This creamy prawn korma is truly delicious and so much better than an expensive takeaway, that's swimming in oil.
Onions, garlic and ginger form the base of the sauce, then spices are added, including fragrant and sweet coriander and cardamom.
Thickened withcrème fraiche and ground almonds, this prawn curry has a luxurious feel and is a bowl of pure comfort at any time of the year.
Better than that, it only has 380 calories and is ready in just 30 minutes.
Simply served with basmati rice or a naan bread for scooping up the delicious sauce, this is a recipe you will want to use again with chicken or pork too.
As a nation the British Isles have loved a good curry since we were introduced to these exotic spices in the 1700s.
Of course, we really embraced curried dishes in the 20th century, with the national dish often referred to as a chicken tikka masala, rather than a good old roast dinner of meat and two veg.
Saturday night is always curry night in our house and I love to experiment with different flavours, meats and vegetables.
This king prawn korma (shrimp) is made from scratch. As I make curry regularly, I prefer to buy the individual spices as it's then easier to add a bit more of your favourite flavours if you want to.
It does seem like a long list of ingredients, but trust me, the flavour is worth it and it is easy to make a larger batch and freeze in portions.
Creamy and mild, it can easily be made hotter if you wish too.
While this is prawn curry, the sauce can be used in all sorts of ways, so it's perfect for using up leftovers too.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe
- Mild, creamy and smooth sauce.
- Only 380 calories.
- Ready in 30 minutes.
- Versatile sauce which can be used with other meats, fish and vegetables.
- Way cheaper than a greasy takeaway or delivery.
- Made from scratch so you can vary the spice level easily.
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- Prawns - I've used raw king prawns or large shrimps that have already been shelled and deveined. The best value way to buy prawns is frozen and leave them to defrost in the fridge overnight.
- Onions - yellow or brown onion.
- Garlic - garlic cloves, rather than powder or granules.
- Ginger - fresh ginger for the best flavour. I tend to buy a large piece and cut it into chunks then place it in a bag in the freezer. It takes a few minutes to soften for cutting, but if you need grated ginger it is far easier to grate when it's frozen. There's no need to peel it either.
- Oil - vegetable, olive or sunflower oil. This helps to stop the butter from burning.
- Butter - unsalted butter, or use ghee if it's available. This is a typle of clarified butter used in Indian cooking whuch won't burn on heating.
- Sugar - granulated or caster sugar.
- Salt - cooking or kosher salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Cardamom - ground cardamom.
- Cloves - pinch the top off the whole cloves and discard the woody stalk.
- Coriander - ground coriander and some optional fresh coriander for extra flavour and garnish.
- Cumin - ground cumin.
- Chilli - hot chilli powder.
- Turmeric - turmeric powder.
- Saffron - optional - few saffron strands.
- Almonds - ground almonds for flavour and to thicken the sauce and flaked almonds for a crunchy garnish.
- Cornflour - cornflour or cornstarch mixed with water to thicken the sauce, depending on preference
- Crème fraiche - I prefer to use this rather than cream, as even the reduced fat version is naturally thicker
The recipe card with ingredient quantities and detailed instructions can be found at the bottom of the post.
- saucepan with lid
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- frying pan or skillet
- wooden spoon
Peel the garlic and onion and chop roughly, including the ginger.
There's no need to be precise as the vegetables will be blended later.
💭 Top Tip
- If you are using previously frozen prawns, let them drain on kitchen paper to mop up excess water. Otherwise, the water from the prawns will dilute the sauce.
The prawns can be cooked as they are, if they have been peeled and deveined.
However, if they are butterflied they curl up, and they are more attractive in the finished dish.
Take a knife and carefully cut through the curve of the prawn, along the length and about halfway through.
Melt the oil and tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger then stir and add the lid.
Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes.
The vegetables should be soft but not coloured.
Add the turmeric, clove tops, chilli, coriander, cumin and stir over a medium heat for 1 minute.
Next, add the salt, pepper, water, ground almonds and saffron.
⏲️ Cooking Time
Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Mix together the cornflour and water if using and stir into the sauce for 1 minute until thickened.
Allow the korma sauce to cool slightly then liquidise with a stick blender or blender.
💭 Top Tip
- If you are using a blender only fill it to the halfway point. When the blender is used with hot liquid the volume increases and could spill over the top causing burns and a nasty mess to clean up.
Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and add the prawns.
Fry for a few minutes, turning once, until the prawns are opaque and cooked through.
Reserve a few prawns for garnish at this point.
Add the sauce to the prawns and add the crème fraiche.
Cook over a medium heat for a minute or until hot.
Serve the prawn korma garnished with the flaked almonds and reserved prawns and enjoy!
🥗 Serve with
This king prawn korma is perfect with boiled basmatic rice and these accompaniments.
- King prawns - use cooked king prawns and just add to the sauce or use smaller prawns if you prefer.
- Crème fraiche - use double (heavy) cream or milk.
- Chicken - pan fry cubes of chicken breast or boneless thigh or use leftover roast chicken. The curry tastes even better if the chicken is threaded onto skewers and grilled first.
- Pork - pork fillet or leftover roast pork.
- Lamb - fry cubes of leg meat but it is best to cook lamb shoulder in stock until tender first. Perfect for using up leftover roast lamb.
- Fish - pan fry white fish fillets or bake in foil in the oven, then pour over warmed sauce to serve
- Vegetables - for a vegetable curry, use a mix of lightly cooked chopped peppers, onions, mushrooms or chickpeas.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and use within 3 days.
- Freezer - wrap in an airtight bag or container and freeze for up to a month.
- To reheat - in a frying pan over a medium heat until hot.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Prepare the sauce in advance without the crème fraiche, then cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a saucepan or frying pan and add the crème fraiche.
More spicy recipes to try
- Spicy Crab Salad
- Coronation Chicken Sandwich
- Vietnamese Grilled Chicken
- Squid Stuffed with Prawn and Crab
- Smoked Haddock Kedgeree
- Crispy Szechuan Prawns
- Thai Fish Burgers
- Asian Pork Koftas
- saucepan with lid
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Frying pan or skillet
- Wooden spoon
- 1 onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 10 g ginger
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 cloves pinch the tops
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 strands saffron
- 5 tablespoon ground almonds
- 1 teaspoon cornflour optional
- 1 teaspoon water optional
- 50 ml crème fraiche
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 250 g prawns prepared king prawns
- 1 tablespoon flaked almonds optional
- Peel the garlic and onion and chop roughly, including the ginger.
- Take a knife and carefully cut through the curve of the prawn, along the length and about halfway through to butterfly the prawns if you prefer.
- Melt the oil and tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions, garlic and ginger then stir and add the lid.
- Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. The vegetables should be soft but not coloured.
- Add the turmeric, clove tops, chilli, coriander, cumin and stir over a medium heat for 1 minute.
- Next, add the salt, pepper, water, ground almonds and saffron.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Mix the water and cornflour together and stir into the sauce if required.
- Allow the sauce to cool slightly then liquidise with a stick blender or blender.
- Fry for a few minutes, turning once, until the prawns are opaque and cooked through. Reserve a few prawns for garnish at this point.
- Add the sauce to the prawns and add the crème fraiche.
- Cook over a medium heat for a minute or until hot.
- Serve garnished with the flaked almonds and reserved prawns.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
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- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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