Coconut and mustard prawns

As well as an array of Indian flavours, Anjum Anand adds English mustard to her spicy prawns
By Anjum Anand
Coconut and mustard prawns
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-5
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 30 mins marinating
  • Effort: easy


  • 400 g medium raw prawns, peeled and deveined with tail attached
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chilli powder, to taste
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 4 tbsp mustard oil
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1-3 whole green chillies
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp garlic paste, (made by blending 1 garlic clove with 1 tbsp water)
  • 2 tsp ginger paste, (available from Asian supermarkets, or make your own by crushing or blending fresh ginger to a rough paste, adding water if necessary to loosen)
  • 3-5 tsp English mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 130 g fresh or frozen grated coconut
  • 1 handfuls chopped coriander leaves, and stalks


1. Marinate the prawns in a non-reactive bowl with the turmeric, red chilli powder and salt, to taste, for 30 minutes.

2. Heat the mustard oil in a large non-stick karahi (Indian cooking vessel, similar to a wok) or a saucepan until smoking, then take off the heat and cool for 15 seconds. Add the nigella seeds and cook until they begin to sizzle. Take care as the seeds may pop.

3. Add the green chillies and onion and fry until the onion is soft and just beginning to colour - around 7-8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger pastes and cook for 40 seconds.

4. Make a paste with the mustard powder, cornflour and a little water in a small bowl. Add the mustard paste and coconut to the pan and fry for 5 minutes. Add 200ml of water and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

5. When the volume of liquid has reduced slightly, add the marinated prawns and simmer, stirring, for 3 minutes or until they are cooked through. The sauce should be thick and clinging to the prawns. Stir in the chopped coriander and serve immediately.

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