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a pot of shrimp cooked in a curry

Shrimp Curry Recipe

Shrimp curry or Goan Prawn Curry is an authentic recipe from the coastal state of Goa in India. Shrimp is simmered in a curry made with coconut, green chilies, curry leaves, and spices. Here's how you make Prawn Coconut Curry in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Goan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 335kcal
Author Shinta


  • 300 grams Shrimp, preferably with tails on (deforested if using frozen prawns)
  • 1 tablespoon Coconut oil
  • 1 Large onion chopped
  • 2 Green chillies (Slit and de-seeded if needed)
  • 4 cloves Garlic (finely chopped or minced)
  • 1 Tomato or used tinned tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • cup Tamarind water (see notes)
  • 9-10 Curry leaves (Fresh, frozen or dried)
  • ½ cup Coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Salt (adjust this as per your taste)

For the coconut paste:

  • 1 cup Grated coconut (see notes)
  • 1 cup Water


Instant Pot Instructions

  • Turn the IP to 'Saute' mode in the 'More' setting.
  • While the IP starts to heat, prepare the ground coconut paste. In a mixer or food processor, add the the ground coconut and water and grind it until it just comes together. Do not aim for a smooth paste, leave it coarse. Keep this aside.
  • Add the coconut oil, followed by the chopped red onions, the finely chopped garlic and the slit green chilies.
  • Stir for around 2 minutes. Then add the chopped tomatoes and stir for another minute, until the tomatoes start to soften. Add the turmeric, coriander powder and cumin and stir.
  • Add the ground coconut paste, and mix it well with the rest of the ingredients in the IP. Then add the tamarind water or tamarind paste and mix well.
  • Add the curry leaves and stir. Add the coconut milk and mix well to combine.
  • Add the prawns and mix well.
  • Put on the lid of the IP, and with the vent in 'sealing' position, switch to 'Pressure Cook' mode, in 'Low Pressure' setting. Set the time for 2 minutes. Let the prawns cook. Once done, the IP will beep. Do a 'Quick Release' ie, turn the valve from sealing to venting position to release the steam quickly.
  • Open the lid, add the salt to season the shrimp curry, and mix it well. Serve the Goan prawn curry with some steamed rice. 

Stovetop Instructions

  • Start by heating a large pot on the stovetop. Add the coconut oil and let it heat up.
  • Once hot, add the mustard seeds. Wait for them to start to crackle. Then add the chopped onions and diced garlic.
  • Stir with a spatula. Add the slit green chilies and the curry leaves. Stir again.
  • Then add the spice powders - turmeric, cumin, and coriander powders. Add the tinned tomatoes (or diced fresh tomato) and give it a mix. Lower the heat to medium-low.
  • In a blender, blend the coconut (fresh or frozen) with 1/2cup of water for just under a minute. Once the coconut becomes a coarse paste, add it to the pot and stir. Add the coconut milk and salt to season. Let this simmer on the stovetop for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • After simmering for 5 minutes, add the prawns, followed by the tamarind water. Add a pinch of sugar. Stir with a spatula and cook the shrimp for 5 minutes until it is pink. Turn off the heat. Do not overcook the shrimp else they will turn rubbery.
  • Your authentic Goan Prawn Curry is now ready to be served with a side of basmati rice!



  • Tamarind water can be made from store-bought tamarind paste and a little water. Mix together 1/4 cup of concentrated tamarind paste in 1/4 cup of warm water. Stir to combine. You can also use fresh tamarind if you don't have access to store-bought tamarind paste. Break off a piece of tamarind and soak it in enough warm water to just immerse it. After soaking for 30 minutes, gently break the tamarind apart with your hands. The paste will separate from the fibers. Using a sieve, strain out the pulp. 
  • Grated coconut can be made fresh, by grinding coconut slices, or use frozen grated coconut. Optionally, use desiccated coconut.


Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 677mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 348IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 154mg | Iron: 4mg