goan prawn curry with coconut

Goan Prawn Curry with Coconut is a spicy, sour curry that comes from Goa and is also called Ambot Tik. Just serve this with steamed rice and you have a truly satisfying meal!


This is exactly what a satisfying meal starts with – some Goan prawn curry made with coconut which is going to comfort you and make you feel like you are home and warm and safe.
I’ve already told you how much I love all things coastal and this started with meeting my Mangalorean husband whose family makes the most delicious food. I’ll invite you guys over someday
So when I got this recipe from a Goan friend who got it from her grandmother, I was jumping guys! I knew I had to share and make sure you guys try it too. It’s what I make when Bangalore becomes chilly enough to wear a hoodie and you need a bowl of fiery hot curry and some netflix while you snuggle inside a blanket. Because at that point you absolutely need all those things and nothing else will do. And winter is close, remember? Sorry (not sorry) I couldn’t resist throwing in a GoT reference. Are you guys watching the show? Just waiting for Sunday to come every week is pure torture!

Let’s not go down the GoT spiral, though you and me have to have a chat about it one of these days. Now this Goan Prawn Curry is pretty authentic, but I have to tell you that like everything in India, every home has their own way of making things, so I’m sure if you are Goan, your grandma must have her own ways. I really love this version because it tasted like the curry I’ve always had in Goa, sitting by the beach with a beer in hand.
And you’ll be surprised at how simple it is. You just need a few whole spices because like in Mangalore, a Goan Curry or Ambot Tik also starts with whole spices that are freshly ground and then cooked with.
I’ve been using ITC Masterchef’s frozen Prawns everytime I cook with them these days, because I love the fact that I can rely on the quality and don’t have to worry about where they come from or how fresh they are. They are freshly frozen within 15 hours of harvesting, with temperature controls and quality checks throughout the chain to make sure each prawn is fresh, soft and juicy.

We’ve discussed the advantages of using frozen prawns vs. fresh prawns before, and I also have a really handy guide about the safest ways to defrost prawns.
Since prawns defrost pretty quickly (about 15-20 minutes), you can get everything else ready – grind the masala, cook the onion, tomato mixture etc. while the prawns defrost so that you have this prawn curry on the table in about 40 minutes!

While you can use any size of prawns with this recipe, we used deveined and cleaned Jumbo Prawns or Shrimp because we love digging into them. But you can easily use small or medium sized prawns, but I would recommend doubling the quantity for this recipe. You want to make sure that you get a piece of prawn in every bite of this Goan Prawn Curry!


for the prawns
  • 20 Jumbo Prawns or Shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • Enough water to soak the prawns completely

for the ground masala
  • 8–10 dried Kashmiri Red Chillies
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole Peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole Coriander Seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • 1 small knob of Tamarind (1 teaspoon Tamarind Paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 cup grated Coconut
  • 1 cup Coconut Milk

for the curry
  • 2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced Ginger
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 8–10 Curry Leaves


  1. Start by defrosting prawns. Transfer prawns to a bowl and add enough cold water to soak them properly for 15 minutes. Before using, wash the prawns once or twice in running water and add them to the curry.
  2. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under ground masala to a smooth paste and set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat coconut oil and add ginger and onions. Saute the onions till they are a light golden brown and add tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for 5-7 minutes till they break down easily with the back of a spoon.
  4. Add the ground masala and salt to the pan and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame and simmer the masala for 10-15 minutes till the colour deepens slightly. Add the defrosted (drain the water) prawns to the gravy and cook them for 7-8 minutes. Sprinkle curry leaves on top, mix well and switch off the flame. Let the curry rest for 5 minutes before serving with steamed rice.