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Prawn (shrimp) and sweet potato curry

Written By Reena on 1 Jul 2011 | 05:00

I created this recipe in response to a plea from my friend Charlie for more protein based recipes on my blog.  Charlie is an obsessive runner and last year ran his first ultra marathon.  As such he needs protein to accelerate muscle growth and speed recovery by helping rebuild muscle fibres stressed during a run.  I'm hoping this recipe hits the spot for him as prawns are high in protein but low in fat and calories.

I know it has been a while since I last posted but:
  1. I've been crazily busy - working, watching Wimbledon and eating at Pakistani kebab houses (I've been to Lahore Kebab House and Mirch Masala three times in the last week)
  2. Steve has been inordinately fussy about this recipe making me constantly remake it with minor tweaks that were having no noticable effect on the finished dish.  It only occurred to me last week that this was his way of ensuring he got to eat the dish more than a couple of times before I moved onto the next recipe.  I'm taking it as a compliment and hope that you enjoy it too.

Serves 2
  • 1 sweet potato - peeled and chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 10 grams dried tamarind
  • 30 millilitres boiling water
  • 1.5 tablespoons of light tasting vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 fenugreek seeds
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 shallots finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - crushed
  • 7 grams ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 small red chilli finely chopped
  • 150g raw king prawns - peeled and washed
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 165 millilitres coconut milk
  • 100 millilitres water
  • A handful of chopped coriander

  1. Boil the sweet potato chunks for 12-15 minutes and drain immediately.  The sweet potatoes should be nearly cooked but still a little hard.
  2. Meanwhile place the tamarind in a small bowl and add the boiling water.  Leave to one side.
  3. Now heat the oil in a medium sized pan on a medium heat.
  4. Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon stick and let them sizzle for a minute or two.
  5. Turn down the heat and add the shallots.  Stir well and let them cook until they start to soften (in the region of 5 minutes).  Stir occasionally.
  6. Now add the garlic, ginger and red chilli to the pan.  Stir and let the mixture cook for a minute or two.
  7. Add the prawns to the pan.  Stir continuously and let them cook until they just turn pink.
  8. Using tongs remove the prawns from the pan and place them on a plate.  Try to keep as much of the onion mixture in the pan as possible. 
  9. Strain the tamarind and water mixture through a nylon sieve into a small mixing bowl.  Use the back of a wooden spoon to push the pulp through the sieve.  Extract as much of the tamarind as possible, periodically removing the pulp from the back of the sieve into the mixing bowl. Discard the contents of the sieve.
  10. Add the tamarind water, turmeric, chilli powder, salt and pepper and stir well.
  11. Add the drained sweet potato to the pan along with the coconut milk and water and stir well.
  12. Place the lid on the pan and let it cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  13. Return the prawns to the pan, put the lid back on and cook for another 2 mins or until the sweet potatoes are cooked.
  14. Add the coriander and serve with rice or naan bread.

About Reena


  1. Thanks Rebecca. It tastes good too!

  2. Hi Reena,

    This looks awesome! It will most certainly hit the spot for me. I will be trying it as a post-race treat very shortly.

    Glad to see Steve's commitment to quality control is keeping you honest! Keep up the great work and delicious recipes


  3. Hi Charlie

    Glad you like the look of it. Let me know what you think of it.