Sri Lankan-esque Prawn Curry a la Peter Kuruvita

This is a prawn version of the pork and black pepper curry recipe that I was given by Peter Kuruvita, and when I say given to me I really mean I fair and square pulled the recipe straight off his website. Cheers Peter! Smiley face all up in my head right now as this is my new “go to” curry, my default curry setting, my special blanky that I cuddle when I am afraid of the night horrors (or uncle Bo, which ever comes first), if you will. Also, Peter Father Christmas (as I shall now know him because of his generosity and give, give, give attitude) gifted me with the knowledge of the carrot and coconut sambal, which I now make often as it is effing delicious and a great side dish with curry.

So recently, when I came across a nice big pile of prawns, I came to the conclusion this curry sauce was going to flavour them and also provide a conduit and worthy lubrication for the prawn’s final journey into my stomach. Also, the carrot sambal would stand by its side, much like the wife of an adulterous politician.

I feel it is worthy of mention that when I went to visit my peeps at the local seafood joint the 1kg of prawns that I’d asked for quickly turned into an amount that was easily closer to 2kg. They must’ve got a few too many off the boat that week, which was not a problem for me as I love eating prawns, and there was not a chance in hell I was going to be peeling them. On this day I would rather swim naked in raw sewage then peel prawns. Neinen peel prawnen for Grazza.

Enter Jennee’s dad, Dr Chris.

Upon hearing of my lack of interest (no interest, in fact) he summoned the regions finest carnie mobile prawn-peeling troupe. As this prawn-peeling troupe was clearly fictitious, Dr Chris decided it was time he scrubbed up. For the next 30 minutes he would not answer to the nom de guerre Dr Chris, but would be know simply as Chris the Prawn Peeler!

You really need to try this curry whether it is with pork, chicken, prawns or dry roasted endangered wood-pigeon hearts… I really don’t care. One thing I do care about though is a small monkey-man named Kevin. He fetches my slippers. Nice Kevin.

I don't even know how to make this look nice… you need to be able to smell it with your nose… but you can't so do me a favour and go cook it would you
I don’t even know how to make this look nice… you need to be able to smell it with your nose… but you can’t so do me a favour and go cook it would you

I've seen worse pics than this one
I’ve seen worse pics than this one
I couldn't leave you with at least one overhead shot
I couldn’t leave you with at least one overhead shot


1kg fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon roasted curry powder
2 black cardamom pods
½ bunch coriander, chopped
1 sprig of curry leaf
½ teaspoon ground chilli
1 teaspoon salt

To cook
1 brown onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 thumbsized knob ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon ghee or oil
1x 400ml tin coconut milk

• Marinate prawns for 1 hour so it can get to know the spices, have a little party, a couple of drinks – you know the deal
• Add all “to cook” ingredients except tamarind and coconut milk to a hot wok and cook out for a minute until aromatic… as apposed to acrobatic… which would have them jumping about all over the place and not flavouring your food like they should be
• Now add prawns and cook out for another 2 minutes
• Add tamarind and coconut milk and simmer for another 2 minutes until the prawns are cooked and the gravy has thickened

Cook some rice or buy some already cooked from someone who knows how. Asian or Indian take-aways are usually a good spot to start

1 large carrot, grated
green chilli, finely chopped
 small onion, finely diced
 limes, juiced
clove garlic, very finely chopped
½ cup 
shredded coconut
curry leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
• Combine all ingredients and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavours to amalgamate

28 responses to “Sri Lankan-esque Prawn Curry a la Peter Kuruvita”

  1. How lucky you were to have your own prawn peeling slave. Glad it wasn’t acrobatic or this delicious looking curry may have run off to join Cirque du Soleil. I hadn’t forgotten that previous pork curry but this has spurred my memory and intent to make this bloody soon.

  2. Yum. This looks incredible. We don’t have access to the awesome prawns you probably get in Aussie. Super jealous!

    If I’m peeling prawns, they have to be cooked so that I get to eat them as I go along. I don’t have the patience to peel prawns that aren’t going immediately into my mouth. I’m not lazy, I just need motivation (and gratification). But if I’m peeling and eating prawns, I’m in for the long haul. I remember one time at Christmas I was peeling and eating a mountain of prawns. Afterwards, the skin my hands started peeling. I’m not allergic to prawns, but maybe begin soaked in prawn juice for an hour was my limit.

    • Why thank you Ms Bunny.

      I’ve seen many an apprentices hands fall to the 8kg pile of prawns… there’s something in those little suckers… a little revenge from the grave 🙂

      I thought you fine folks would have been tripping over prawns in the street over there…

      • I wish this were the case. I think it’s too cold here for them.

        I always indulge in prawns when I travel. The best prawns I ever had were in Malaysia. Do you get mantis prawns in Aussie, they’re the size of my forearm. Probably not the size of your forearm, but still pretty big and sweet and delicious. Oh boy, I think I have to plan a trip to Malaysia soon.

      • I’ve never seen mantis prawns, but we get some big fat tigers and kings… like, you’d swim the other way if you saw them in the water 🙂

        We’re getting our asses over to somewhere in SE Asia next year… I’ll find them.

  3. This has made me so hungry. We had curry last night too. All made from Vij’s cookbooks (Canadian Curry Hero). There’s a split green pea mash you may be interested in….
    I think I may try that carrot sambal for sure!

  4. Mmmm, yeah I could get with this real nice.
    I have some chicken breast next to me right now waiting for their turn.
    Should I cut it up and then proceed as directed? Or can you somehow cook the pieces whole?

  5. I like Peter Kuravita’s recipes. He’s following me on Twitter and he’s commented on my stuff a couple of times, mostly in regards to Mexican food. Therefore I think he must be a decent guy. Or his media rep is. I never trust social media these days (actually Graz, is this really you posting? It might be, like, Obi or something. Or the postman). Anyway, back to this curry. Looks amazing. All credit to you, Dr Chris the prawn peeler and your old mate Peter Kuravita! And I like the pictures!

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