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Thenga Kuda Eraal - Prawns with Coconut

This recipe is published with the permission of Manju Malhi from her book 'India with Passion'.

Renowned for her simple, homely approach to Indian cooking, Manju has quickly become one of our favourite home cooks since the publication of her first book, 'Brit Spice', in 2002. Manju beat hundreds of contestants to secure a guest cookery slot on BBC2's Food and Drink, and has since presented her own televison show for Taste called Simply Indian. Manju developed her passion for Indain cooking from watching her parents cook as a child, and refined her skills while studying in Bombay for four years.

If you would like to know more about the latest book, 'India with Passion', <click here>

To visit Manju's web site <click here>

Chinese fishing nets are used in Fort Cochin to haul shrimps and prawns, among other fish, from the sea. Prawns are popular in the South and partner the ubiquitous coconut very well, inspiring many recipes, which also use the pungent spices that the Malabar Coast in Kerala is famous for, such as cardamom, pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.


1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, sliced
12 king prawns, cooked, shelled, and deveined
1/2 tsp peeled and finely grated root ginger
1 green finger chilli, finely chopped (optional)
100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) coconut cream
2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander leaves


  • In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp cold water, the tamarind, chilli powder, cumin, turmeric, and salt.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and prawns. Sauté for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the ginger, green chilli, if using, and tamarind mixture.
  • Add 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) boiling water and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Carefully add the coconut cream because it tends to spit.
  • Simmer for 3 minutes, then stir in the coriander leaves.
  • Serve immediately with basmati chawal*, sambar*, thengai chatnil*, and parottas*.

*If you want this recipe you will need to purchase the book <click here>

Serves 4

Manju Malhi
Recipe from India with Passion

©Manju Malhi 2004