food, Recipes

Prawn Curry With Coconut & Cashew Pilaf Rice

Production Leana Schoeman; Photographs Elsa Young

Recipes, food production and styling Mumtaz Dasoo Production Leana Schoeman Photographs Elsa Young


  • 2/3T green chillies, chopped (vary depending on preferred temperature)
  • 2T dried red chillies, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • juice of 1½ lemons
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1kg giant tiger prawns, shells removed
  • 1T crushed red chilli 
  • 500g thick Greek yoghurt
  • 750ml good-quality tomato purée
  • 4 tomatoes, boiled and liquidised
  • sugar
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼t fenugreek seeds
  • 8–10 curry leaves
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  •  1 tin coconut milk
  • 250g cashews, chopped
  • sea salt flakes
  • coriander, chopped, plus extra for garnishing
  • ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

Combine the green and dried chillies, garlic, lemon juice, coriander and salt, and pour the mixture over the prawns. Refrigerate and let it marinate for an hour or two.

In a separate bowl, mix the red chilli, Greek yoghurt, tomato purée and liquidised tomatoes and add a little sugar to taste (it should be quite strong). Adjust the chilli according to preference.Heat a little vegetable oil in a large saucepan and sauté the chopped onion, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves until lightly browned. Add the yoghurt mixture and bring to the boil. If you prefer a more liquid curry, add 750ml water and a few saffron threads to enhance the colour. Cook for 10 minutes and add the prawns, along with the marinade, cooking until the prawns are pink and cooked through.

To make the pilaf, rinse the rice well and soak it in cold water for an hour. Parboil the rice according to packet instructions, until al dente and drain. Place a quarter of a cup of water in a large saucepan with the rice, and bring to a gentle simmer. As soon as the rice begins to steam, add the coconut milk and cashews, and season with sea salt flakes to taste. Once the rice is cooked, remove it from the heat and stir in a large handful of chopped coriander.

Heat a little ghee or clarified butter in a frying pan and sauté the sliced onion until it begins to brown. Pour the ghee and onions over the rice. Serve the curry spooned on top of the pilaf, garnished with handfuls of chopped coriander. Serves 8

This recipe originally featured in the September 2013 issue of HL.