Introduction: How to Make Prawn Vindaloo

About: Inventor and Emergency Doctor.

This prawn vindaloo recipe gives you a hot, rich, thick curry like you would get from an Indian restaurant. It's a great recipe if you want to create several different curries at short notice, like the chefs do in British Indian restaurants. I used my curry base recipe here; It give the sauce that indescribable thick, silky texture. Ideal served with boiled rice, naan and a tarka dhall side-dish to soften the monumental chilli kick!

Serves 2.

Preparation time 20 mins.

Cooking time 30 mins; you can start the cooking whilst doing some of the prep.

(Preparation 20 mins + 3 hours cooking time for 12 portions curry base. You can make this in advance and freeze it saving cooking time at the last minute.)

I used medium frozen prawns; you could use fresh king prawns and poach them in the curry for 6-8 minutes, depending on their size. If you use frozen then make sure you get them out in plenty of time to defrost in the fridge, often 8-10 hours. I also used whole spices and ground them in a spice grinder. Ground spices are a good alternative. It is difficult to give an absolute amount for chilli powder as there is some variation between products. I would recommend getting used to using a particular product before using it to cook when people are coming round for dinner. Fresh chillis are delicious but there is a lot of variation in heat; you are safer using a standardised 'hot' chilli powder from an Indian supermarket to give consistent results.

I keep fresh garlic and ginger (and lemongrass) in the freezer so I have some ready to go when I am cooking. It also saves waste. I also used about 30 small dried birdseye chillis to make it insanely hot. A heaped teaspoon of chilli powder will give you a very hot curry.


200g of prawns. I used medium frozen prawns

Medium onion

2 medium potatoes

Half a green pepper

Cucumber (for garnish, you could use tomato or coriander instead)

480mls curry base

2 heaped teaspoons cumin seed

2 heaped teaspoons coriander seed

2 heaped teaspoons turmeric

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 heaped dessertspoons tomato puree

2 cloves garlic

2 teaspoons fresh ginger

Piece of cassia bark (cinnamon is a good alternative)

Heaped teaspoon cardamom pods

2 heaped teaspoons 'hot' chilli powder

Step 1: The Potato

Peel and chop the potatoes into large bite-sized pieces. Do this first so they can be cooking whilst you prep the sauce. It is worth cooking the potatoes separately, rather than in the sauce, as they take a different amount of time to cook. Boil for 15 minutes or until you can stick a fork in them. Slightly under-cook as they will be cooking in the sauce for a couple of minutes and you don't want them to fall apart.

Step 2: Chop the Veg

Finely chop the ginger and garlic. Cut the onion and pepper into bite-size pieces.

Step 3: Grind the Spices

Put the spices in a grinder and whizz them until they are a fine powder.

Step 4: Fry the Spices

Add 4 tablespoons vegetable oil to a large pan on a low/medium heat. Add the spices and fry carefully for two minutes, stirring occasionally. You want them to be gently bubbling with no hint of smoke or blackening around the edges.

Step 5: Add the Veg

Add the garlic and ginger, fry for a minute, stirring occasionally. Then add the onion and pepper and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The risk of burning is less once the veg is added but it's still important to keep a close eye on them.

Step 6: Add the Tomato Puree and Curry Base

Add two very heaped dessertspoons of tomato puree and 480mls (2 cups) of curry base, bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Step 7: Add the Potatoes

After 15 minutes or when the potatoes are firm but you can stick a fork into them, drain them. Add to the mixture at this point, turn them gently in and taking care not to break them.

Step 8: Add the Prawns

Add the prawns and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. If you are using raw king prawns add them before the potatoes, poach for 6-8 minutes before adding the potatoes and heating through.

Serve with rice, poppadums, naan bread and tarka dhall.