This bold recipe for Curried Prawns (or shrimp!) is easy to make and full of flavor. Delicate prawns and a medley of colorful veggies are cooked in a creamy curry sauce made with basic pantry staples.
An Easy Seafood Dinner, Bursting with Flavor!
If you like curry, this recipe is for you! In fact, I would say that even if you don’t usually make or eat curry, you should try this one – sweet shrimp in a milky curry sauce are just the best. One bite, and you’ll be a believer! Plus, this recipe is easy to make. The thick and hearty curry sauce comes together with ease, and you don’t need any fancy ingredients or cookware: just a skillet and a few simple ingredients like milk, curry powder, broth, and lemon juice.
Additionally, this recipe for curried prawns is easy to adjust so that you can use what you have. Feel like substituting the seafood? That’s totally doable. Want to use different veggies? No problem! You can even make and use your own curry powder blend, if that’s your thing. Have fun with it, and make it your own.
What’s the Difference Between Prawns and Shrimp?
Okay, so scientifically, prawns and shrimp are slightly different. The rules aren’t set in stone, exactly, and there are exceptions to each one, but in general, prawns tend to be larger than shrimp and prefer fresh water to salt water, among other differences.
However, from a cooking standpoint, these two types of seafood are so similar that you can use them interchangeably. Prawns seem to be more common in the UK and Europe, while shrimp are more common in the Americas. But either one will work in your recipe, so even if you have shrimp instead of prawns or vice versa, go for it!
The List of Ingredients
So just what goes into this easy curry recipe? Glad you asked! Here’s the rundown of what you’ll need to make curried prawns at home, the easy way.
For the Curried Prawns:
- Prawns (or Shrimp): Peeled and devein the prawns, or ask your fishmonger to do this for you. You can leave the tails on or off, depending on your preference.
- Butter: For sauteing.
- Vegetables: Dice up a small yellow onion (or any kind of onion), some celery, and bell pepper. I like red bell peppers, but you can use any color.
- Garlic: Mince or press a couple of garlic cloves.
- Curry Powder: Store-bought curry powder is so easy to work with! No need to measure a list of spices.
- Paprika: This adds color and an earthy sweetness.
- Tomato: Dice the tomato. You do not have to peel it. If you prefer, you can use a cup of diced, canned tomatoes, drained.
- Flour: To thicken the sauce.
- Salt and Pepper: To taste.
- Milk and Chicken Broth: To create the creamy sauce. You can substitute vegetable broth or even water, if you prefer.
- Lemon Juice: For a bright note. White vinegar could also be used.
- Sugar: Just a pinch.
- Cooked Rice: Optional. You could also serve over cauliflower rice, zoodles, etc.
- Cilantro and Basil: Chopped fresh, for garnish. Also optional.
Let’s Make Curry!
To make curried prawns, you’ll need to saute the vegetables and then make the curry sauce. Add the prawns at the very end and cook them briefly – just long enough to cook through without getting overdone.
- Saute the Vegetables. To make the curry sauce, start by sauteing the veggies. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onions, celery, and peppers, and let them cook for a few minutes to soften.
- Create the Sauce. Stir in the garlic, curry powder, and paprika, and cook until fragrant – 15 or 20 seconds. Add the tomato, and let that cook for a minute or two. Then stir in the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for one minute before whisking in the chicken broth and milk.
- Simmer the Sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then reduce the heat so that it simmers. Whisk in the lemon juice and sugar, and let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes. Stir it every so often.
- Add the Prawns. Once the sauce has simmered for 20 minutes, add the prawns, and let them simmer for 2 minutes, or until they are pink and cooked through.
- Enjoy! Garnish with herbs, if using, and serve your curry over rice (or as desired).
Tips and Tricks
Want to know more about making this dish? You’re in the right place! Keep reading for my top tips on how to make the best curried prawns, including easy substitutions and helpful hints.
- Seafood Substitutions: This recipe is also really good with other seafood, such as pieces of firm white fish, scallops, mussels, etc.
- Add Veggies: While the sauce is cooking, feel free to add some additional vegetables and let them cook in the sauce. Carrots, snow peas, zucchini, and other tender veggies are perfect choices.
- Coconut Curry: Feel free to substitute coconut oil for the butter, and coconut milk for the milk.
Easy Ideas for Serving
To serve your curry, spoon it over your favorite rice, such as basmati or jasmine rice. Looking for something a little different? These side dishes are also great with curried prawns:
- Low-Carb Rice: Sub cauliflower rice for regular rice by following this easy tutorial for Making and Storing Cauliflower Rice.
- Naan: Did you know it is easy to make your own homemade version of naan bread? This simple Two-Ingredient Naan is rich, chewy, and easy to make.
- Salad: This light and refreshing Sesame Cucumber Salad goes with everything! It adds an extra layer of cool, crisp veggies to your meal, and the warm flavor of sesame is ultra-satisfying.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Leftover curried prawns should be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated. They will keep for up to three days.
- Reheat curried prawns in a skillet over low heat, until just heated through. Don’t overcook, or the prawns will be tough.
Can I Freeze This?
- In general, freezing this curry with the prawns (or shrimp) in it is not recommended. Reheating the frozen, cooked prawns in the sauce will overcook them, and leave them tough.
- However, you can make the recipe without the seafood, and freeze the sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat to a simmer, and at that point, add the prawns and let them simmer until cooked through. This is a great way to make it ahead!
- 2 pounds raw prawns or shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- ¼ cup diced red bell pepper
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 large fresh tomato, diced, (or use about a cup of canned diced tomatoes, drained)
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon granulated sugar
- cooked rice, for serving
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
- chopped fresh basil, for garnish
- Melt butter in a large skillet set over medium heat.
- To the melted butter add the diced onions, celery, and peppers; saute for 2 to 3 minutes, or until beginning to soften.
- Stir in the garlic, curry powder, and paprika; cook for 15 seconds.
- Add the tomato and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper; stir and cook the flour for a minute.
- Whisk in the chicken broth and milk until smooth; bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer; whisk in lemon juice and sugar and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add prawns to the sauce and cook for 2 minutes, or until pink and cooked through.
- Taste for salt and seasonings; adjust accordingly.
- Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro and basil.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.