Indo-Malayan Prawn Lemak Curry

30 June 2020 By

A spicy and fragrant yellow curry, with juicy plump prawns swimming in a rich coconut broth. This gives a very similar end result to a pungent rich Malaysian Prawn Gulai Lemak. It’s comfort in a bowl.

Prawn Lemak Curry

Ingredients − Serves 4

  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 6 red or banana shallots, finely diced
  • 1 flat tbsp Latasha’s Kitchen Turmeric Spice Magic
  • 1 tbsp Latasha’s Kitchen Indonesian Turmeric Kari Paste
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6-8 birds eye chillies – either finely chopped for more heat, split for partial heat or left whole for mild heat
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, halved and white part bashed or bruised
  • 400 ml Ayam coconut milk
  • 100 ml Ayam coconut cream
  • 1-2 dried tamarind slices – pre-soaked for 10 minutes alternatively use the juice of 1 lime
  • 700 gm raw green prawns, peeled, deveined, tails left intact
    TIP: Sometimes I prefer to leave the whole head on for maximum favour, but I remove the head sac by creating a tiny incision in the mid section of the head and pulling the sac out neatly.


  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced spring onion
  • Fried shallots (store bought)

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  1. Marinate prawns in Latasha’s Kitchen Turmeric Spice Magic for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Gently fry the prawns until pink approx. 1 minute then remove to a plate. In the same pan add remaining 2 tablespoons oil then sliced shallots and stir fry until softened (5-6 minutes).
  3. Add Latasha’s Kitchen Indonesian Turmeric Kari Paste, lemongrass, chillies and water, and stir fry for 5 minutes on low. Pour in the coconut milk and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until well flavoured (8 minutes). Add back the pan fried prawns and the coconut cream and simmer until just cooked around 4 minutes. Add tamarind or lime juice and adjust seasoning.
  4. Scatter with cherry tomatoes, spring onion and fried shallots and serve over a bowl of steamed jasmine rice.

TIPS: If you don’t have an aversion to dried shrimp you can soak 2 tablespoons of good quality dried shrimp for ½ hour, drain then grind to a fine mixture and add after the shallots. The same goes for pineapples – add a handful of diced fresh pineapple to your curry as it absorbs all the magical flavours beautifully.