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Mauritian Prawn Curry

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

This is a sprightly curry, fierily orange and warm with cinnamon and nutmeg. Make some plain basmati rice to go with it and you’re done.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

This is a sprightly curry, fierily orange and warm with cinnamon and nutmeg. Make some plain basmati rice to go with it and you’re done.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Image of Nigella's Mauritian Prawn Curry
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6

Metric Cups
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chilli powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mace
  • 4 centimetres piece fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • salt
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 x 400 grams tin of chopped tinned tomatoes
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon curry leaves
  • 750 grams medium raw prawns (shelled and deveined)
  • good grating nutmeg
  • handful chopped fresh coriander
  • 3- 4 green finger chillies
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mace
  • 2 inches piece fresh gingerroot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • salt
  • 2 x 15ml tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 x 14 ounces tin of chopped tinned tomatoes
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 x 15ml tablespoon curry leaves
  • 1¾ pounds medium raw shrimp (shelled and deveined)
  • good grating nutmeg
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • 3- 4 green finger chillies

Method

  1. Measure out the turmeric, coriander, cumin, chilli powder and mace into a bowl and grate over the peeled ginger and garlic cloves with a microplane. Add a little water to form a paste, and then leave to one side. Finely chop the onion, adding a bit of Maldon salt to stop it catching, and fry gently in the oil until it softens. Stir in the spice paste and, stirring still, cook for a minute or so. Pour in the tomatoes, then fill the empty can with water and add it to the pan. Squeeze in the lemon juice and pop in the cinnamon stick and curry leaves, and let the whole sauce simmer gently for about half an hour so that it can thicken and the ground spices will lose their floury taste.
  2. When you are ready to eat - and you can cook the sauce well in advance if this suits - add the raw prawns and let them cook through. Keep testing them to make sure they have lost their glassy middle.
  3. Pour the curry into a shallow bowl and grate well with fresh nutmeg and the lemon zest. Sprinkle over the fresh coriander, and split the finger chillies lengthwise leaving their stalks and seeds intact (unless you are a wuss about such matters, in which case deseed by all means). Arrange them as artistically as you please over the dish.
  1. Measure out the turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili powder and mace into a bowl and grate over the peeled ginger and garlic cloves with a microplane. Add a little water to form a paste, and then leave to one side. Finely chop the onion, adding a bit of Maldon salt to stop it catching, and fry gently in the oil until it softens. Stir in the spice paste and, stirring still, cook for a minute or so. Pour in the tomatoes, then fill the empty can with water and add it to the pan. Squeeze in the lemon juice and pop in the cinnamon stick and curry leaves, and let the whole sauce simmer gently for about half an hour so that it can thicken and the ground spices will lose their floury taste.
  2. When you are ready to eat - and you can cook the sauce well in advance if this suits - add the raw shrimp and let them cook through. Keep testing them to make sure they have lost their glassy middle.
  3. Pour the curry into a shallow bowl and grate well with fresh nutmeg and the lemon zest. Sprinkle over the cilantro, and split the finger chillies lengthwise leaving their stalks and seeds intact (unless you are a wuss about such matters, in which case deseed by all means). Arrange them as artistically as you please over the dish.

Tell us what you think

What 9 Others have said

  • A perfectly delicious recipe, as is, without subs or changes! Thanks, Nigella!

    Posted by sancarloscharlie on 17th May 2021
  • I made this with a few changes/substitutions, since we can't run to the grocery store every time we need something now. No prawns, fried up tofu cubes and diced red/green pepper. No mace, used nutmeg, no curry leaves, used grated lime zest. This needed a bit more heat, no green finger chillies, so added some red pepper flakes. Delicious! I can see using this sauce with lots of variations.

    Posted by ALSHfx on 5th April 2020
  • I love this recipe. A lovely 'light' curry with delicious flavours - a new family favourite.

    Posted by Marnie99 on 3rd April 2020
  • This recipe is so good! Added a little bit of coconut milk and almond flour to make the sauce a bit thicker and creamier. I made some naan as accompaniment.

    Posted by Jolandi on 6th April 2019
  • I didn't stick strictly to this recipe as I realised part way thru that I was missing some key ingredients ie curry leaves which I substituted with bay leaves and did not use mace as I could not find in any of our rural supermarkets. As described it was definitely fiery. A very easy recipe. I made the sauce ahead of time and fired it up again to add prawns 15 minutes before serving. Thoroughly enjoyed.

    Posted by Raywend on 26th October 2018
  • Lovely recipe, will definitely give it a spin. Thank you Nigella, for advising peeps to ‘cook out’ the spices well. I can’t abide the taste of raw spices (think coronation chicken) or undercooked spices in a curry; completely unnecessary!

    Posted by Nurain on 8th September 2018
  • I have got prawns in my freezer. Would definitely do coming weekend. Looks very delicious.

    Posted by snafiza on 30th July 2017
  • This sounds delicious, will be making this week sometime.

    Posted by LadyLloyd on 23rd July 2017
  • Will definitely be making this sounds fab, just my tastes

    Posted by JennySM on 20th July 2017
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