Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry – Sri Lankan Style

Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry is one of my favorite recipes, an enchanting dish from Sri Lanka that I love to cook and relish, time and again! Sri Lankan cuisine is a fusion of flavors from all over the world. Seafood is abundant in this beautiful Island and form the main dish in every meal. Prawns are very popular and there are myriad recipes with Prawns in Sri Lankan cuisine. Sri Lankan Prawns curry with carrot and Potato prepared in Coconut milk, is a delightful dish, with complex flavours that are pleasing to your taste buds.All  Coconut milk based curries are classic and delightful like Fish in Cabbage, Kadachakka Mappas, Fish Molee, Chicken Xacuti, Fish Caldinho, Karimeen Mappas, Cauliflower Mappas etc.

When we were in Dubai, I had a Sri Lankan helper, Amina, who introduced me to the wonderful flavors of Sri Lanka.  She taught me this Prawns in Coconut Milk curry with vegetables. Every time I think of this curry, it makes my mouth water. It is thick and creamy with the right choice of spices that makes a complex flavor which is extremely delicious and delightfully fragrant. The combination of different spices and flavors makes this Chemmeen thengapaal curry a great dish. Prawns are good source of Vitamins and minerals and are great for your Immune system. It is popular in Kerala also, with exotic dishes like Prawns Roast, Andhra style Spicy Prawns Masala, Prawns fry, Crispy Coconut Prawns, Dynamite Shrimp. Prawns theeyal, and dried prawn dishes served during special Occasions.

If you like seafood recipes, check my Kakka Irachi roast/ Clams roast, Squid Ularthiyathu, Squid fry and variety fish curry. This Prawns in Coconut Milk is a very simple Prawns recipe; the Coconut Milk gives it a rich texture and an exotic feel. Although it can be prepared in any vegetable oil, coconut oil is what I recommend for great taste and health benefits. Check this Well-Being Secrets link to know more about the benefits of Coconut Oil. It is best to serve with rice/ pulao/ Pilaf/ Whole Wheat Naan/ Rotis and other subtle vegetable curries. Do try this recipe and you will definitely thank me for this!

Prep. Time: 25 mts.

Serves : 4


Prawns/ Shrimps: 500 – 600 gms
Carrot: 1 no.
Potato: 1 no.
Fenugreek seeds (Uluva): ½ tsp
Onion: 2 nos.
Ginger Garlic Paste: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves: 4 sprigs
Green Chilly: 2 nos.
Turmeric Powder: ½ tsp
Pepper powder:  ½ tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tbsp
Chili Powder: ¾ tbsp
Garam Masala: ½ tsp
Cumin/ Jeerah Powder: ½ tsp
Tomato: 1 no.
Coconut Milk: 1 ½ cup + ½ cup (2 cups)
Coconut oil: as required


Clean and devein the Prawns. For deveining, gently pull the black vein from one edge. In case you are not thorough with it, make a slit from the head of the prawn to the middle and take out the black vein. Marinate the prawns with turmeric and salt. Keep covered in fridge for half hour to one hour. Slice the onions and slit Green chilies. Peel and slice the Potatoes and carrot into thin small pieces. Keep ready/ Extract the Coconut Milk – Thala Paal/ Thick Coconut Milk (1/2 cup) and Randaam Paal/ skimmed Coconut Milk (1 ½ cups).

Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style)

Heat a pan and pour little Coconut oil. Add the fenugreek/ Uluva seeds and fry the Onions, slit green chilies and curry leaves. Next add the ginger Garlic paste and sauté for some more time. Now add turmeric powder, Cumin(Jeerah) Powder, Pepper Powder, Garam Masala, Coriander Powder and Chili Powder. Sauté and mix in finely cubed tomatoes.

Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style) Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style)

Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style) Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style)

Fry for few minutes till they are mashed and add Potato and carrot pieces. Mix well and fry for some time till it is tender. Add the marinated prawns and combine well. Roast for few minutes and mix the Randaam paal. Adjust the salt. Cover and cook till done, stirring in between. Add the Thalapaal and let it simmer.

Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style) Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style) Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style) Prawns in Coconut Milk Curry (Sri Lankan Style)

The gravy should be thick. Garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve hot with Rice, Pulao, Naan or Rotis.


  • Green chilly should be medium spicy. If it is too hot, add less.
  • Adjust the spices according to your spice level.
  • The gravy should be thick. If you need more gravy, add more coconut milk.
  • Coconut oil should be used for best results. It has lot of health benefits. To know more about Coconut oil and its benefits check :
  • I always use homemade Garam Masala. Check how to make Garam Masala at home.
  • Carrot and Potatoes make great combination with Prawns. You may also add Broccoli for added colors.
  • After adding Prawns cook on medium heat for 4 – 6 minutes only. Prawns require less cooking time.

Please try this recipe, and don’t forget to let me know if you like it through comments. Please share with your friends using the buttons on the side- that would really encourage me. God Bless!!


Sri Lankan Style Prawns Curry in Coconut Milk is an amazingly delectable dish from the Island Country. The gravy is thick and tasty with rich coconut Milk and right choice of spices and veggies that gives a complex and wonderful flavor to the dish.

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