lamb rendang instead (which I also cooked today).  I liked it though as it didn’t have a thousand ingredients or spices, and was easy to cook. Here is my take on the recipe.


  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp fish curry powder
  • 3 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp curry leaves
  • 1 green chilli, sliced
  • 100g king prawns
  • 1 medium potato, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 tbsp red lentils
  • 3 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • sunflower oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp tamarind juice
  • a handful of fresh coriander


  1. Pound the lentils and coconut in a mortar and pestle until the ingredients have split and are coarse in texture (around 5 minutes)
  2. Heat some oil in a pan, and fry the mustard seeds for 5 seconds, followed by cumin and curry leaves for 5 seconds
  3. Add the shallots and saute for 20 seconds until fragrant
  4. Add the potatoes, turmeric and curry powder. Mix well to combine, then pour in the water
  5. Leave to simmer over low heat for 5 minutes
  6. Add the lentils and coconut mixture into the pan, again mix well and add the tamarind juice
  7. Leave to cook for 15 minutes until potatoes are done
  8. Add the prawns and coriander leaves into the pan, season with salt and mix well. Leave to cook for 3 minutes until prawns are pink
  9. Serve with basmati rice


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