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Sri Lankan Prawn curry with Saffron rice

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Adjust Servings:
500 g Prawns We brought fresh prawns and cleaned them
1 1/2 Tomatoes Medium sized
10 leaves curry leaves
10 cm length Pandan leaves
2 cloves Garlic
1 Onion Medium sized
4 Green chili
4 Dried red chili optional
few springs Thyme optional
few leaves Sage leaves optional
2 cups(1st extract) Coconut milk
2 TBSP White coconut oil
1 Tsp Salt or to your taste
1 Tsp Tumeric
1 Tsp Chillie powder
1 Tsp curry powder
to taste Black pepper

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Sri Lankan Prawn curry with Saffron rice

Spicy and creamy at the same time, cant resist the taste.

Sri Lankan prawn curry with saffron rice for your comfortable weekday lunch

  • 15 minutes
  • Serves 6
  • Medium




Living in Sri Lanka, an Island surrounded by the sea, we have easy access to a variety of fresh seafood, one of the favourite being prawns. You can find many variations of prawn dishes originating from the north of the island to the south that are unique to those areas. Prawns being one of our most favourite type of fish we wanted to make a prawn curry bit far from any authentic version one may find here. So we set out to cook a prawn red curry on a Saturday afternoon and made simple saffron rice to go with it, which was a super combination. Keeping with the tradition we used a clay pot for cooking. It gives a rich taste once cooked in a clay pot. The prawn curry was made using multiple herbs including sage, thyme which is not easily found in Sri Lankan however you can leave them out if so and it would still taste very delicious.


Few cooking tips

  • You can make the prawns with the shell as preferred; we removed the shell, we find it tastier in our opinion
  • Remove the black thick vein on the back of the prawn, ideal way is to make a slit along with the back from head to the middle you should see a tiny string that goes along (sometimes it’s dark in colour) remove it. This carries the dirt so it is necessary to remove it.
  • After adding the prawns let them fry until the colour change to orange, prawns do not need long cooking time but it’s important to let the coconut milk come to a boil. Make sure to avoid curdling by stirring it time to time
  • Add the spices to your spice level, this recipe is medium-high  spicy
  • You can add more coconut milk if you love to eat with more gravy



Prep and start cooking

Cut and prep onion, garlic, pandan leaves. Clean and de-vein the shrimps if you brought them fresh.

Heat the oil in a saucepan or the clay pot. Add curry leaves, pandan leaves, garlic, onions, red chilli and saute for a while and add sage and thyme along with the salt. Let everything cook for around 2 minutes or until onions have become translucent at this point add rest of the spices ( turmeric, curry and chilli powder and pepper)


Add prawns to the mix

Add the prawns to the saucepan and mix well with the rest of the ingredients. You will see the colour of the prawns change to golden yellow colour, that s when you need to add the tomatoes. Let everything simmer for around 1 minute.


Add coconut milk and green chillies

Now add the coconut milk into the curry along with the green chillies, let it cook in low medium heat for about 5-7 minutes while stirring until it starts boiling.
It's now ready to serve with rice or bread

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