Prawn moilee

I love prawns. But you know that, don’t you? From here and here and here. You know how I simply must buy them when the fisherwoman comes along, no matter how they’re priced. I bought Rs. 300 worth prawns, ya. Just for me and father-in-law. I mean, that’s a bit much. But look at these babies.

I made a quick version of the Kerala-style coconut milk-based curry called “prawn moilee.” It’s easy to make and so delicate, I have no adjectives for it. I ate it with a bowlful of simple, steamed rice, and was very very happy all day.


  • 15-20 large-ish prawns, shelled and deveined (tails on)
  • 1 medium-sized onion, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, deseeded and sliced or quartered
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 green chilies, slit lengthways
  • 200 ml (1 carton) of coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil


  1. Marinate the prawns in the ginger, garlic, salt and turmeric powder for about 20 minutes.
  2. In a thick-bottomed pot, heat some vegetable oil and fry the curry leaves and onions until the onions turn translucent.
  3. Add the marinated prawns and saute for a minute.
  4. Add the coconut milk and the water. Check for seasoning.
  5. Add the slit green chilies and simmer until the prawns are cooked through.
  6. Add the tomatoes in the last minute.
  7. Serve piping hot with steamed rice.

Comments (6)

  1. Sayantani August 8, 2011 at 6:03 am

    never thought of making moilee with prawns. we loved this delicate dish when we visited kerala last time. your clicks portray the eesence of monsoon…lovely light.

  2. cardamom junkie August 8, 2011 at 9:49 am

    Just came across your blog. These look fabulous. I absolutely love prawns, and am glad to find yummy recipes on your blog. 🙂 Wonderful blog btw.

  3. Snehal August 8, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    My husband loves prawns/shrimp. LOVES them! Maybe there'll be some very special occasion when I'll get myself to cook them for him…sigh!

  4. Ai August 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    This pics remind me of Tendon; it's my favorite Japanese dish…I really wish if I were your husband or daughter.

  5. healthyfeasts August 23, 2011 at 10:17 pm

    I am jealous of the fact that your fisherwoman brings you prawns so regularly! I am waiting for september to get nice fresh salt water prawns and make this prawn moilee of yours! Loved the post!

  6. Amita April 11, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Saee, I am soo in love with this prawn moilee of yours that I just don’t feel like making like anything else out prawns! I must send you the pics. Awesome recipe and so simple too!

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