Tangy Tamarind & Coconut Prawn Goan Curry Recipe

Prawn Goan Curry with creamy coconut milk is our favourite South Indian seafood masala to cook at home.

Use our easy recipe to learn how to make a traditional tangy and sour Goan Prawn Curry featuring fragrant spices, coconut milk and tamarind paste.

Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve with steamed basmati rice or flatbread like chapati.

Before grabbing your fork at the table, close your eyes and pretend you’re on vacation at a beautiful beach in Goa. Cheers your hard work in the kitchen with a cold beer before feasting on a bowl of perfectly cooked shrimp swimming in a succulent sauce!

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Save our traditional Tamarind & Coconut Prawn Goan Curry Recipe to Pinterest!
Save our traditional Tamarind & Coconut Prawn Goan Curry Recipe to Pinterest!

What Is Prawn Goan Curry?

Goan cuisine consists of regional foods popular in Goa, an Indian state located along India’s south west coast along the shores of the Arabian Sea.

Rice, seafood, coconut, vegetables, and local spices are some of the main ingredients used in Goan kitchens. Use of kokum and vinegar (made from the toddy of local coconut trees) is another distinct feature.

The cuisine of Goa originated from its Konkani roots, and was influenced by the 451 years of Portuguese rule and the Sultanate rule that preceded the Portuguese. Many Catholic dishes are either similar to or variants of their Portuguese counterparts in both naming or their use of ingredients.

The Portuguese introduced potatoes, tomatoes, pineapples, guavas, and cashews from Brazil to Goa and consequently India. The chili pepper is the most important aspect of Goan cuisine; it was introduced by the Portuguese and became immensely popular as a very important spice for wider Indian cuisine.

The Portuguese also introduced beef and pork, meats that were and still are considered a taboo by Hindus of Goa. These two ingredients make up one of the national Goan dishes called sorpotel, which is made from both meats.

With it’s easy access to the sea, fresh seafood is ubiquitous at every Goan meal. Our homemade Prawn Goan Curry recipe features popular regional ingredients like fresh shrimp, coconut milk, and tangy tamarind.

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Traditional Prawn Goan Curry recipe ingredients.
Traditional Prawn Goan Curry recipe ingredients.

Travel to India by Cooking Prawn Goan Curry at Home

I love traveling through Asia.

My first visit to Asia had me living in South Korea for a year as a teacher and it’s where I was first introduced to fermented vegetables like kimchi.

After my contract ended in Seoul I travelled throughout Asia for 6 months, visiting the PhilippinesIndonesiaMalaysiaSingaporeCambodiaLaosMyanmar, ThailandVietnamThe Maldives and India.

I spent over a month traveling through India. I started in the capital, eating my way through the bustling markets and fine dining restaurants in Delhi. I then embarked on a magical weekend getaway to awe-inspiring Taj Mahal in Agra. In India’s north you’ll find plenty of barbecue, Chilli Paneer Masala and wheat-based flatbreads.

For the second half of my Indian adventure I explored the southern state of Kerala. The south is famous for its seafood, coconut, tropical fruits, and rice based side dishes like crispy dosa. The colonial capital of Cochin was formerly run by the Portuguese just like Goa. Similarly it’s one of the only places in India you can find beef on a restaurant menu.

After enjoying a jaunt to the Maldives my India trip came to a close in the Bollywood capital, bustling and cosmopolitan Mumbai. The city is famous for its specialty street foods and fine dining restaurants at opulent luxury hotels. The Taj Mahal Palace in particular serves one of the world’s most famous Afternoon Teas.

What I found most fascinating is India’s distinct regional food cultures. Much like the regional cuisines found in FranceGermanyItaly or Spain, each city in India had its own local speciality.

After you’ve traveled to India, return home to prepare a fragrant feast for friends and family cooking our flavourful Prawn Goan Curry!

Goan Prawn Curry is prepared with raw shrimp, coconut milk, onion and a fragrant spice paste.
Goan Prawn Curry is prepared with raw shrimp, coconut milk, onion and a fragrant spice paste.

Where To Eat Indian Curry

If you live in a large city in Canada or America you’ll likely have access to local Indian restaurants that serve traditional Goan Prawn Curry.

Haven’t traveled to India before? It may be helpful to first sample Prawn Tamarind Curry at a local South Indian restaurant to better understand how the dish is served. You can determine what size of shrimp to purchase, desired spice mixture, and amount of sour tamarind to stir into the sauce.

In Toronto, popular Indian restaurants that may serve Prawn Goan Curry include Udupi PalaceLahore Tikka HouseKothur Indian Cuisine, and Goa Indian Farm Kitchen.

Cook Prawn Goan Curry in a large skillet or seasoned wok.
Cook Prawn Goan Curry in a large skillet or seasoned wok.

My Family Loves Prawn Curry From Goa

I’ll never forget my first experience eating Goan-style Prawn Curry.

On my last night in Cochin, the capital of Kerala, I arrived for dinner at the award winning Bruton Boatyard Hotel.

Moored on a historic stretch of Cochin’s famed harbour, Bruton Boatyard offers a tribute to another age. Resurrected from the remains of a Victorian shipbuilding yard, the historic building is a reminder of the once great trading houses which brought prosperity to the region when the pepper of Kerala was as precious as gold.

Seated at the hotel’s signature History Restaurant I flipped through Chef Ajeeth Janardhanan’s fact-packed menu. Each of the chef’s dishes reflect a different community in Cochin, a testament to the city’s melting pot of cultures.

Since Goa and Kerala share a history with Portugal, you’ll find similarities between their regional South Indian cuisines. Both beach destinations are located on India’s west coast, giving local fisherman plenty of opportunity to catch a variety of fish and prawns.

That night I indulged in a fragrant bowl of Prawn Goan Curry featuring plump shrimp swimming in a tangy sour tamarind masala curry sauce.

After traveling throughout India and eating at some of the world’s best Indian restaurants I was excited to share my love for Goan Prawn Curry with my family at home.

I’ve hosted many Indian-themed feasts, showcasing dishes from Delhi to Bengal via fragrant curries, fresh salads and hearty soups.

When I finally introduced my parents to Prawn Tamarind Curry their eyes bulged with glee. I knew they’d both love this traditional South Indian recipe because they enjoy shrimp, fragrant spices and creamy coconut sauce.

Garnish Prawn Goan Curry with finely chopped cilantro.
Garnish Prawn Goan Curry with finely chopped cilantro.

Recipe Health Benefits

Our homemade Goan Seafood Curry recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!

A good source of bone-strengthening vitamin K, cilantro is also rich in antioxidants that help protect the eyes from damage by free radicals. 

A rich source of blood-building iron, cumin may also help balance your blood sugar levels and reduce bad cholesterol. It is also traditionally used as a digestive aid.

The star component of turmeric is curcumin, a potent phytochemical that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is often prescribed in Indian Ayurvedic medicine to help relieve arthritis, aid digestion and inhibit the growth of cancers. 

Paprika is rich in vitamin A, capsaicin, and carotenoid antioxidants. These substances may help prevent inflammation and improve your cholesterol, eye health and blood sugar levels.

Tamarind is a rich source of magnesium and contains more calcium than many plant-based foods. 

Coconut is rich in fibre and may also offer a number of benefits including improved heart healthy and digestion. It is high in calories and sautéed fat so be sure to eat in moderation. 

Ginger contains at least 14 phytochemicals, many of which have impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also has a good source of copper, which supports your bones, blood and nervous system. 

Onions are a humble vegetable packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Regular consumption of onions can help boost digestive health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.

Seafood is a high-protein food that is low in calories, total fat, and saturated fat. High in vitamins and minerals, seafood has been shown to have numerous health benefits including decreasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension.

Prawn Goan Curry Recipe Photo Image.
Prawn Goan Curry Recipe Photo Image.

Prawn Goan-Style Curry Recipe Cooking Tips

If it’s your first time cooking Goan Prawn Curry at home be sure to review our step by step recipe below. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started.

  • We suggest using a large wok when preparing curry as it allows you to distribute the heat evenly and offers plenty of space to toss and stir the ingredients together without splatter.
  • We’ve used large prawns in this recipe that have been deveined and removed the shells/tails. You can leave the tails on if you’d like as they do look attractive. The shells when cooked in the masala sauce also add additional seafood flavour to the dish.
  • If you like spicy food feel free to add additional dried red chilies or chopped green serrano chilies.
  • We’ve used coconut milk in this recipe but you can substitute for coconut cream if you like a more decadent sauce.
  • You can purchase tamarind paste online or at your local Indian supermarket.
Prawn Goan Curry is one of our favourite masala recipes from India.
Prawn Goan Curry is one of our favourite masala recipes from India.

What To Serve with Goan Curry

Prawn Goan Curry is one of our favourite South Indian seafood dishes to cook at home.

The tender and flavourful main course entree is best served at an Indian dinner party with steamed basmati rice and a fresh salad.

If you’re hosting a large Indian-themed buffet or potluck you may want to serve the dish alongside these popular recipes:

Serve this easy Goan seafood curry with steamed rice or chapati.
Serve this easy Goan seafood curry with steamed rice or chapati.

You May Also Enjoy These Seafood Recipes…

Now you're an expert on how to make authentic Prawn Goan Curry.
Now you’re an expert on how to make authentic Prawn Goan Curry.

How To Make Tamarind & Coconut Prawn Goan Curry

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Prawn Goan Curry

Prawn Goan Curry is our favourite Indian seafood masala. Prepare this easy recipe with creamy coconut milk, sweet tamarind and spices.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Prawn Goan Curry
Servings: 6
Calories: 351kcal


  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • Wok or skillet
  • Spice Grinder or Mortar and Pestle
  • Spatula or Wooden Spoon


  • 2 tsp Whole Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Whole Cumin Seeds
  • 8 Whole Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Turmeric
  • 2 tsp Ginger minced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves crushed
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Medium Spanish Onion chopped
  • 14 oz Coconut Milk
  • 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1 1/2 lb Raw Prawns peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp Cilantro chopped


  • Put the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, cayenne pepper, paprika, and turmeric in a grinder or mortar and pestle. Grind finely as possible then empty into a bowl.
  • Add the ginger, garlic, and 4 tbsp water, or enough to make a thick paste. Stir to mix and set aside.
  • Pour the oil into a large, nonstick, lidded frying pan or well-seasoned wok and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Stir fry until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the spice paste. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk, salt and tamarind paste. Mix well and bring to a simmer again. Add the shrimp and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until cooked through.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve with steamed rice, naan or chapati.


Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.3g | Protein: 28.1g | Fat: 22.8g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 239mg | Sodium: 580mg | Potassium: 466mg | Fiber: 2.7g | Sugar: 3.9g | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 2mg

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