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Chef Special from Atul Kochhar: Andhra Prawn Curry

Updated: May 26, 2020

This is a delicious Andhra Prawn Curry recipe from Atul Kochhar for the Big Curry Night In.

Andhraiites typically eat fiery hot food, but this prawn curry packs a lot of flavours too!




500g raw peeled tiger prawns

6 green cardamom pods

fresh coriander sprigs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cloves

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

4 tablespoons Onion Paste (below)

4 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon red chilli powder, or to taste

125ml passata

250ml water

sea salt

Get cooking:

  1. Assemble all the ingredients and equipment before you begin. You need a large sauté or frying pan.

  2. Remove and discard the prawn tails, if necessary. Lightly crush the cardamom pods to loosen the seeds. Rinse and chop enough coriander sprigs to make about 2 tablespoons and set aside a few sprigs for a garnish.

  3. Heat the vegetable oil over a medium-high heat in the pan. Add the cardamom pods and the seeds, the cloves and fennel seeds, and stir until the spices crackle. Add the onion paste and stir it into the oil for 30 seconds. Add the ground coriander, chilli powder and passata. Season with salt and stir for 30 seconds–1 minute to cook the spices. The mixture will have a paste-like texture. Watch closely so the spices do not burn.

  4. Add the chopped coriander, prawns and water. Bring to a simmering point, stirring for 30 seconds, or until the prawns turn pink. Adjust the seasoning with salt, if necessary. Garnish with coriander sprigs to serve.

Onion Paste (600g)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

500g onions, coarsely chopped

100g (about 6 tablespoons) Ginger-Garlic Paste (below)

1 teaspoon sea salt

Get Cooking:

  1. Heat the oil over a medium-high heat in a large sauté or frying pan that is ideally non-stick.

  2. Add the onions, the ginger-garlic paste and salt, and stir frequently for 25 minutes, or until the onions are browned. Watch carefully towards the end of cooking so the mixture doesn’t catch and burn, which can happen very quickly. If they do burn, you’ll have to throw them out and start over – there isn’t any way to rescue them.

  3. Transfer the mixture to a food processor while it’s still warm and blitz to a fine paste. Leave to cool completely, then store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Ginger-Garlic paste (200g)

2 large garlic heads, 75g each, separated into cloves and peeled

4 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Get Cooking:

  1. Put the garlic cloves, water and vegetable oil in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade and blitz, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until a paste forms.

  2. This keeps in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks, or can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Atul’s time-saving tips

Buy raw prawns that have already been shelled, and this warming and satisfying curry will be on the table in less than 15 minutes. That’s quicker than the time it takes to heat the oven and cook a ready meal. If the prawns need thawing, however, put them in a large colander or sieve and run lukewarm water over them until they thaw.

Fancy giving this recipe a try? Make sure to tag us on Instagram: @bigcurrynightinuk #BigCurryNightIn

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