This mangalorean prawns curry is one of my favorite dishes from my childhood because my mom made the best version of this Indian shrimp curry. And I mean of-course I can’t really be objective about this, because childhood nostalgia etc.
But that’s why when I started to recreate this recipe for the blog (based on her recipe), it was not only about making a good tasting shrimp / prawn curry, but also about recreating the taste of my childhood. Which is why this particular recipe is extra special to me. 🙂
Known as Sungata Phanna Upkari in Konkani cuisine, this dish uses very few, very basic ingredients, to make a delightful shrimp curry that is sure to be a treat for your taste buds.
And you know what the best part is? It’s that for something this delicious, this is a relatively simple and easy dish to make. Simple enough that there is very little margin for error, and easy enough to even make it on a weeknight if and when the craving hits.
So whether you want to indulge your taste buds over the weekend or cook something extra special for a party, try out this sure-fire winner of a recipe.
Oh and this is also one of those dishes that taste much better the next day, so it’s also a perfect candidate for make-ahead dinners, if you are into those.
How to Make Mangalorean Prawns Curry
Start with fresh prawns / shrimp (deveined, with tail off). Avoid using the pre-cooked / boiled shrimp available in the store.
Then clean it well, patting dry the excess water, and marinate it with salt & turmeric powder for 30 mins – 1 hour. If you are in a rush, a 20 min marination will suffice as well.
In a kadai / pan, heat up a little oil & saute the onions till they turn golden brown.
Add a little salt to speed up the cooking of the onions. But browning of onions takes time and patience. Don’t skip or rush this step as it is critical to how this curry turns out.
Once the onions have turned golden brown, add the chilli powders (both kashmiri & red chilli powders) and tamarind extract, and saute for a few minutes, till the masalas get lightly cooked. At this point, if required, add a splash of water to avoid the masalas from burning.
Kashmiri chilli powder is used mostly for the color and the red chilli powder for the spice, so you can adjust the quantity based on your preference.
Finally, add the marinated prawns, and also water, based on your desired consistency for the curry.
Mix everything well, and cook the curry for 10-15 mins with the lid on, and then 10-15 mins with the lid off, so that it reduces a bit.
You can adjust the consistency of the curry by adjusting the water. Just ensure to adjust the salt & spices accordingly.
Serve hot with roti, naan or rice.
Find more curry recipes:
Daali Varan – Easy Konkani Style Daal
Creamy Rajma Masala Recipe
This recipe has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in 2019.
Mangalorean Prawns Curry | Indian Shrimp Curry | Sungata Phanna Upkari
- 1.5 pounds prawns / shrimp raw, de-veined, tail off
- 2.5 tsp salt
- ¾ tsp haldi / turmeric powder
- ¼ cup oil
- 4 cup chopped onion
- ½ tsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tbsp tamarind extract
- 1 cup water
- Clean the shrimp well, pat dry the excess water, and then marinate it with salt & haldi powder for 30 mins - 1 hr.
- In a kadai / pan, heat up the oil, add the finely chopped onions and salt. Saute till the onions turn golden brown. This step takes time and patience, but it is crucial, so don’t skip or rush it.
- Once the onions have turned golden brown, add in the kashmiri chilli powder & red chilli powder, and saute for 2-3 mins till the masalas get lightly cooked. Here you can add a splash of water if required to avoid the masalas getting burnt.
- Then add in the tamarind extract and mix well.
- Finally add the marinated shrimp, along with water. Mix well and cook covered for 10-15 mins on medium flame, and then 10-15 mins without the lid on, so that the water in the curry reduces a bit.
- Serve hot with roti, naan or rice.
- This recipe makes a semi-dry curry, but you can always adjust the quantity of water to suit your preferences. Just remember to adjust salt and spice level accordingly.
- The kashmiri chilli powder adds to the color of the dish more than the spice, and the regular chilli powder adds to the spice level of the dish. Adjust the quantity of the two chilli powders to suit your spice preferences. Just also remember to adjust the tamarind extract relative to the spice level.
I’ve done my very best to share the exact measurements, and outline every step, but if something is not clear to you, or you have questions about quantities or alternatives, or anything at all, feel free to ask in the comments. I promise to reply to every single query.
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