Goan shrimp/prawn curry with drumsticks

Prawn and drumstick curry is one of my favorite curries from the Goan cuisine. To me a plate of red boiled rice and spoonfuls of this curry screams comfort food! The very aroma of this curry, bubbling away on the stovetop makes me want to dive into it as soon as it’s done, so delicious!

This is a pretty traditional dish, prepared in most Goan households. This is the base for a basic fish/prawn curry. Then the addition of okra, drumsticks, raw mango etc simply add a little extra flavor.

This is an heirloom recipe, as it has been passed down from my late Grandma to my mom and now to me. I have also shared my mum in laws’s recipe for shrimp and okra/lady finger curry in my earlier posts, it is kind of similar to this with a bit of variation. You can find the recipe here, do give it a try as well. It is minimally spiced yet very flavorful!

So what’s in this curry? Coconut, dried red chillies, a few spices and some tamarind, pretty much the core ingredients of most Goan curries.  Once your ground masala paste is ready, this curry is done in about 20 mins, most of it being inactive time. I remember my Grandma grinding this masala the traditional way on the masala stone grinder.  The curry made that way, taste so much better, no modern appliance can beat that flavor. It’s all about how the cell walls of the ingredient’s break down whilst grinding as opposed to the same being ground in an electric mixer. Well, with the busy lifestyle, no one has the time to take the trouble, but I’m sure it is still done in a lot of households. For me, it’s simply memories, I can still picture my Grandma grinding away the masala, so effortlessly, resulting in a pot of delicious curry to be devoured by all of us.

Ingredients: Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml

1/2 lb , approx 250 grams ( 10-12 large shrimps)

3 whole drumsticks, cut in 2 inch pieces ( I used frozen drumstick pieces)

5-6 dry red kashmiri chillies

6 peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

4 cloves of garlic

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

lime size ball tamarind

A little more than 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut

1/2 cup roughly chopped onions

1 tablespoon oil ( I prefer to use coconut oil )

salt and sugar to taste


1.Shell & devein the shrimps, wash them well. Apply salt and set aside for 5 minutes.

2.In your electric blender/ grinder, add grated coconut, kashmiri chillies, cumin seeds, garlic, turmeric, coriander seeds, tamarind ( remove the fibers and seeds) along with the roughly chopped onion. Grind to a smooth paste, using water as required.

3.Heat oil in heavy bottomed pot, add the ground masala paste, saute for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until it starts bubbling.

4. Rinse the grinder jar with about 1 & 1/2 to 2 cups water and add to the sauteed masala ( You can add more or less water depending on desired thickness of gravy) mix well and bring to a boil. Add a pinch of sugar.

5. Now add drumsticks, cover and let it simmer for about 10 -15 minutes. Then add shrimps and let it cook until done , another 5 minutes. Check for seasonings, adjust with more salt or sugar. Serve with hot steamed rice or  ‘pao‘-bread.

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  1. Loretta says:

    A pure sight for sore eyes Freda! Always love that combination. There’s that coconut shell spoon again, love it! All these Goan dishes on the website and on your blog are making me want to try them all.

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