Kerala Prawn Masala /
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5 from 2 votes

Kerala Prawn Masala

Hot, spicy prawns cooked in the Kerala style.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Kerala prawn masala
Servings: 4
Author: Quiche 'n' Tell


  • 500 g prawns medium to large
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced medium
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 20-30 curry leaves, some chopped, some kept whole
  • 3-4 fresh green chillies, each cut into 2 pieces bird's eye, serrano
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder (cayenne)
  • 1 tsp powdered cinnamon
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cloves
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp rice flour
  • salt


  • Marinate the the cleaned and de-veined prawns in some salt, 1 tsp chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Place a pan with coconut oil on medium heat and add the sliced onions. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the onions start to caramelize slightly.
  • Now add the ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  • Now tip in the prawns and chopped curry leaves and mix well with the onion masala. Continue to cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring intermittently. The prawns will release some moisture. Allow the water to dry so that the spice paste has a thick, coating consistency.
  • Once the prawns are cooked and the masala coats them, check and correct the seasoning, add the ground cinnamon, clove and fennel seed. Mix well.
  • Toss in the remaining whole curry leaves, sprinkle the rice powder over, mix thoroughly and quickly stir fry on a high flame for a minute. Turn off the heat and serve hot.